More is Less

Medical studies have proven that the more we breathe, the less oxygen is provided for the vital organs of the body. Does that sound upside down to you? Ideal breathing corresponds to slow, light, and easy abdominal breathing (also called diaphragmatic or belly breathing), something that needs to be relearned in most adults. Diaphragmatic breathing allows one to take normal breaths while maximizing the amount of oxygen that goes into the bloodstream.

“Deep breathing” exercises and techniques, to anyone who knows something about breathing, does not suggest in any way that one should actually over breathe. Deep breathing is just another way of saying belly breathing as opposed to shallow superficial chest breathing. Deep breathing should be very slow so that one accumulates more CO2 in the blood. Deep breathing means breathing less air not more. Some people actually think it is wrong to call therapeutic breathing ‘deep breathing’. If you breathe less and accumulate CO2, the correct name is ‘reduced breathing,’” writes Rakhimov.


When we breathe less—using a breathing device—we directly influence the involuntary (sympathetic nervous system) that regulates blood pressure, heart rate, circulation, digestion and many other bodily functions. Breath is life so we can expect to feel more alive, vibrant and healthy if we bring our awareness to our breath and retrain the way we breathe.

When we breathe perfectly we can live more perfectly in health because our breath is the most important source of energy. Hippocrates said, “Air is a pasture of life and a greatest ruler of all.” I suppose he knew what ancient oriental philosophers knew—that in the air is “an ocean of energy” ready to be directly tapped into.

We breathe all day, every day, so we might as well do it right. Since a breath is the first and last physical activity we undertake in life, we should give it the consideration and importance it deserves in our pursuit of health and relaxation. We can live a long time without food and a couple of days without drinking, but life without breath is measured in minutes. Unfortunately, it seems that unless one participates in or teaches yoga, breathing does not get the attention it deserves.

The American Academy of Cardiology says, “Stress can cause shortness of breath or make it worse. Once you start feeling short of breath, it is common to get nervous or anxious. This can make your shortness of breath even worse. Being anxious tightens the muscles that help you breathe, and this makes you start to breathe faster. As you get more anxious, your breathing muscles get tired. This causes even more shortness of breath and more anxiety. At this point, you may panic.”

Learning to avoid or control stress can help you avoid this cycle. You can learn tips to help you relax and learn breathing techniques to get more air into your lungs.American Academy of Cardiology