Get your breathing right first!

Most meditation methods feature awareness of the breath in one way or another but one thing they don’t explain is the correct way to breathe. In my experience, this is a massive hole, as quality of breath impacts mental-emotional state dramatically.

Please note, in this post we are talking about meditations which involve “normal” breathing, such as anapanasati concentration meditation, where the breath is allowed to come and go. I am not talking about breath-holding (e.g. pranayama) or other yogic practices which stress very direct control over both in- and out-breath (e.g. in specific ratios).

So, this is for normal, everyday breathing. My theory is that being forced to sit at desks from the age of four onwards has massive detrimental impact on our breathing. I think that sitting partially inverts the breath, and this gets trained as “normal”. E.g. if you ask someone to take a breath, chances are they will first suck air through their nose quite forcefully, before “deflating” on the out-breath. In my experience this harsh in-breath (which seems standard) is quite adrenal and raises stress. In a meditation context, this is going to emphasize the negative qualities of one’s mind, and was in fact quite a serious problem in my practice that I only recently noticed.

The video above is just the first thing I found when I typed “how to breathe correctly” into Google. I figured it would probably pull up something from the Alexander Technique and I was right. You should watch the video, probably several times, and practise along with it until the breathing pattern advised there is completely ingrained. The main principle is that the out-breath should be the primary “flex” when breathing, done via a soft blow, after which the body refills with air of its own accord to constitute the in-breath. In other words, it’s probably the opposite of what you considered to be correct breathing before this.

In a meditation context, this style of breathing completely eliminated the “stressed” factors I would typically experience when practising with awareness on my breath. Because I had learned the jhanas with poor breathing, fighting through such stress, when I switched to this breathing pattern the jhanas became easier than they had ever been and ten times as blissful. It really has made this much difference to my practice.

In a daily life context, this breathing pattern has led to more fluid movement, and areas of chronic tension in my body spontaneously relaxing. It has also allowed me to sit a lot more comfortably.

I strongly recommend you adopt this style of breathing ASAP, if you don’t already do something similar. I recommend you spend a week just ingraining the pattern non-stop, in all areas of your life, so that it becomes the default way you breathe. Then, introduce it to your meditation practice.

In order to turn this way of breathing into a jhana, simply try to make the outward “blow” merge into the “body refilling itself” stage, then back into the “blow” stage, as seamlessly as possible. A sense of continuous flow arises from this seamlessness and the jhana rides on the back of this continuous flow. It is quite beautiful. General awareness should be kept on the area just underneath the nostrils once this breathing pattern is mastered.

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31 Responses

  1. Coriolan says:

    dude this is synchronicity! I was at the very minute I stumbled upon you post considering quitting sitting practice for a while because of the awful tension anapanasati brings to my solar plexus / diaphragm. This was getting worse and worse and my practice was becoming nothing but trying not to averse the pain. This drove me crazy as I tried everything and considered any explanation.
    That was it! My natural breathing was bad, who would have thought?
    Seriously, thanks!

    • Illuminatus says:

      Cool. 🙂 Let me know how it goes!

      How did you stumble onto my post?

      • Coriolan says:

        I have like a hundred blogs bookmarked (including yours) and out of frustration decided to click anywhere for a quick distraction. My first click was here.
        I originally got to this blog, I think, because of a youtube comment of yours below a rsd video (maybe? or some rsd forum? I only was interested in rsd for a while). Cool blog btw. Got me into jhana practice and theravada (I used to zazen to complement my aikido).
        Concerning the breath, not a easy thing to reimprint, but I can feel the difference already.

  2. Yuki says:

    Finally someone else noticed that the breathing pattern and a bit of manipulation is what brings very strong jhanic absorption, which really deserves to be called that way. I have entered this state a billion of times from the very first time I meditated

    This is the only way my mind falls very strongly and fast into jhana and I am completely “locked” into it.

    When “watching” the breath at the nostrils without me manipulating it, it only brings soft jhana where the mind is still very active.

