Portrait image of Dr Rampa in his russet robe.

Breathing - Exercise

Portrait image of Dr Rampa in his russet robe.
Man is temporary, Man is frail, life on Earth is but illusion and the Greater Reality lies beyond

Due to today's lifestyles, many think that going down to the gym or jogging around their neighbourhood every evening is the only solution to getting fit. Gyms and jogging are not required to improving your health unless you plan on becoming an athlete. So how do you think the people of hundreds or thousands of years ago kept fit? They certainly didn't have any gyms, running machines and such like in their days. Granted that the lifestyle in past times was more physical than it is today, but that doesn't mean the only solution to your wellbeing is by spending hours at the gym or jogging around your neighbourhood.

In today's hectic world where many spend most of the day sitting as part of their work, they then go home and continue sitting, this time glued to the TV. So it’s not surprising that many needlessly suffer ailments which are clearly self-inflicted. Combined with poor diet and bad drinking habits the problem is exacerbated.

Therefore, it's not surprising that many are suffering from obesity and other modern-day ailments that never used to exist. If only people would eat and drink sensibly, stop smoking and recreational drugs, combined with long brisk walks their lives would improve. Combined with correct breathing their whole wellbeing would improve enormously and in a very short space of time. It could and would cut down the amounts of visits you currently take to your doctor, for those of you who visit the doctor on a regular basis. It's not designed to replace a doctor.

I didn't want to write this at first as I had concerns that many people may start experimenting when it comes to breathing and that can be extremely dangerous, especially when they have no idea as to what the dangers can be. If you are going to digest what's written on this page do not experiment beyond what breathing exercises are written as you can seriously damage your health.

You have been warned!

So, you think breathing is simple? Stop for a moment and think about it? What do you really do when breathing? As quick as your lungs are full of air you expel in haste for the next gulp of air without a second thought. There is more to breathing than first appears, a lot more. It is possible to achieve so much just by breathing and as an example: correct breathing enables adepts to sit naked on ice, seventeen thousand feet or higher above sea-level, and keep hot, so hot that the ice melts and the adept freely perspires. Another example: it's possible to glide over the ground faster than a galloping horse and arrive at your destination untroubled, serene and controlled. Levitation is achieved by a special breathing pattern and while these examples may sound a little far-fetched, there're not. These examples are very real and factual, but we will not be revealing how here. For now, it's the very basic safe stuff.

Breathing is indeed the source of life, and it may be of interest to give a few notes here which may enable those who have some ailment, perhaps of long standing, to banish or to alleviate their suffering. It can be done through correct breathing you know, but do remember breathe only as advised on this page, for to experiment is dangerous unless there is a competent teacher at hand. To experiment blindly is folly indeed.

Before we can do anything about breathing we must have a rhythm, a unit of time which represents a normal inhalation. The heartbeat of any individual is the proper rhythmic standard for that particular individuals breathing. Hardly anyone has the same standard of course, but that does not matter. You can find your normal breathing rhythm by placing your finger on your wrist or neck to feel your pulse tempo, one, two, three, four, five, etcetera. Get that rhythm firmly fixed in your subconscious so that you know it unconsciously, subconsciously so that you do not have to think about it.

It does not matter what your rhythm is, so long as you know what it is, so long as your subconscious knows what it is. We are imagining that your rhythm is the average one, in which the air intake lasts for so many seconds or the beats of your heart. These are just the ordinary everyday routine beats. We are going to alter that breathing rate quite a lot for various purposes. There is nothing difficult in it and it is a very easy thing indeed which can lead to spectacular results in improved health.

Breathing is the most essential of our functions. Without breath we cannot exist, because it takes breath, containing oxygen and other gases to activate the brain and keep it working. But our manner of breathing is the coarsest way we can possibly use air; read The Thirteenth Candle chapter five or Doctor from Lhasa chapter ten for more information.

Breathing Exercise 1 — Disorders of the stomach, the liver, and the blood, can be overcome by what we term the Retained Breath system. There is nothing magical in this, mind, except in the result, and the result can appear to be quite magical, quite without parallel. However, at first you must stand erect, or if you are in bed, lie straight. Let us assume though, that you are out of bed and can stand erect. Stand with your heels together, with your shoulders back and your chest out. Your lower abdomen will be tightly controlled. Inhale completely, take in as much air as you can, and keep it in until you feel a slight, very slight throbbing in your temples to the left and to the right. As soon as you feel that exhale vigorously through the open mouth, REALLY vigorously, you know, not just letting it drift out, but blowing it out through the mouth with all the force at your command. Repeat this three times.

