The Relaxator has been invaluable before some “heavier” live broadcasts on Swedish Radio. After just a few minutes my body feels relaxed, the stress dissolves, and my thoughts are clearer. And that’s true for the show, too. It is unbelievably valuable in my profession. Please read my review of Conscious Breathing below.
Book review: The definite work on healthy, energizing breath!
Finally! Conscious Breathing changes you, one breath at a time. Without hesitation nothing I have read or taken note of before explains in such a clear and motivating way how breathing affects you!
A few moments with a plastic bag over your head. Or hyperventilating for a minute, or at least as long as it takes for your limbs to start twinge and numb a bit. I mean, these are simple methods for those who want to be convinced about the importance of our breathing for our wellbeing, both physically and mentally.
Many of us have actually understood how important it is to breathe. Oxygen is good, right!?! But more and heavier breathing doesn’t do the trick, despite the opposite advice we may be given at the gym or when doing power walking. Why? Because we don’t breathe only to take in oxygen. We breathe to maintain a balance between the gases oxygen and carbon dioxide.
When our breathing becomes heavy we take in too much oxygen (yes, it is possible) and at the same time we exhale to much carbon dioxide. All in all, hyperventilating, be it acute or hidden under the radar, can quickly amount to every cell in our body getting “plastics bag over their heads”. Despite full oxygenation in our blood. When the carbon dioxide levels becomes too low, oxygen cannot be delivered to our tissues in an efficient or effective way. And that, for sure, is a problem.
So what do to now? Well, you can read Anders Olsson’s new book Conscious Breathing. I have read a large number of books where breathing either is the main subject or a vital part. I practice a Russian form of martial arts where a special emphasis is put on the breath in all situations.
And I can honestly say that nothing I have previously read or studied in such a clear, elegant, user-friendly and engaging way explains how to achieve a balanced breathing and how this balance affects your heart, brain, psychology, energy production and digestion, as Conscious Breathing.
(Your inner whining voice:)
“But my personal yogi-trainer says that I shall breathe like this!”
(Your inner authoritative voice:)
“Ok I understand, but read Conscious Breathing first and then make up your own mind.”
(Read with an enlightened, holy voice:)
“But my chakras, my kundalini-energy – how am I supposed to achieve a cosmic orgasm if I’m not…”
“Read Conscious Breathing first. Then ask, if you need to.”
(I think you got the point.)
The point is that if you are loaded with knowledge about the function of our breath, how oxygen is delivered, all the positive things that carbon dioxide does for you (no, it is not only a waste gas or a green house gas) you can get all systems in your body, all activities, all yoga to work better and take you where you want. And yes, a conscious breath most likely means that your whole life will work better.
Some hard facts to make it more concrete.
In essence The Conscious Breathing Method presented in the book suggest five simple principles – a) breathe through your nose, b) using your diaphragm with deep breaths. Deep breaths doesn’t mean that they are big, just that it reaches deep down in your lungs. The breathing is also c) slow and relaxed, d) rhythmic and e) quiet and small. If you manage to breathe in this manner for just a part of our hourly 1000 breaths your body will experience immediate improvements. For example this means that:
- Your stress levels go down and your energy levels go up
- The time it takes to recover from disease will decrease and your ability to resist disease will improve.
- You become a better listener, thinker and yes – lover. (Potentially. Your mind calms down, brain hemispheres and nervous system is balanced and you become more present in your body, which feels nicer. So much we can say.)
- Your sleep improves and you wake up more rested
- Your body consumes resources in a calm manner and doesn’t wear you down as fast. (Could you live longer by breathing better?)
- You’ll get teeth like a movie star! (Well…but people that have the habit of breathing through their mouth will get a more even bite)
Anders Olsson tells exactly how all of this happens, and why, in a clear and entertaining way. And if you still aren’t convinced I have yet another ace up my sleeve: You can get fat by poor breathing habits. When deprived of oxygen the human body turns to burning sugar over fat, since we cannot burn fat in the absence of oxygen.
So by improving the way you breathe the increase oxygen levels reaching your cells will reset your body to burn more fat and you can start to lose weight.
If you’re still alive and breathing, this book is for you.