Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Rolci

So, what's the big issue with breathing?

19 posts in this topic

My question is quite simple. I'm sure many of you have noticed that a great emphasis is put on the importance of controlled breathing/paying attention to your breathing when carrying out various tasks to do with the mind. Like in practising martial arts, meditating, performing yoga exercises, or just trying to induce some altered state of consciousness e.g. AP or LD etc. etc. But I myself never found any references as to why the way you breathe plays such a crucial role in the outcome of these exercises. Nor have I ever wondered, I just sort of blindly followed the instructions without actually questioning the underlying reasons or logic. I'm not even sure of the nature of that reason. Psychological? Something mystical? Or simply physical? And what exactly is it? To distract our attention from the outside world? Focusing on your heartbeat or the noise of the flowing blood in the blood-vessels in your ears would surely do. There must be something more to this. Anyone got any idea what it could be?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

very interesting question!

I don't know, but I'm guessing it has something to do with your will. You can't control your heartbeat or flowing blood (and I don't hear it usually, do you??). By focusing on your breathing you can develope ability to focus on it without controling it... You're learning to control your body, your emotions. Also, breathing influences heartbeat, thus it influences nerves, emotions, mood, relaxation, everything.

That's my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always assumed it has to do with flooding the brain with oxygen, but in my efforts to enhance my time management skills (no helped at all by this forum, incidentally!) I have been shown that people tend to breathe quickly and shallowly, especially when under stress. The body responds to slow, controlled breathing by metabolizing and depleting stress hormones even if one is under stress. It's about the mind controlling what it can of the body and leading to as much control as possible of other bodily processes that can't be directly controlled by the will. I used to think this was useless mumbo-jumbo, but my experience over the last couple of years has shown me otherwise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In martial arts your opponents breathing will tell you when he is about to attack, or when you should attack him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In martial arts your opponents breathing will tell you when he is about to attack, or when you should attack him.

All the more reason to control your own!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good topic...

I think some of it is physical, as deep and controlled breathing allows oxygen to flow evenly to the vital parts of your body. I also think that when people are stressed and are breathing in shallow spurts, it restricts flow to some areas, and weakens the body as a whole.

Some of it is probably psychological as well, I know from experience that concentrating on controlling your breathing takes a bit of mental effort, and can be used to distract from pain (lemaze for childbirthing) or from panic attacks or similar.

I think the only part that could seem mystical is when people hyperventilate themselves on accident, breathing too much or too deep, which can flood the brain with oxygen, giving them an odd sensation, and sometimes even minor hallucinations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I also think that when people are stressed and are breathing in shallow spurts, it restricts flow to some areas, and weakens the body as a whole.

Some of it is probably psychological as well, I know from experience that concentrating on controlling your breathing takes a bit of mental effort, and can be used to distract from pain (lemaze for childbirthing) or from panic attacks or similar.

I agree. I also would add that when in a situation where panic is imminent, restoring the proper oxygen levels and reverting to a concentration on a fundamental life function helps prevent panic, both from a psychological and physiological standpoint.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In martial arts breathing and cardio is critical. When I first started competing in MMA at my studio I could hardly last two rounds sparring, I would be so out of breath my arms would be useless and I would just take punches, lol. If you can't control your breathing and get enough air your body is useless. The stronger your cardio and lungs are, the more oxygen that is transmitted to your muscles and mind, for clearer thinking, reaction time, and strength. Which is why you see kickboxers that are skinny and lean... Not huge football player type bodybuilders. Speed and breathing are key. That... and.. the more you weigh, the easier you are to knock out... it has to do with fat in the lining of your skull, the more body weight, the more fat in the lining of your skull.. When your brain is jarred by a punch, you go unconscious as soon as it smacks the lining of your skull, or, all that fatness you've built up from eating twinkies and steaks.

Without oxygen you are useless in whatever physical task you are doing, no matter how large you are, go running every other day and stay in shape.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I forgot to mention this earlier, and I will have to try and find the link, but I recently read about a little boy who is in the 5th grade. He is AWESOME at basketball, his coordination is inhuman, and he can do things like dribble 2 balls between his legs while he is running without looking at them. He also can run the mile in about 4 minutes, which is wayyyy faster than any other 10 year olds mile time.

They checked him out, and he has some kind of deformity, I think it's in the capillaries in his lungs if I remember correctly, which means his body can pull much more oxygen from the lungs and push it through the rest of his body much faster than the rest of us. I will try to find the video and post it.

But that's an example of how crucial someone's breathing can be to the activities they are trying to perform...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I forgot to mention this earlier, and I will have to try and find the link, but I recently read about a little boy who is in the 5th grade. He is AWESOME at basketball, his coordination is inhuman, and he can do things like dribble 2 balls between his legs while he is running without looking at them. He also can run the mile in about 4 minutes, which is wayyyy faster than any other 10 year olds mile time.

