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How can I perform the Cleansing Breath Exercise?

Mike Luque
Fitness

The basic cleansing breath is usually performed as the closing of any other deep breathing exercise. For example, if you're performing Alternate Nostril Breathing, when you've completed the number of repetitions desired, you'd end your session with the Cleansing Breath.

You can perform the cleansing breath from any upright position, seated, kneeling, standing, etc. The only position that doesn't really work is lying down. Just like every other deep breathing exercise, the base of the Cleansing Breath is the Yogi Complete Breath. If you're not familiar with the Yogi Complete Breath, I recommend starting there before working on the Cleansing Breath.

For the Cleansing Breath, you'll take a complete 3-part inhale as done in the Yogi Complete Breath. You'll hold the breath in, swallow, then pursing your lips, do a short, strong expelling of breath, as though you're blowing out a large candle. Then you'll pause for a short moment, not letting any air out. You don't inhale in between, then another strong pulsing exhale. You'll continue to do these short, quick exhales without inhaling between, until you've emptied your lungs as completely as possible. I like to take it down to the level that it makes me cough.

The residual volume of your lungs, the amount of air left in your lungs after a normal exhale, is about 1 liter of air, depending on your physical size and the health of your lungs. The purpose of the Cleansing Breath is to get as much of this residular air volume out of your body as possible. So really squeeze those breaths out until you're sure you can't get another milliliter out. Then perform a full and complete 3-part inhale and you're done!

Enjoy. 

Master Stephen Co
Alternative & Complementary Medicine

To perform the Cleansing Breath Exercise:

Starting position: Perform this exercise while standing. Begin in an erect posture. Keep your feet and ankles together, your spine and neck straight, and your head facing forward. Your arms are straight down with hands at your side. Keep your fingers together. Keep your mouth closed and your teeth lightly touching. Then place your hands at your coccyx or directly over the basic chakra. Place the back of one hand against your body and the back of the other hand in the palm of the hand that is resting against the body. Your arms will bend at the elbow, but still keep them tense. This posture forces your shoulders back and your chest out.

Exercise: Exhale through the mouth. Inhale fully, then sniff audibly and lock in the breath. Tense the body, and squeeze the pubococcygeal (PC) muscle. While holding your breath and keeping your muscles tense, unlock your hands and swing your arms upward and forward. Swing them over your head in the same type of backward circular movement you used in the Vibro-Magnetic Breath Exercise in the book Your Hands Can Heal You. If your arms are bent and your circle isn’t perfect, that’s fine, but keep the arms fairly tensed throughout. Bring your hands back to the coccyx after the revolution. Perform two more of these rotations for a total of three. Bring your hands back to the coccyx after each revolution. Then return to your original starting position by bringing your hands down to your sides. Exhale, then release your bodily tension. Perform one cycle of pranic breathing and then relax and be aware of your body for a few moments.

 

Key modification: The original Mentalphysics program calls for you to lock your arms behind your back and keep them straight, which places strain on the shoulders. This modification makes it easier to perform the exercise.

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Breathing Exercise Techniques

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.