The Effects of Breath Frequency ~ One Minute Breath
When we consciously lower the frequency of breaths per minute, we encourage great benefits. Normally, men breathe at a rate of 16-18 cycles per minute: women breathe at 18-20 cycles per minute.
8 cycles per minute
Feeling more relaxed. Relief from stress and increased mental awareness. Parasympathetic nervous system begins to be influenced. Healing processes are elevated.
4 cycles per minute
Positive shifts in mental function. Intense feelings of awareness, increased visual clarity, heightened body sensitivity. Pituitary and pineal begin to coordinate at an enhanced level producing a meditative state.
1 cycle per minute ("One-Minute Breath")
20 seconds to inhale
20 seconds hold
20 seconds to exhale
Gives optimized cooperation between the brain hemispheres, dramatic calming of anxiety, fear, and worry together with openness to feeling one's presence and the presence of spirit. Intuition develops. The whole brain works - especially the old brain and the frontal lobes of the hemispheres.
There are many pranayam variations to try. One minute breath can be practiced anywhere, anytime. It may be difficult to do the full one minute breath at first, so do as many seconds as is comfortable for you. You do not want to tense the muscles or be stressed in the practice! Sit tall with chest out and chin in to open up the rib cage. Practice and note the effects. If you focus on a complete exhale, the inhale will automatically become deeper. Start slowly, enjoy the practice!