They checked him out, and he has some kind of deformity, I think it's in the capillaries in his lungs if I remember correctly, which means his body can pull much more oxygen from the lungs and push it through the rest of his body much faster than the rest of us. I will try to find the video and post it.

But that's an example of how crucial someone's breathing can be to the activities they are trying to perform...

That is such an awesome deformity, he'll never get sick, as bacteria, fungus, and viral infections are prevented with oxygen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That is such an awesome deformity, he'll never get sick, as bacteria, fungus, and viral infections are prevented with oxygen.

Yeah, it was pretty funny, the video was like a little news story somewhere, and the newscaster calls him a freak of nature lol.

He is, I guess, but I was thinking more along the lines of hyper-evolved or something. They say in the video that it is genetic, so I guess it's more of like a mutation of some gene somewhere. Found the link, it's pretty cool.

Here's the video about the freak of nature kid. :)

By the way, tell me he isn't so smug looking in some of those shots. You can almost hear him saying "yeah i know, im the man!" :)

Edited by SunDogDayze

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

VERY intriguing video indeed. And thx 4 all the invaluable contributions so far. This IS a good topic! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do know that in Kung-Fu controlled breathing before a fight is said to help focus you energy twoards the task at hand, and to focus your mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not looking at martial arts now, but the rest, why is it generally so important to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth trying to push the air through a narrow gap? Sometimes it's the other way around. Does that really make a difference? It's just oxygen... Maybe through controlling your breathing in more details gets you in the practice of controlling your mind more? And especially why hold your breath for a few seconds after inhaling? You'd need to get rid of the CO2 quickly so you can take another fresh breath. What's that pause for?

Edited by Rolci

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My question is quite simple. I'm sure many of you have noticed that a great emphasis is put on the importance of controlled breathing/paying attention to your breathing when carrying out various tasks to do with the mind. Like in practising martial arts, meditating, performing yoga exercises, or just trying to induce some altered state of consciousness e.g. AP or LD etc. etc. But I myself never found any references as to why the way you breathe plays such a crucial role in the outcome of these exercises. Nor have I ever wondered, I just sort of blindly followed the instructions without actually questioning the underlying reasons or logic. I'm not even sure of the nature of that reason. Psychological? Something mystical? Or simply physical? And what exactly is it? To distract our attention from the outside world? Focusing on your heartbeat or the noise of the flowing blood in the blood-vessels in your ears would surely do. There must be something more to this. Anyone got any idea what it could be?

The Yogis of India discovered thousands of years ago that there is a direct and specific correlation between the breath and ones mental state. The more restless and ragged the breathing, the more restless the mind. To the degree one is able to calm and focus the breath, to that degree will one be able to calm and focus ones thought, which is invaluable in any number of disciplines, and especially so regarding meditation, which is concentration turned inward. This is explained very lucidly in' Autobiography of a Yogi.'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Breathing is simply a useful way to achieve an altered state of mind/consciousness due to decrease or increase of oxygene and co2 to your brain, and this can produce different mental effects that is useful for relaxation, astral projection, meditation etc. In addition, the breathing also affects the way your energy or qi is transmitted through the body, through the process of breathing, which also helps induce these effects. Flow in, flow out, fly away :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My question is quite simple. I'm sure many of you have noticed that a great emphasis is put on the importance of controlled breathing/paying attention to your breathing when carrying out various tasks to do with the mind. Like in practising martial arts, meditating, performing yoga exercises, or just trying to induce some altered state of consciousness e.g. AP or LD etc. etc. But I myself never found any references as to why the way you breathe plays such a crucial role in the outcome of these exercises. Nor have I ever wondered, I just sort of blindly followed the instructions without actually questioning the underlying reasons or logic. I'm not even sure of the nature of that reason. Psychological? Something mystical? Or simply physical? And what exactly is it? To distract our attention from the outside world? Focusing on your heartbeat or the noise of the flowing blood in the blood-vessels in your ears would surely do. There must be something more to this. Anyone got any idea what it could be?

perhaps i can help - by pointing to the most excellent booklet "science of Breath" available as free download. writen by the most excellent Ramacharaka , all of whose books are most excellent.

science of breath

or

get the Science Of Breath as a pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well in martial arts the breath gives you life. Your breath feeds you entire body, goes to every cell. Also breathing is can be involantary or volantary. You breath when your not making yourself breath and you breath when you take control of it. One could say that when you control your breath you can tap into that involantary part of the brain or subconscious or has a conntection to the mind. Maybe focusing on breathing is just a good way to keep your mind from wondering if it does wonder. Breathing is the key to anything. If you don't breath properly in accordance to strength then you will never see you full potential in strength training. If you don't breath in accordance to running then you will never see your full potential for running. Hold your breath and meditate and see how far you get.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
is interesting Edited by Rolci

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.