    • Yuki says:

      The soft jhanas can be also very intense, but the difference between the 2 is like day and night, they manifest differently and the flavors are different so are the effects you get while meditating and after.

  3. Illuminatus says:

    Agreed.

    In yoga there are hundreds of different samadhi states, initiated with different objects and/or breathing patterns. Allegedly none of these was suitable for the Buddha’s purposes so he recalled a state he fell into as a child while sitting under a rose-apple tree. From the descriptions we can surmise that this was the anapanasati hard jhana state we are both talking about here. The nimitta is blatantly obvious as a bright white light that washes through everything. It is so white that it defies definition by comparing it to the colour white. The visuals, if any, tend to be soothing and innocuous, though visions can easily be avoided if one wishes by maintaining a steady concentration on the breath. The feelings are most comparable to opiates, especially in jhanas 3-4, but comparing it to opiates does not do it justice. 4th jhana is just an almost womb-like immersion, completely devoid of any negativity at all. I fell asleep in this jhana the other day and had the best, most dreamless sleep.

    Like you say there are “soft” jhanas and these seem to emphasize rapture more than pleasure and tend to incline me towards insight meditation. They really are nothing like the hard jhanas (which we can assume the Buddha actually wanted us to practise) I described above. Recent experiences have made me rethink what I was calling “jhana” before. Certainly these were samadhi states, but, like you say, the anapanasati hard jhana is like night and day compared to these other jhanas.

    Then you have the kundalini jhanas, a concept I had to create due to my experiences over the last several months. They are extremely “rushy” and are more like hard, unforgiving LSD trips — except more intense, usually. One is often skipped straight to Infinite Space and Infinite Consciousness. Often terrifying. One can achieve an ecstatic experience within seconds by directing current around the brain (e.g. using the chakras) but there seems to be a cost of MASSIVE ungrounding at times.

    All these “jhanas” tend to follow the standard jhana map in terms of the way the object is perceived and eventually ignored. I think that’s just a facet of mind.
    The Buddha’s jhana is by far the most innocuous, the most blissful, the most soothing. It is however also quite hard to cultivate — far harder than I led on in my Basic guide, which is why it’s getting a total rewrite. Pushing onto each successive jhana is also quite hard and takes some doing at times. I have found that the more emotional and/or physical pain the body is in, definitely is it the harder to push upward through the jhanas.

  4. Spir0k says:

    So when meditating you just watch your breath like the video says? is there anything more to do?

  5. Hwinds123 says:

    I recognize that you don’t hold your old writings in high regard, but shit…

    “A oneitis is literally a map showing the location of all your currently unfulfilled needs, and where to start exploring in order to gain insight into yourself.”

    Like a reality gutpunch.

    ——

    For the moment, it seems like I can’t– physically cannot– hold completely still for more than 3 or 4 minutes at a time. Should I meditate for this period and work my way up, or just keep renewing my commitment to hold still after every “relapse”?

    • Illuminatus says:

      “I recognize that you don’t hold your old writings in high regard, but shit…”

      I don’t think “they suck” or “they’re out of date”. There is some good stuff in there but a lot of stuff written from a messed-up place, too. I don’t really want to go through old posts (of which there are thousands) and think, “That sucks, that one’s good, that’s mental, that’s okay” because I’d end up ripping the whole thing down again.

      ““A oneitis is literally a map showing the location of all your currently unfulfilled needs, and where to start exploring in order to gain insight into yourself.”

      Like a reality gutpunch.”

      Yeah that’s quite a good one.

      My thought now is that oneitis is just a toxic thought system with no upsides, and should be treated as a sickness or addiction and you should rid yourself of it as such.

      “For the moment, it seems like I can’t– physically cannot– hold completely still for more than 3 or 4 minutes at a time. Should I meditate for this period and work my way up, or just keep renewing my commitment to hold still after every “relapse”?”

