Does it seem strange to see an article on breathing? Don’t we all know how to breath?
Well, breathing is one of the few bodily functions which, within limits, can be controlled both consciously and unconsciously. So over time many forms of breathing have evolved. Some breathing techniques can help slow down or revitalize the mind body and soul. The term “Conscious Breathing” is a relaxation technique in which a person shifts their focus of attention from the stream of mental chatter to the natural rhythms of their breath. Many meditation techniques, including Vipassana and mantra, employ variations of conscious breathing.
Do As One is a website who’s goal is to have 1 billion people consciously breathe in unison by the end of November 2012, with common intent. Sounds like a hard feat, but their website is well set up to accomplish this.
So what is Do As One all about?
Their Goal: To serve and connect humanity by establishing a legacy of healthy, conscious breathing.
Their Vision: One billion people will breathe together synchronously by November 11, 2012.
Their Method: To share techniques for daily, optimal breathing and enable global, synchronous breathing through DoAsOne.com.
Their Story: Do As One was created by three visionary friends compelled to make the world a happier and healthier place on a grand scale. With that vision at heart, they sought to learn as much as they could about the most basic and life sustaining function of a human’s life, breathing.
They met with gurus, breath practitioners, respiratory therapists, doctors, yoga instructors, healers, shamans, religious leaders, monks and alternative medicine experts to get at the core of what the breath means to the human body, mind and spirit. They even interviewed thousands of diverse people to gauge what the general population knows about breathing in order to help determine what needed to be shared and how best to impart the knowledge.
After synthesizing all the information, the founders set forth a grand goal to have one billion people breathe together by 11/11/12. On 07/07/07 DoAsOne.com was born, forever changing the way you think about breathing.
Do As One is adamant about refining and improving the core of it infrastructure so since launch on 07/07/07, we have had major releases of the website on 08/08/08, 09/09/09 and 10/10/10. Subsequent major releases of DoAsOne.com are scheduled for 11/11/11 and 12/12/12. DoAsOne.com is the online embodiment of the vision, goal, and method of Do As One. People have now come from over 140 countries to breathe on DoAsOne.com. Users have commented that the carefully designed breathing tools have improved their quality of life and enabled them to connect with others around the planet in a unique and exciting way
This site is running 24 hours a day and you can enter any of their rooms at any time. Try it out and start breathing with others throughout the world. The benefits to yourself and the collective consciousness is powerful and needed in a periodof rapid changes around this beautiful globe we all call home. Click to visit the site – DO AS ONE
Below are 3 breathing exercises to revitalize or relax your mind, body and spirit provided by Andrew Weil, M.D.
“Practising regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.” Andrew Weil M.D
Since breathing is something we can control and regulate, it is a useful tool for achieving a relaxed and clear state of mind. I recommend three breathing exercises to help relax and reduce stress: The Stimulating Breath, The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise (also called the Relaxing Breath), and Breath Counting. Try each and see how they affect your stress and anxiety levels.
Exercise 1: The Stimulating Breath (also called the Bellows Breath)
The Stimulating Breath is adapted from a yogic breathing technique. Its aim is to raise vital energy and increase alertness.
- Inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose, keeping your mouth closed but relaxed. Your breaths in and out should be equal in duration, but as short as possible. This is a noisy breathing exercise.
- Try for three in-and-out breath cycles per second. This produces a quick movement of the diaphragm, suggesting a bellows. Breathe normally after each cycle.
- Do not do for more than 15 seconds on your first try. Each time you practice the Stimulating Breath, you can increase your time by five seconds or so, until you reach a full minute.
If done properly, you may feel invigorated, comparable to the heightened awareness you feel after a good workout. You should feel the effort at the back of the neck, the diaphragm, the chest and the abdomen. Try this breathing exercise the next time you need an energy boost and feel yourself reaching for a cup of coffee.
Exercise 2: The 4-7-8 (or Relaxing Breath) Exercise
This exercise is utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere. Although you can do the exercise in any position, sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
- Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of seven.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
- This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
Note that you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth. The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time. Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation. The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important; the ratio of 4:7:8 is important. If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases. With practice you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply.
This exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Unlike tranquilizing drugs, which are often effective when you first take them but then lose their power over time, this exercise is subtle when you first try it but gains in power with repetition and practice. Do it at least twice a day. You cannot do it too frequently. Do not do more than four breaths at one time for the first month of practice. Later, if you wish, you can extend it to eight breaths. If you feel a little lightheaded when you first breathe this way, do not be concerned; it will pass.
Once you develop this technique by practicing it every day, it will be a very useful tool that you will always have with you. Use it whenever anything upsetting happens – before you react. Use it whenever you are aware of internal tension. Use it to help you fall asleep. This exercise cannot be recommended too highly. Everyone can benefit from it.
Exercise 3:Breath Counting
If you want to get a feel for this challenging work, try your hand at breath counting, a deceptively simple technique much used in Zen practice.
Sit in a comfortable position with the spine straight and head inclined slightly forward. Gently close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Then let the breath come naturally without trying to influence it. Ideally it will be quiet and slow, but depth and rhythm may vary.
- To begin the exercise, count “one” to yourself as you exhale.
- The next time you exhale, count “two,” and so on up to “five.”
- Then begin a new cycle, counting “one” on the next exhalation.
Never count higher than “five,” and count only when you exhale. You will know your attention has wandered when you find yourself up to “eight,” “12,” even “19.”
Try to do 10 minutes of this form of meditation.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Wake Up World or its staff.