A Yoga Trainer, Therapist and Research Scholar, delving deep into the world of ancient knowledge.
Before divulging the 3-step secret magical breathing formula, let me tell you a real story of a Thai junior football team. It is about the rescue of 12 teenage boys in Thailand who were trapped deep inside the cave for more than 18 days without any food. In mid-2018, their 25-year-old coach, Ake, planned a trek. Due to the torrential rains, the cave flooded and the team went inside more than 4 kilometers.
Ake was a former Buddhist monk and had good knowledge of breathing techniques and meditation. So instead of becoming nervous, he trained young boys to remain calm without getting stressed. The Great Cave of the Sleeping Lady, as called by the local people, had claimed many lives previously. It was cold, dark and flooded. There was nothing to eat. The only positive thing was they had fresh water to drink. It was dripping from the limestone cave ceiling. Ake successfully managed to keep the children mentally strong and hopeful. They managed to reduce their body size with a positive mindset accompanied by correct breathing pattern. This true story had a happy ending only due to the coach’s knowledge about the 3-step secret formula. Interestingly, this is not a part of the modern-day curriculum.
One can encounter physical and mental stress. You can have stress physically if you are in a dangerous situation. The body warns the brain about the stressful stimuli. But mentally, it can happen when we have emotional turmoil. At this point, you remember the experience of unpleasant incidents that has already happened. We enter into the viscous cycle of pain. Or we get worried about something yet to happen in the future. Whatever way you contract the stress, it has adverse effect on mind and body. Stress strikes the brain first and foremost in form of thought process. In response to this, it releases the stress hormones.
Normally in the resting phase, the mind processes 50 thoughts per minute. But in the agitated state, it can have up to 100 thoughts per minute. Brain, in spite of being small, uses about 20% of total energy consumption of the body. When it indulges itself in more information processing in form of thoughts, lot of energy is required. This is the reason why we feel exhausted and tired after being stressed even without doing much physical work. Peaceful and calm mind uses this energy for better functioning of the body.
The stress can be permanently eliminated from life if the following 3-step secret formula is implemented in daily routine.
Step 1: Awareness of Breath
This is a very simple step to divert the mind away from futile thoughts and emotions. Here one has to focus on the breathing pattern and feel each inhalation and exhalation even when one is excited. When the mind is conscious of the breathing pattern, it will revert back to its natural pattern quickly. This awareness of breath is an effective energy-saving technique. Stress is nipped off in its infancy.
1. It can be done anywhere and anytime.
2. Any specific body posture is not at all mandatory. It is a mental exercise to passively witness one’s breath.
3. Feel the intake of air by the nostrils. Focus on the passage of air passing through the windpipe ultimately filling up the lungs. While exhaling, feel the backward flow of air.
This practice helps in bringing calmness to the mind. It really wards off stress and panic attack as it diverts the mind from the negativity.
Step 2: Equal Breathing
As the name suggests, the duration of exhalation is equal to the duration of inhalation. This exercise ensures that functioning of lungs is maximized. The average lung capacity is about 6 liters, but due to shallow and fast breathing, one gets only 40% of the required air. This technique is very effective to put off the panic button. This exercise too, can be done by anyone, anywhere, and anytime.
1. Be in a comfortable position with spine erect and head straight.
2. While counting 1 to 5, the inhalation should start from nostrils with mouth closed. By the end of the inhalation, the lungs should be filled up with the air. Try to fill the lungs to the maximum.
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3. Again count from 1 to 5 while exhaling. With the last count of 5, lungs should be empty. One inhalation and exhalation will be one cycle of breathing.
The breathing should be smooth and not jerky. With practice, try to increase the duration of breathing by reaching 15 counts. This is the ideal breathing sequence for the metabolism of the body. Deep breathing helps the lungs to get maximum amount of air, which is about 3 breaths per minute. This exercise also strengthens the lung muscles as all the parts are used.
Step 3: Om Chanting
This word is popularly associated with Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. But Om is beyond the realm of religion. This is made up of three syllables – A, U, and M. As claimed by some spiritual gurus, it became Ameen in Islam and Amen in Christianity. This is the word which can be pronounced by a person who has undergone glossectomy (surgical removal of the tongue). This is the word of universe ingrained in human body.
1. Sit comfortably with spine erect and head up.
2. Chant ‘Om’ in three parts. Say A in a prolonged way from the naval region or the solar plexus.
3. While saying long M, feel the vibrations in the thoracic region.
4. With M, one can feel the vibrations in the upper palate of the mouth. This is the region in brain where the pituitary gland is situated. It helps in stimulating this.
The above-mentioned 3-step secret breathing formula is effective to ward off stress. If practiced daily, you will experience positive changes in your physical and mental health. Even if you are not a yoga enthusiast or regular meditator, then also applying this 3-step secret breathing formula in your daily routine can bring great results. Do share your experience with us in the comments.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
manu singh on October 16, 2020:
Aditya Kumar on October 14, 2020:
Really well written ma'am
Ashna Gautam on October 14, 2020:
Really informative and nice please keep them coming !!
Ishita on October 13, 2020:
Monika Singh on October 13, 2020:
Very useful in the way the three steps have been explained. It is easy to understand and follow