      Well your body is probably tight and under stress as a result of poor posture and breathing. Practise the new breathing pattern in this post for a week non-stop. You should find most of that tightness disappears. It really is extremely effective. Then go back to sitting practice with the new breathing habit. If sitting is still uncomfortable then try semi-reclining on a bed or sitting and leaning back in a large comfortable armchair. Whatever it takes.

  6. Coriolan says:

    Ok I’ve practiced the new breath non-stop for two days, and it is amazing. Especially for people like me who were totally on the other side (forced in-breaths, releasing out-breaths).
    Concerning everyday life, combined with other alexander techniques (balanced head-neck joint and released jaw), I feel so much better it’s crazy.
    I am reworking my posture though, as it was a “Pilates” posture with tight upper abs, which looks good but is tense, and probably the source of my solar plexus tension. This is a work in progress, as I’m not sure I should aim for totally released abs while standing like the new technique seems to want. I feel like I suddenly have a fat belly, which might requires time to get used to, and I’m quite worried about how much my lower back is not happy (maybe some more retroversion is required). What do you think of this, as it seems you worked a lot on posture? Are you abs totally relax while standing, (and sitting, obv)?
    For the moment Jhana is not so different (because I guess the new breath is not implanted deep enough to make a difference when i’m oblivious of it) but the road there is much much easier. I always have energy turbulence on the road (around where breath disappears), and it’s the watching and letting go of it that gets me there. But that not-so-displeasing turbulence was rendered very displeasing by fear. Namely fear of dying. I was so used to forced in-breaths that in that stormy moment I couldn’t help thinking “if I’m not there to force it then it’s not gonna happen, and I’ll die.” So I was gasping for air, or trying to resist the need to gasp, always on the verge of panic. It’s only with “I’m such a loser I might as well die, lol” that I could finally let go , focus on awesome sensations, and get to jhana. Not the most saddhu technique.
    Now the new breath, practiced all day long, is slowly convincing me that in-breath, being a reaction to out-breath, will happen whatever. And the stupid brain is reassured by the stupid idea that, if breath stops, at least there will be with some air inside. Damn reptilian mind or whatever, the tricks we have to play!
    Anyway the road to jhana was quite sweet this morning.
    Thanks you so much for this. More work is required on my part for total implantation, but I am positive this is the way to go.

    • Illuminatus says:

      “Ok I’ve practiced the new breath non-stop for two days, and it is amazing. Especially for people like me who were totally on the other side (forced in-breaths, releasing out-breaths).
      Concerning everyday life, combined with other alexander techniques (balanced head-neck joint and released jaw), I feel so much better it’s crazy.
      I am reworking my posture though, as it was a “Pilates” posture with tight upper abs, which looks good but is tense, and probably the source of my solar plexus tension. This is a work in progress, as I’m not sure I should aim for totally released abs while standing like the new technique seems to want. I feel like I suddenly have a fat belly, which might requires time to get used to, and I’m quite worried about how much my lower back is not happy (maybe some more retroversion is required). What do you think of this, as it seems you worked a lot on posture? Are you abs totally relax while standing, (and sitting, obv)?”

      The following is my opinion only, but follows on from much experience. Other practitioners would probably disagree with what I’m about to say.

      There is only one “true” posture. That is the posture that occurs completely by itself when one is free of myofascial adhesions, knots, winding etc. (which are all manifestations of the same issue, namely that fascia is attracted to and sticks to and eventually wraps around nerves which are conducting for long periods). To elaborate on this last point, if you sit at a computer you might notice you support yourself through the same “axis” — for me it’s along the left side of my torso, down through the thigh and into the left calf. The left buttock is a hotbed of adhesion and fascial strips from all over the body converge and are matted there due to the constant pressure of sitting on that side and the constant nerve conductance on that side required to support the pose. Sitting is really, really bad for you. Working on computers is even more so, since shoulders and neck get “fixed” while you work and adhesion/matting/winding occurs there, too.

      When fascia can’t slide about probably because it is adhered, the way the body moves will change to avoid pulling on that area, since pulling on nerves (which are the focal point for adhesion) is painful and dangerous. Even standing upright one’s pose will change dramatically to avoid the mechanical tension being placed on those nerves.

