Breathwork is a wonderful tool for healing the body, releasing trauma, activating dormant parts of the brain, creating new neural pathways, gaining insight, improving clarity and focus, and much more.
Our breath is the one function in the body that is controlled by our autonomic nervous system (it happens in the background without our having to think about it), but it is also something we have conscious control over. We can control and manipulate our breath to heal, relax, and balance the nervous system.
This breathwork technique for longevity involves deep, rhythmic breathing and breath retention. Rhythmic breathing is required to perform the breath retention. Diaphragmatic rhythmic breathing increases oxygen in the body and improves blood flow and circulation. The breath retention (breath hold) lowers your oxygen levels in your blood so you go into intermittent hypoxia, which creates a deep meditative state, awakening dormant parts of your brain.
What is the method used for?
CARDIAC HEALTH: Improves circulation due to vasodilation and growth of new blood vessels.
BRAIN HEALTH: Blood flow is improved to organs that use up a lot of oxygen like your brain. This may even lead to activation of dormant parts of the brain, improving cognitive function and memory.
ANTI-AGING/LONGEVITY: May activate stem cells into circulation for regenerating cells in your body.
ENDURANCE: Improves fitness and stamina as you produce more red blood cells, new blood vessels and increase blood flow to your organs.
RAPID TARGETED HEALING: Combined with additional visualizing exercises you can invoke a healing response in your body for quicker healing times.
How to do the method:
- Do this in the morning on an empty stomach.
- Sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
- Inhale fully through both nostrils filling up your lungs completely with oxygen. You can get more oxygen into your lungs by imagining your nostrils are in your back as your lungs are actually located in your back. Imagine breathing into your back and expand your chest fully, including your abdomen that should rise first.
- Then as you get to the top of your inhalation, simply let go and exhale with no force letting the natural weight of gravity let the air out. As you get to the bottom of your exhalation, breathe in fully again, so you create a continuous connected rhythmical breathing pattern. Do 20-30 repetitions until you feel tingly or light headed.
- After the final exhalation, hold your breath with absolutely no air in your lungs for as long as you possibly can. It may feel a bit uncomfortable at first, but you will get used to it as you practice.
- At around 1-1:30 minutes of holding your breath you will notice your blood saturation begins to drop fast. Go gradually and slowly at first.
- When you can no longer hold your breath, take a quick inhalation through the nose, then quickly exhale again and repeat, by making a hissing sound to remove all the air from your lungs. This will further bring your oxygen levels down. You can repeat this a few times for as long as you feel comfortable.
- Do at least 2 rounds of the full sequence above that consists of continuous breathing followed by breath holds each morning on an empty stomach.
- During the breath holding phase you will go into a deeply relaxed meditative state. Use this time to visualize healing happening in your body, stress melting away, or abundance and love flowing into your life.
Please share your experience in the comments after you’ve tried this technique!
Want to dive deeper into a breathwork practice? Click here for a 7-day mini course on SOMA Therapeutic Breathwork.