Breathing Exercise 2 — First of all, stand with feet together, toes and heels touching. Inhale slowly the Complete Breathing system. That is, chest and abdomen while counting six pulse units. You only have to keep a finger on the pulse in your wrist and let your heart pump out once, twice three, four, five, six times. When you have got the breath in after your six pulse units, retain it while your heart beats three times. After that exhale through the nostrils for six heart beats. That is, for the same time as that in which you inhaled. Now that you have exhaled keep your lungs empty for three pulse units, and then start all over again. Repeat this as many times as you like without overtiring yourself. As soon as you feel any tiredness, stop. You should never tire yourself with exercises because if you do you defeat the whole object of those exercises. They are to tone one up and make one feel fit, not to run one down or to make one tired.

Breathing Exercise 3 — Now you must do the Cleansing Breath system. The cleansing breath is absolutely invaluable to enable you to improve your health. Inhale completely, three complete breaths. Not shallow but deep breaths, really deep ones, the deepest that you can manage, fill your lungs, draw yourself up and let yourself become full of air. Now with the third breath retain that air for some four seconds, screw up your lips as if you were going to whistle, but do not puff out the cheeks. Blow a little air through the opening in your lips with all the vigour that you can. Blow it out hard, let it go free. Then stop for a second, retaining the air which is left. Blow out a little more, still with all the vigour you can muster. Stop for another second, and then blow out the remainder so that there is not a puff of air left inside your lungs. Blow it out as hard as you can. Remember you MUST exhale in this case with very considerable vigour through the opening in your lips.

Breathing Exercise 4 — One extremely good method of acquiring Mental Control system is by sitting erect and inhaling one complete breath. Then inhale one cleansing breath. After that inhale in the rate of one, four, two. That is (let us have seconds for a change!) inhale for five seconds, then hold your breath for four times five seconds, that is, twenty seconds. When you have done that, breathe out for ten seconds. You can cure yourself of a lot of pain by breathing properly and this is a very good method. If you have some pain either lie down, or sit erect, it does not matter which. Then breathe rhythmically, keeping the thought in your mind that with each breath the pain is disappearing, with each exhalation the pain is being pushed out. Imagine that every time you breathe in you are breathing in the life force which is displacing the pain. Imagine that every time you breathe out you are pushing out the pain. Put your hand over the affected part and imagine that with your hand, with every breath, you are wiping the cause of pain away. The hand is just for visual aid. Do this for seven complete breaths. Then try the cleansing breath, and after that rest for a few seconds, breathing slowly and normally. You will probably find that the pain has either completely gone or has so much lessened that it does not bother you. But if for any reason you still have the pain, repeat the same thing, try the same thing once, or twice or more until eventually relief comes. You will of course quite understand that if it is an unexpected pain, and if it recurs, you will have to ask your doctor about it because pain is nature's warning that something is wrong, and while it is perfectly correct and permissible to lessen pain when one is aware of it, it is still essential that one does something to find out what caused the pain and to cure the cause.

Breathing Exercise 5 — One method of increasing your Nervous System. Stand erect and inhale as much as you can, then when you think that your lungs are full force in yet a little more breath. Slowly exhale and then slowly refill your lungs completely and retain that breath. Extend your arms straight in front of you, not using any effort you know, just to keep your arms in front of you with just enough strength to keep them horizontal, but use as little effort as you can. Draw your hands back toward the shoulder, gradually contracting the muscles and making them tight so that by the time your hands can touch your shoulders the muscles will be quite taut, and the fists clenched. Clench your hands so tightly that they tremble slightly with the effort. Still keeping the muscles taut whilst pushing the fists slowly out and then draw them back rapidly several times, perhaps half a dozen times. Exhale vigorously, really vigorously as told before, with the mouth, with the lips pursed up, and with just a hole through which you blow the breath as strongly as you can. After you have done that a few times finish by practicing the Cleansing Breath system once again. I want to emphasise, and emphasise again, that the speed of the drawing back of the fists and then tension of the muscles determines how much benefit you can get from this. Naturally you will have made quite sure that your lungs are absolutely full before doing this exercise.

Breathing Exercise 6 — Pain should never be left untended. If you are feeling tired, or if there has been a sudden demand on your energies, here is the quickest way to recuperate. Once again it doesn't matter if you are standing or sitting, but keep your feet close together with toes and heels touching. Then clasp your hands together so that your fingers of each hand interlock, and so that your hands and feet each form a sort of closed circle, as you would do when correctly praying. Breathe rhythmically for a few times, rather deep breaths, and slow in the exhaling. Then pause for three pulse units, and next do the Cleansing Breath. You will find that your tiredness has gone.