      It is possible to release the fascial windings from around the nerves. Moving the body along the path of the wound nerve causes it to shed its myofascial windings/adhesions. The movement has to be precisely along the length of the nerve. This is how yoga works, and why all the poses feature bizarre limb angles at 90 degrees to normal usage. I would need to draw diagrams to explain this properly and would not really expect anyone to understand this from this quick verbal description because it is so complex and I cannot possibly include all the relevant information in just a reply.

      Yoga is effective for myofascial release. The more mindfulness one has of where one’s most serious adhesions/windings are, the more precise the poses and/or movements that can be chosen to remedy them. For small nerves, well just firing each nerve is often enough to shed the adhesions attached to it. This is the purpose of REM sleep. REM is not random but rather fires pulses at nerves all over the body in rapid succession to cause them to shed their myofascial adhesions. This is all original research.

      A high level of myofascial release can be attained. I personally use REM plus extreme mindfulness of where my adhesions are, while making gentle movements along the length of nerves to guide the release. It looks a little like tai chi at times, which is also useful as it uses this same principle. I have been cultivating this ability for many years, though.

      The purpose of a yawn is to fulfil all these criteria and do myofascial release. That is a yawn’s literal purpose. The problem is that due to unnatural practices like sitting and lying in comfortable beds for 8+ hours at a time a yawn cannot handle all the additional and complex fascial matting that occurs, which is why we need these other practices like yoga.

      Yes, if I stand up I have no muscles consciously engaged. I am completely relaxed and do not fall over. I am completely aligned over the central vertical axis. I believe any method that has you intentionally engage X muscle to improve posture is merely compensating for adhesions in the body which are distorting natural posture. Everything can be perfect and effortless when these adhesions are removed.

      Please note that the Alexander Technique breathing in this video turns on lots of nerves and helps them shed their myofascial adhesions. So you might feel fascia moving around in the body almost like a liquid. That breathing pattern is a miracle. Breathing itself turns on every nerve in the body sequentially in a wave, which is why correct breathing is so important for everything.

      At my current level of myofascial release I can maintain it with a few minutes of my own method each morning. It is vital that people yawn and release properly in the morning as sleeping in comfy beds accrues all sorts of weird adhesions in the neck area. In my opinion this is because comfy beds allows sleeping positions that would be impossible on the floor. A morning yoga routine is a good idea.

      “For the moment Jhana is not so different (because I guess the new breath is not implanted deep enough to make a difference when i’m oblivious of it) but the road there is much much easier. I always have energy turbulence on the road (around where breath disappears), and it’s the watching and letting go of it that gets me there. But that not-so-displeasing turbulence was rendered very displeasing by fear. Namely fear of dying. I was so used to forced in-breaths that in that stormy moment I couldn’t help thinking “if I’m not there to force it then it’s not gonna happen, and I’ll die.” So I was gasping for air, or trying to resist the need to gasp, always on the verge of panic. It’s only with “I’m such a loser I might as well die, lol” that I could finally let go , focus on awesome sensations, and get to jhana. Not the most saddhu technique.”

      I had the same fear of death after my father died recently. It really brought up all the “big questions” for me and led to some extremely unnerving meditation experiences. I could not sleep for several days because I was so irrationally frightened that I would be next to die. Every time I was about to drop off to sleep I would get a massive adrenaline surge that would keep me awake for literally hours. It was like dealing with a terrified animal. In fact, it was just my body trying to keep itself alive in what it perceived as a hugely life-threatening situation. It was completely irrational but these are the tricks the mind can play on the body. In the end the doctor gave me a sedative which has thankfully broken the cycle.

      It was in fact this situation that drew my attention to how I was holding my breath so often, and breathing in strangulated gasps. That led me to the Alexander video above and it was in fact this breathing pattern that allowed my body to relax and sleep without the sedative. So I knew that if this breathing could help break such a destructive psychological cycle then there must be something there.

