Yoga/Meditation Benefits Cause: Slow Breathing and CO2 [24/7]
In the video below, Volker Schmitz (yoga teacher and Buteyko breathing practitioner, Hamburg, Germany) with Dr. Artour (Toronto, Canada) share their views on mechanisms and reasons related to yoga benefits .
A Buteyko Breathing Master Trainer, Dr. Artour Rakhimov, engages his good friend, Volker Schmitz, in an interesting general yoga conversation. Volker is a long-time yoga teacher and he is also certified to teach Buteyko Breathing. Dr. Artour begins by asking Volker how changing people's automatic-unconscious breathing patterns through breathing retraining helps people who frequently practice yoga.
Volker responds by saying that breathing retraining benefits people practicing yoga beyond yoga postures and yoga breathing (pranayama); breathing retraining also helps in the meditative and psychological states of mind as well. Breathing has an impact on yoga postures, pranayama, meditation, and concentration.
Is there anything wrong with the breathing patterns of a new student entering yoga class for the first time? Yes, Volker answers, beginning yoga students over-breathe, or take too many breaths per minute without thinking about it. Most people have a "mild form of hyperventilation, or hidden hyperventilation, they don't feel it," says Dr. Artour, and they are breathing too much. Over-breathers have low body oxygen test results, usually around 20 seconds for their body oxygen control pause (CP) test. It is easy to do a CP test, just take a normal breath in and out through the nose, gently pinch the nose shut, count seconds only to the point when a breath is needed, not beyond, then release the nose continuing relaxed breathing in and out through the nose. 100 years ago, body oxygen tests were normally 40 seconds; however, today they are only 20 seconds on average.
Volker says that low CP tests are a problem for today's yoga students and yoga teachers; however, when one practices breathing retraining and achieves higher body oxygen test results, like 40 seconds CP, then yoga students will reap benefits such as reduced need for sleep, reduced weight, more endurance in yoga practice, and better nervous system functions.
Yoga masters reach states in the super health levels in the Buteyko Table of Health Zones. Yoga masters can slow their breathing down, sometimes, to three breaths per minute, and yoga masters can benefit similarly as Buteyko Breathing students who learn how to slow down their unconscious-automatic breathing patterns, and increase their CP's to 60 seconds or more.
Volker emphasizes that pranayama is in the center of yoga practice. More about the Buteyko breathing retraining method can be found on this extensive website.
There are many insightful quotes about yoga breathing by leading Soviet physiologist Dr. K.P. Buteyko: how/why yoga works in his Lecture that he delivered in the Moscow State University in 1969 for leading Soviet scientists. Some of these quotes (5 paragraphs of amazing wisdom) are below here as your bonus content.
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