“Changing the way you breath changes the way you feel.”
– Urban Tantra
Easiest way to boost your brainpower
People love lifehacks. They’ll do all kinds of stupid and impractical things in hopes that it somehow increases the quality of their existence. However, one of the most important things you can do is often completely forgotten. Breathing is underrated. It’s something you do all the time but aren’t conscious of. Most people actually try to breath less than they should. I used to be guilty of this when I’d bench press. Instead of inhaling and exhaling I’d hold my breath. It was something that took a lot of time to correct.
About two months ago I decided to learn more about Eastern religions and their practices. While a lot of this information has been corrupted by lazy hippies and middle-aged women, there’s still some good stuff to learn. A really cool little technique that I picked up involved using your breath to become more alert and energized. While there are several different breathing routines, I’m going to share my favorite with you:
The Breath of Fire
This is something that’s used in Kundalini yoga. It gives you a massive surge in energy and will really wake you up. If you do this exercise for about two minutes every morning you’ll feel incredibly energized and focused. While there’s some mystical nonsense behind it, I’m just going to share the technique itself:
- Set a timer for about two minutes.
- Sit down somewhere and use good posture (you’re supposed to have a straight spine for the exercise).
- Exhale through your nose (in this routine all breathing is done through the nose).
- Let as much air out as you possibly can by sucking your chest in towards your spine.
- When you want to inhale just release your chest. Your body will automatically refill itself with air.
- Increase your tempo so that you take one breath every second.
Benefits that I have noticed
Because yoga is filled with all kinds of kooks, there are tons of ethereal claims about various techniques and routines. People will talk about clearing your aurora or developing a magnetic balance, but I think a lot of that stuff verges on being mystic woo woo. What I’ve experienced has been a lot more practical:
1. Clearer sinuses.
Breathing like this is going to clear out your lungs. When I started I’d end up coughing and sneezing about halfway through the exercise. After a few sessions I noticed that my sinuses felt a lot cleaner and I didn’t feel congested as often.
2. I felt smarter.
When you breath like this you’re bringing more oxygen into your brain. You feel more focused and dialed in. You definitely get a better, and healthier, buzz from this than you would from a soda or energy drink.
3. More energy.
After doing the Breath of Fire you’ll want to run around. Finishing the routine would make me want to hit the gym, go for a walk, or do some other form of physical activity.
While a lot of yoga and Eastern religion is a bit too mystic for most people, I’d actually suggest doing this breathing routine. It’s easy, takes very little time, and has some tremendous results. Doing this once a day for a week will set you back 14 minutes in total. You aren’t going to be out anything from trying the Breath of Fire.