      Truth is, “you” die every time you go to sleep anyway. Every time we let go of the need to apply a “self” to an act, “we” die. The self dies in that moment. With the Alexander breathing, “you” die during every in-breath — because the in-breath happens by itself. It is a genuine release. It is non-control-freak breathing. Shinzen Young used to say that there is nothingness, a kind of micro-fruition, right at the start and end of every breath cycle. Whenever the phantom “I” inside us disappears, there is freedom.

      • Coriolan says:

        Wow thanks for the awesome reply!
        As for yoga, I’ve never been motivated to learn it deeply as all my body is so tight it feels like I’ll never get good at it (“you no good! you no good!” used to tell me the sikh yoga teacher in Rishikesh lol). I understand this is precisely the reason I need to learn it but eh, ego rulz. I just do Surya Namaskar every morning or so, which is good, but surely not enough (and not done in the proper awareness) to cause significant release.
        Focus on implanting the new breath while lying down this morning was too much focus to bring me to jhana but got me into a deep relaxation state with some equanimity but no piti or sukkha. Like a light version of 4th jhana (which I don’t think I’ve experienced) that stayed stable for nearly two hours. During which, with a light focus on energy currents, vibes, etc. I think I’ve sensed several releases, mostly in my jaw. First there was a some tickling in some precise point, then the jaw would move by itself in gentle circles, bigger circles, and then would go sideways, very far sideways, with some pain. I thought “it’s gonna go out of its socket, and I’ll look like a WW1 veteran”. It stayed sideways for minutes, and then suddenly came back, relaxed. Then energy currents all over the spot, slowly fading away. Interesting stuff, I’ll explore this state more.
        All this fascia stuff is awesome, as it puts a name on things I’ve been feeling . All thanks to you to drive me into such interesting research.
        As for the “death” problem, your words are my thoughts dude. All this gasping is the self gasping itself into existence. Your last paragraph is church, and should rightfully be engraved on the highest pyramids.

        • Illuminatus says:

          The jaw is a kind of control panel for myofascial unwinding. All the myofascial meridians meet at the neck, and adhere to the nerves in the neck when any body position is maintained for a long period of time, e.g. sleeping and sitting. The purpose of a yawn is to both stimulate those nerves so they let go of the fascia, and also to stretch the outer layers of fascia so the nerves can unstick and descend. This is the true purpose of the yawn, and the jaw is involved because this is the myofascial centrepoint for the whole body. (You should see some of the hypothesized purposes of the yawn on Wikipedia — they make me ashamed to be human, so unimaginative and ill-informed are they. At last check, no one there had even got close.)

          In other words, I am not surprised your jaw started moving by itself as you relaxed. In fact, head-swaying and other movements in the neck area are common during meditation. Check out this video — it is probably similar to what you experienced: https://youtu.be/WysHRgQFIlo

          It is also not surprising to me that stimulant drugs which turn on nerves (e.g. MDMA) create these strange jaw movements also.

          • lysenko says:

            So if this is the purpose of what that yawn energy is trying to do, but modern life has deformed us so much that it can no longer do it properly, what must we do so the yawn can work properly again? Do we have to affect the yawn energy in a certain way.. or relax certain muscles.. or what? What must be done before the yawn actually works properly and unwinds the fascia and descends the nerves?

            • Illuminatus says:

              It is actually the angles that are the problem — a matter of simple geometry. I will explain. If you lie on the floor right now, with no pillow, you will find that there are only perhaps 3 positions you can sleep in. All these positions have the head and neck quite centrally aligned to the body and legs. A standard yawn can easily deal with the slight deviations from the centre that these positions cause the fascia to stick in (and this is why the head turns when you yawn — to move through those angles and unstick the fascia which has adhered in the night). With a modern comfy bed however you can sleep in bizarre positions with the head turned very much to the side, and the limbs also turned away at crazy angles. Lie on the floor and try to adopt one of your normal sleep positions — you will likely find it impossibly uncomfortable.

