It only takes going to your first Yoga class, to learn that breathing is a big deal. Rightfully so, as our entire living existence within the mammal kingdom, depends on the intake and release of air. The art of “breathing” in Yoga is called Pranayama (prah-nah-ya-mah). In Yoga, there are over 100 different ways to breathe. Incredible! Yogis know that there are several effective ways to treat ailments such as anxiety, through the power of breath, too. Yoga and science show us that: a decreased rate of air intake (breaths per minute) — has a curious link to increasing your life-span.

Click Here to Learn more Healing Breathing Technique-Pranayama

Ancient Yogic teachings use situational science to demonstrate how you will live longer if you take less breath’s. Think about various species of whales. Whales come up to the surface, intake a large amount of air to re-submerge and go about their preferred life—under the water, often under-surface for 30 min or more. Mice, breathe quickly and shallow. Both are mammals, yet whales live an average of 100 years and mice live approximately 12-36 months. Curious, indeed.

Human athletes and runners understand the power of regulated and controlled breathing to the extent that, their breathing rates change permanently (even when at resting rates), so long as their level of physical cardiovascular fitness is maintained. And breathing, as it relates to our emotional well-being, is an incredibly valuable tool used to calm, nourish and regenerate our physical state. The real fountain of youth, you could say.

The numbers don’t lie, check out the chart below to compare:

Mammal

Breaths-Per-Minute-Average

Lifespan-Average

Mouse 150 BPM 2 Years
Rabbit 60 BPM 6 Years
Monkey 30 BPM 20 Years
Dog 50 BPM 15 Years
Human 15 – 30 BPM 60 – 80 Years
Horse 10 – 15 BPM 50 Years
Whale 4 – 6 BPM 100 Years
  • Source: PetEducation.com

Researchers believe in theory that metabolic rates correlate to the available oxygen present in our blood or blood oxygen level. Therefore: The more rapidly an organism breathes, the faster the ageing process occurs due to the increased expenditure of metabolic energy stored in the organism. Put simply: It takes a lot of stored energy to breathe more, and this speeds up the ageing process.  

So, what can you do to employ this theory to work for your benefit?

  1. Start by using this basic breathing technique: 2-1-4. Take 2 full seconds to inhale. Hold your breath for 1 second. Exhale, while drawing out the breath over 4 seconds. Repeat for as long as you can. Once this respiration rhythm is introduced, with enough practice, it can become a new autonomous habit.
  2. Next, try for a ½ hour to be consciously aware of your breathing rate while using the 2-1-4 technique, during your everyday life. It’s quite an experiment! Let’s say you’re in a pressure-filled situation at work—your boss is expressing his extreme discontent by waving his arms in frustration towards you. This is typically a time when your rate of breathing and heart beat increase—due to the emotional trigger of fear. But what would happen if you chose the 2-1-4 pattern of breathing in this moment? Your body’s metabolic state would remain relatively unchanged.  Through the power of your conscious breathing technique, you maintain a calm rate of breathing and you can remain in control of your emotions. This is an incredible technique that preserves your metabolically stored energy, keeps you emo calm; thus, reducing the ageing process by toning-down spikes of cortisol releasing stress. Think of people who are under much pressure, for prolonged periods of time; and how they tend to even look older than the last time you saw them.

Since breathing is an autonomous physical response, meaning—we breathe on our own without conscious command; it can be hard to remain focused on implementing any type of rate-of-breathing-control. Cultivating self-awareness and awareness of possible emotional trigger, is key to breathing your way right through stress, and into youthful preservation, while increasing the longevity of your life.

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Canadian Lakeside Writer | Digitial Designer

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