by Jonathan Robinson: As a student of various forms of yoga and meditation, I’ve tried many ways of “getting high” without abusing my body with harmful drugs.
Throughout my years of practice, I was always on the lookout for methods that could be done quickly, and yet have a very definite effect. I came upon the Power Breath while at an ashram in India, and it promptly became my favorite breathing technique. The beauty of this method is that it only takes ninety seconds to do, and yet it’s energizing effect can last for an hour. In addition, it can drastically change how you feel, propeling you from a lethargic feeling all the way to euphoria in under two minutes. Sound interesting? Then read on.
To do the Power Breath, sit up in a chair with your spine straight. Make a soft fist out of each hand, and place the back of your hands so they’re near your shoulders. Have a clock or stop watch in front of you so you can easily check when a full minute has passed. To begin the breath, inhale powerfully through your nose while lifting your arms straight over your shoulders. When you exhale, bring your hands back next to your shoulders as you powerfully let out air through your nose. That’s it. Repeat this form of “aerobic breathing” as quickly and as intensely as you possibly can for a full sixty seconds. If you need to slow down due to lightheadedness, take a regular deep breath—then proceed once again at a comfortable pace. The more powerfully and rapidly you do each breath, the more effect you’ll likely feel.
Once you’ve done this breath for the full minute (which will seem like a very long time), take one last deep breath and hold it. You can put your hands in a comfortable position on your lap. Hold your breath for at least twenty seconds, and longer if you can. Then, exhale with a long, slow sighing sound. Aaahhhhhhhhhh! Feel the energy throughout your body. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?
While your body is in this energized and relaxed state, it can be helpful to think of something you’re looking forward to doing in your life. It can be a small thing, such as a good meal, seeing your partner or kids, or anything else that occurs to you. The combination of having an energized body and a mind focussed on positive things will help you to feel particularly good. Sit for as long as you like in this state of mind. If you have things you need to do, you’ll now be in a better frame of mind to do them. If you have some time, simply enjoy the feeling of euphoria that often results from this form of breathing.
Besides the immediate physical and psychological effects of this breath, it’s also incredibly good for you. The Power Breath is a quick way to oxygenate the blood and help your body get rid of toxins. You may find that it’s initially hard to do with any amount of speed or intensity, but if you do it every day for a month, you’ll notice a tremendous difference. You’ll feel more energy, healthier, and more relaxed.
There are a couple of added things that are helpful to be aware of when doing the Power Breath. First, don’t do it after a meal. It will just make you nauseous. Second, if you can’t breathe well through your nose, it’s okay to inhale and exhale through your mouth. In addition, before doing the exercise, it’s a good idea to blow your nose so it’s easier to breathe. And thirdly, a minute is longer than you think. If you can set an alarm to go off in a minute, that will save you from having to constantly look at the time. Instead, you can close your eyes and focus on your breath. After you feel comfortable doing this exercise for sixty seconds, try doing it for even longer periods of time. The longer you do it for, the more energy you’re likely to experience in your body.
The Power Breath requires nothing except you, air, and a couple of minutes. That’s its beauty. You can use it to change your mood, feel more energy, become relaxed–even to replace a cigarette or candy bar. If it causes lightheadedness when you first try it out, simply slow down your breathing. It only means your body isn’t used to getting so much oxygen. By continuing to practice this breath, you’ll soon notice you feel stronger than before, and your dizziness will disappear. Instead of power lunches or workouts, you’ll become hooked on the Power Breath. Since wherever you go you always take your breath with you, it will be a nice friend to have.
Jonathan Robison has written several bestseller books including, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Awakening Your Spirituality;” “The Experience of God,” “The Little Book of Big Questions;” and “Communication Miracles for Couples.” His latest book is called, “More Love, Less Conflict.” Jonathan also co-hosts the podcast “Awareness Explorers” with author Brian Tom O’Connor. This podcast focuses on revealing the easiest and most powerful practices for directly awakening to one’s true nature.
Through TV, live lectures and radio, Mr. Robinson has reached over 100 million people around the world. He is known for providing his audiences with immediately useful information presented in a fun and entertaining manner.