Many people are very, very nervous indeed when going for an interview. They get clammy palms and perhaps shaky knees. There is no need for anyone to be like that because it is so easy to overcome and this is a method of doing it while you are perhaps in the waiting room, possibly at the dentist! Take a really deep breath, breathing through your nostrils of course, and hold that breath for ten seconds. Then exhale slowly with the breath under full control all the time. Allow yourself to take two or three ordinary breaths and then again inhale deeply taking ten seconds to fill your lungs. Hold the breath again, and exhale slowly, again taking ten seconds. Do this three times — or as you can without anyone noticing — and you will find that you are absolutely reassured. The pounding of your heart will have stopped and you will feel much strengthened in confidence. When you leave that waiting room and go to your place of interview you will find that you are in control of yourself. If you feel a flutter or two of nervousness, then take a deep breath and hold it for a second or so, as you can easily do while the other man is talking. This will reinforce your flagging confidence. Similarly, it is much better to use respiratory control to lift objects, whether furniture or lifting a heavy bundle; the easiest way is to take a really deep breath and hold it while you lift. When the actual act of lifting is over, then you can let out your breath slowly and continue to breathe in the normal way. Lifting while you hold a deep breath is easy and it is worth trying it for yourself. It is worth trying to lift something fairly heavy with your lungs full of air and see the difference.

Anger too can be controlled by that deep breathing; by holding the breath and exhaling slowly. If for any reason you feel really angry — justly or otherwise — just take a deep breath and hold it for a few seconds, and then expel that breath quite slowly. You will find that your emotion are then under control, and you are master (or mistress) of the situation. It is very harmful to give way to anger and irritation, because that can lead to gastric ulcers and other ailments. So, remember this breathing exercise of taking a deep breath, retaining it, and then expelling slowly.

You can do all these exercises with absolute confidence, knowing that they CANNOT harm you in any way, but a final word of warning: keep to these exercises and do not try anything more advanced except under the guidance of a competent teacher — which are very few and far between — because ill-advised breathing exercises can do quite a lot of harm.

Physical Exercise 1 — This is an exercise which is wonderfully invigorating for those who sit a lot — which is the majority of the Western world. This exercise is very good for reducing abdominal fat. It has the interesting name of the Wood-Chopping Exercise because its action simulates the benefit to be obtained when chopping wood. Now, stand up and make sure the body is standing erect. You have to imagine you are chopping wood. Imagine you have a very heavy axe in your hands. Now, stand very firmly and have your feet wide apart. Then you must clasp your hands together just as if you were holding the shaft of this heavy axe. Imagine that the head of the axe is on the ground, so take a deep breath and raise your hands and the imaginary axe high above your head until your body has gone to the other extreme and no longer is bending forward but is bending backwards.

You have to bear in mind that you are lifting a very heavy axe, so let your muscles simulate that you are lifting a very heavy axe. Then with this heavy axe high above your head hold your breath a moment, then vigorously breathe through the mouth and swing down with the imaginary axe in a very strong motion as if you were cutting a large tree trunk. You will not, of course, come to a stop with the impact of the wood and the axe, so instead let your arms swing right down between your legs, let your arms swing down so that your hands are in a line with your feet. You must keep your arms straight, and you must keep your spine straight. You should repeat this exercise several times. An exercise like this can do only good except in the case of a person who has a weak heart or except for women who have some feminine ailment, if in any doubt consult a good doctor beforehand.

Physical Exercise 2Walking: this is an exercise which is also wonderfully invigorating for anyone of any age. Simply walking — ideally either in the remote countryside or by some costal area, for the benefits of fresh air which is not available in most city centres — can and will do wonders for your wellbeing. Walking at least a couple of miles a day helps your circulation, digestion, and physical body without overstressing oneself, as you can walk at the pace which suits you.

Physical Exercise 3Swimming is the last exercise we should engage upon. Swimming uses nearly every muscle in the body and combined with the above exercises, it will improve your health without any artificial stimulants. Always swim at a pace and style that suits you, don't go into overtaxing yourself as that just defeats the objective of any exercising. Remember that exercises are not a race, there are no prizes for coming first, so always work within your natural pace.

Some will say, even stress, that you must feel a burn to gain any benefits from exercising; this is utter rubbish. Because when you do feel this burn it is nature’s way of telling you that you are overdoing things and to stop. Exercises are not meant to tire as that defeats the objective of exercising.

Also read Diets and Fasting for more information regarding health.