- great for newbies in breathing gymnastics
- balances sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems
- controls "fight or flight" body reaction
- improves mindfulness
- combats major depressive syndrome
This training type is originated with Stephen Elliott
As defined by Elliott, the Coherent Breathing method involves breathing at the nominal rate of 5 breaths per minute without pause. Secondly, it proposes that we relax six anatomical zones Elliott has termed “bridges”. These are body zones over which we have explicit dual control, i.e., we can control them consciously and when we’re not, the autonomic nervous system manages them. The diaphragm is a foremost example, where we can control it consciously or let the subconscious mind take care of it.
In 2009 Elliott introduced a biofeedback instrument that allows one to observe both heart rate and the blood wave that arises in the circulatory system when one breathes “coherently”. Elliott and colleague Robert Grove, PhD. named this wave that rises the the arterial tree during exhalation and rises in the venous tree during inhalation the “Valsalva Wave” after Antonio Valsalva, one of the first Western observers of the respiratory arterial pressure wave. The significance of detecting and feeding back the blood wave is that it’s correlation with heart rate is a measure of “resonance”, where resonance cannot be discerned without assessing both biomeasures simultaneously. Elliott documented how to use the instrument to determine personal resonant frequency in Personal Resonance Protocol (2016). Elliott proposes that “resonance” is the state of circulatory optimality and homeostasis when we are at rest or semi-activity.
Coherent breathing is one of the most popular breathing gymnastics exercise in the West.
We tend to think it is derived from Pranayama, an ancient Vedic technique of breathing gymnastics, as one of the variations of Sama Vritti Pranayama ("Even Breath" in Sanskrit) has the very same ratio of breath cycle.
In Prana Breath this training type is adapted even for people that don't practice any meditative practice and/or don't have much time for practice but still need its effect.
Setting the training
- Choose the comfortable position.
- Empty your lungs, breathing out with effort.
- Inhale slowly and gently through your nose.
- Exhale through your nose as well.
- Keep breathing like described above till the end of your training session.
- After you're done, you might take some time for meditating and contemplating yourself.
- It is highly recommended to close your eyes while practicing, and be guided just with the sounds.
How long should I train? How can I combine this pattern with another? Should I always inhale through my nose?
If you have such or other questions, please look through the FAQ page.