Howdy all! The Natural Health material has generated some great questions by e-mail, so I wanted share the replys, as the information seemed relevant to all.
We'll start with the anecdote and then get to the two e-mails.
Enjoy, and use the Natural Health method to improve your life!
All the best,
I was at my neighbor's house over
the holidays and enjoyed some homemade tamales and strong Mexican
coffee with them. At one point, their son Phoenix, who is about 18
months old, bonked into something and started to cry. His dad picked
him up, but it didn't calm little Phoenix who continued to wail away
like a Rob Halford (1)
Dad knew just what to do, though!
He opened the door to outside and stepped out on the porch in the snow...
Instantly, Phoenix stopped crying.
Dad walked back inside literally just a few seconds later and put Phoenix down. The change was amazing. He was the same smiling, inquisitive kid he was just before he got bonked...like nothing had happened!
The COLD AIR snapped him out of his mental pain cycle...
WOW! We can all learn something from this!
Hi Pete, I read your ebook that you had posted on
your site. I have been doing deep breathing exercises from Kundalini
yoga,Indian clubs, combat conditioning and cold water dousing for
about a year now. The effects have been incredible! You did not
mention what deep breathing methods you were using. I would be
interested to know what you do? I also recently tried using Kettle
bells and a great club made by Scott Sonnon. Awesome stuff. I swear
one of the key ingredients is magic because I just keep getting
stronger! And I'm not beating my self up to do it. I'm really
enjoying the old time logic for that reason.
Chris - Over the years I have learned many different breathing techniques, but anymore I simply breathe so that "I can feel it is working".
I don't mean to sound vague here, but as perhaps you have found in your own training, once you move energy then you start to understand what it feels like and you get used to sensing if you are doing things right or not (i.e. are you continuing to move the energy or is it blocked, do you feel good or can you tell there is a problem, etc.)
It's the same as in the martial arts. At first, you learn the individual fighting techniques, but after a while you don't think about them. You just keep working towards the end result (defeating the enemy) and you immediately know if what you are doing is working or not, and so you adjust what you are doing to suit the situation.
In my experience, it is not so much the breathing method you use (Russian, Chinese, Traeger, Yoga, Farmer Burns, etc.) but developing the awareness of your self and the energy in your body through breathing that is most important. As you know, especially with dousing the world is constantly giving you feedback as to how you are doing. The weather doesn't try to be nice to your feelings ;-) If you are comfortable outside in freezing weather and you are not out of breath after hard exercise then you know the deep breathing methods you are using are working, eh?
I find the physical conditioning and cold water swimming make this very apparent, because the intense physicality of the work requires that the breath be correct. It is, in my mind, by doing these kinds of physical things that we really learn how to apply much of the other breathing practices we have learned in isolation. Breathing exercises are in a way to Natural health like running tires for football...you want to focus on applying them in the bigger picture and not just doing them for their own sake.
If you want, though, in the article about dousing with Bob Charron I do mention one specific method of deep breathing. It is very simple and people generally get results with it quickly. It is simply to breathe in, hold the breath, tense the body, relax and exhale. Repeat this several times and then breathe normally.
I have enjoyed my study of the Russian and Chinese breathing methods, as well as the 19th century European and American techniques. I encourage folks to research them all (and more, as you have done with Yogic breathing) and look for the connections, but in the end I feel that just doing the physical work of conditioning and dousing really will teach the breathing and help people to develop naturally.
My friend, "Mr. A"
wrote to me saying he had started working out a few weeks back with
the calisthenics after a mutual friend of ours had convinced him to
try it. I encouraged him to keep going, and gave his some pointers.
He told me that he was trying to eat better but really
missed having a beer or two in the evening.
I wrote him back, advising him to use a deck with jokers, and for every joker he drew in the course of working out, he should allow himself a drink that night. These kind of small rewards are more encouragement to work hard and research shows that 1-2 drinks a day is not that bad for adult men...and it may in fact be benificial!
Below is his response to this idea...
I have to say, this stuff is way cool.
Using the cards makes the workout go at a better pace, it governs the workout, it levels the exercises (i.e. you don't skip ones you don't like), and it's fast. Almost all of the traditional excuses about working out are gone before you even start. After one week I already feel like I "need" to work out. As if I won't feel good about the day if I don't get that feeling.
I like the idea about the drink card. I have been going out to the local "festivals" and carnivals and I feel like I have to go there like some sort of monk or ascetic. Then, if I do have a couple of drinks, I feel bad and can't enjoy it. This is another governor for that behavior. For someone who has been lacking self discipline for a few years, this really help get back into good habits.
On a brighter note, I have lost 11+ pounds and feel better than I have in quite a while. Only 87 more to go! For the first time in a long time I actually feel like I can do it. Cheers!
I know Mr. A is going to kick butt and achieve his goals - because that is the kind of guy he is!
(1) Rob Halford was the singer for Judas Priest for you younger folks out there...