By NyxFury 2008
Do you know why yoga prana works so well? You know how the heart is the mechanism that pumps the blood and controls vascular contractions, like the engine behind blood flow. Deep breathing resembles this mechanism for the lymphatic system. Deep breathing and the lymphatic system work synergistically together to move lymphatic fluid throughout the body. The lymphatic system directly causes the body to utilize immune function and clear the body tissues of toxins. Deep breathing is what keeps this system in shape like doing exercise invigorates the heart and the muscles of the heart.
Breath holding is part of deep breathing. Holding your breath creates a situation where your lungs have to be utilized then releasing your breath causes more channels of the lungs to open up. When you are out of shape and don’t utilize deep breathing a percentage of your lungs just hold oxygen like a storage unit in case you are in a dire situation. The more you deep breathing you do the more capacity your lungs will use and the more frequent that capacity is used, it will kick start the lymphatic system. Usually an out of shape person can only access about 60 percent of their lungs. People who exercise and/or do yoga everyday usually have a good 80-90 percent of accessible lung availability. Of course the deal with needing lung is imperative for cardio health, vascular health and lymphatic health when these systems fail or don’t work correctly you will usually die....the imperativeness to these systems is high.
Many people die from Auto Erotic Asphyxiation since it is like drinking and driving. Due to the impairment you feel. There is no such thing as the feel good aspect of air deprivation; it is more distraction that you can’t breathe due to being impaired via orgasm. Then when no oxygen is getting to where it needs to be it intensifies chemical brain reaction, once you get the air back you suddenly feel an endorphin rush. It is like a drug. You are having fight or flight and an orgasm at the same time as well as light headed from oxygen deprivation. Oxygen deprivation can also cause hallucinations and dream-like state. Fight or flight makes you more aware and gives you an adrenaline rush, and then an orgasm creates a calming serotonin and endorphin release. This doesn’t last very long, but it is probably a bit stronger then some effects street drugs can give you.
I will also like to mention deep breathing and holding your breath is not the same thing as struggling to breathe. There is more energy expenditure and your muscles are contracting thus having a larger need for oxygen among other reasons. Deep breathing everyday is essential while struggling for breath is not something you should do that frequently. These are all just the physiological side, the mental side is just as complex...
Over breathing like hyperventilation is very light breathing, it isn’t deep at all and just causes you to lose oxygen and energy. It is like spinning your tires and going nowhere while expending too much gas. Shamans use hyperventilation to reach altered states of consciousness due to the lack of oxygen, which does the thing I mentioned above, hallucinations putting you in a dream state, passing out, losing some of your senses. It is my opinion that this is a more controlled way then holding your breath which causes a more immediate response then say hyperventilation.
Too much oxygen is different than too much air. Usually air doesn’t have the amount of oxygen that will create you too take in too much oxygen. You usually have to use oxygen tanks or go to an oxygen bar which was very popular when I lived in Denver. They even had different flavors of oxygen. It was the cure all for hangovers, allergies or just a good buzz. Getting too much oxygen can create your blood to change, your red blood cell count goes up, you become over oxidized especially if you train to take in an abundance of oxygen. Most athletes training for this do HIITs (high intensity interval training) frequently. This is where you do intervals with every bit of energy you have to the point you can’t breathe. You do this for 30 seconds to minute then for 3 or so minutes slow down, then do another 30 second all out force. You do this for 30-40 minutes 3-6 times a week. This causes your body to take in an excessive amount of oxygen all day long. Doing these intervals will train your body to keep more oxygen in its tissues, especially if you are in a higher climate. If you are out of shape and don’t get much oxygen your body lowers the blood count as it doesn’t need the oxygen. This practice is common with athletes training a certain way and in certain climates before returning to their activity at a lesser climate.
When I was doing fitness boot camps in Casper Wyoming coming back to Atlanta, I felt like a million dollars. Running and exercise for me was as easy as sleeping and eating.
Having oxygen gives you mental focus and clarity, it causes your metabolism to heat up, you lose body fat but keep muscle (assuming you are consuming calories and proteins), it causes your body to balance hormones in order to make new tissues that the new blood and oxygen give you, it indirectly regulates brain chemicals creating less stress, less anxiety. Obviously if you have a disorder and you get too much oxygen you can create an embolism situation but you would have to have some sort of problem or predisposition for that to happen. Taking in too much oxygen is like drinking too much water; there are slight risks but they heavily outweigh any risks of not getting enough.
I suppose meditation is more mentally beneficial then physical. Meditation is good for the body in that if you stress your body you need rest. Meditation, I think, is a bit more beneficial for the mind. Having a body that is oxygenated just improves many functions making meditation easier. Meditation is not as important for the physical body as deep sleep. This is due to the body not doing heavy construction to fix things daily life and stress damages unless you are in the deepest part of your sleep. However, mentally I find meditation to be imperative.
All through history you will see breathing being large parts of spiritual and mental rituals, healing routines and even extra curricular activities. It is what brings you life every minute of the day. Even when you forget to breathe, your body is smarter then you are. Breathing is essential to your life, spirituality and mentality. Just like any skill you need to practice at it and exercise it so it can serve you better in any capacity you need it to.