Human Guinea Pig Chronicles 1: I Tried Four Breathing Exercises from Noob to Fire Breathing. Here’s My Results:

1. Box Breathing.
Difficulty: Easy

Good for: cycling, jogging,yoga, stressful (even life threatening) situations, or just killing time standing in line. Take your blood pressure before and after and watch it drop like crypto.

The Navy Seals use this breathing technique on the battlefield, not only make sure they have enough oxygen for peak performance, but also to keep their minds locked and loaded.

I know beginning with a Navy Seals exercise sounds crazy, but box breathing is so easy that anyone with a standard set of lungs can do it: breath in for five seconds, hold for five, breath out for five, hold for an additional five, then repeat. Come on, be game! It’s free.

2. Om Chanting.

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate.

Good for: Mental serenity and focus. A fantastic morning warm-up for singers, djs, and auctioneers, it really gets the pipes working.

The Om meditation is sneaky. It doesn’t seem like a breathing exercise on the surface, but hey —the air goes in, the air comes out, the air plays pinochle with your snout. Speaking of, if your nose is stuffed up, adjust your pitch on the “mmm” part until you find the one that rattles your sinuses. This will, in technical terms, “vibrate the boogers loose.”

3. Fire Breathing/Tummo.

Difficulty: Advanced. 

Good for: Some masters of the ancient art of tummo can control their heat rates and raise their body temperatures enough to melt snow. This is no joke. All you scaredy cats can stick with the first two methods and live long happy lives. Thanks for coming. Namaste.

Are they gone? Cool. Wanna get nuts? Check out the science between of Tummo and Wim Hoff here. The gist of it is that you alternate between hyperventilating and breath holding. This sends the body into shock, increasing neuroplasticity, while training the sympathetic nervous system to be calm under fire. Then your brain releases a slight amount of natural DMT, which makes your brain feel as mellow as Bob Ross getting a back massage for a good two hours afterward. 

4. Extra Credit: Wim Hoff .

Difficulty: Beast Mode.

Good for: Swimming underneath glaciers, running on the snow barefoot, and boosting the immune system to ridiculous levels.

Wim Hoff is a lovable nut job. Common sense didn’t stop him from swimming under glaciers, jogging in the snow in just his underpants, and successfully fighting off infection from injection with meditation.

Wim combined Tummo, mediation, and a cold shower “because you don’t think about your bills when the cold water hits you. You think about the cold water hitting your face.” Spiritually, it’s like jumping from the warm baby pool of ignorance to the cold reality of the adult pool. The cold shower is unpleasant for only twenty seconds, but after your body adjust to it, the shower becomes blissfully invigorating, so suck it up buttercup. To be fair, I started the cold showers in 90 degree weather, so let’s see how tough I talk in November.

It took me about a week to reach a minute long breath hold.  I’m trying for a minute an a half. 

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