              For a yawn to unstick fascia which has adhered in the night, it needs to function at roughly the same angle as the position that caused the adhesion. This is what “mindful yawning” (my creation) is: you get into the same position that you slept in, and THEN yawn. You will feel the head turning and moving through all the positions it was left in in the night, but in reverse, as it unwinds them. This really, really works, and is “the” method for fixing the nonsense — but when you first start out you are dealing with a lifetime of awkward adhesions, so it takes a long time. The body remembers everything. Fascia stuck to itself in one position remains like that for a lifetime until unwound. In fact, your whole life history is stored in your fascia.

              The yawn puzzle gets more complex when you introduce sitting — especially sitting at computers. Adhesions build up over time in the hip and thigh, because a constant tension is transmitted through the fascia at this location in “locking” yourself in the sitting position. Remember: fascia sticks to itself when it is pushed together for long periods. Sitting creates many adhesions. To unstick/unwind these, you must yawn while in the position that caused them. In practical terms, this means lying on a bed with your legs in the air (mimicking the seated position, but lying down) and then open your mouth — you will feel the fascia unwind from the jaw down into the leg. That is how those severe leg fascia deformations (which are the REAL cause of tilted pelvis — don’t listen to any other nonsense reason you might hear “experts” come up with) are unwound.

              Obviously a visual demonstration would be best for you here. I intend to create a video product showing these exercises, but I have never done such a thing before and need to think through carefully how to go about it.

              If anyone is in the UK and wants practical lessons in person from me, get in touch and we can come to some sort of arrangement.

              • Illuminatus says:

                P.S. The “yawn energy” is in fact one of the things that continues to work despite the angles problem described above. By yawn energy, I am talking about the “suck” you do while breathing in while yawning. This drags “energy” up the spine and wakes you up. A yawn is like a package designed to wake you up properly, and it works very well. If anyone has trouble waking up at the moment, I recommend you spend about 5 minutes yawning every morning. It releases neurotransmitters (I would guess norepinephrine, based on how it feels to me).

                This “up” energy is related to kundalini. As I have said in other comments elsewhere, “kundalini” is natural processes which exist anyway.

                • lysenko says:

                  Thanks for the reply, reason I’m asking if anything needs to be done consciously with the yawn energy is because when I simply let the yawn occur, I can feel the expansion, the jaw opening, the rushing in the ears, neck getting tense, but no fascia moving or nerves realigning. This makes me think I must have to do something deliberate to get the yawn to “work”.

                • lysenko says:

                  Oh also, what will it feel like when the yawn is working correctly and the fascia is unwinding and the nerves moving back into their correct position? Is it similar to the paralyzing wave sensation of relaxation, or more dysphoric? Just wondering what to look out for

                  • Illuminatus says:

                    Forget about the “yawn energy” when thinking about unwinding.

                    What you need to know above all is that all unwinding is done by opening the mouth (and this action also includes raises the eyebrows — all muscles in the face are involved).

                    I recommend lying on a bed; pull your knees towards you so they are drawn towards your body; tough your left finger tips to your left shoulder, and right fingertips to your right shoulder. This is a kind of modified fetal position (the fetal position is the “master reset switch” for the human body). NOW, open your mouth slowly. Does your head want to turn one particular way? Its action of turning actually unwinds fascia on that side of the body. Now put your head back to centre. Open your mouth again. Your head may turn a different way. These movements are often quite SUBTLE — you must be very mindful, very careful, and pay strict attention to where your head wants to turn as your open your mouth. Next, try opening your mouth but using subtle muscles, e.g. your eyebrows. Raise your eyebrows slowly and see if that causes something to release.

                    In general, the mouth/jaw releases fascia in the arms and upper body. The forehead/eyebrows raising releases the legs/lower body.

                    You will find that a yawn does ALL of these things. I have broken down the yawn and found out exactly what each part of it does (and there are others, e.g. REM which releases fascia on a micro level, but don’t worry about that now).

                    You can make MASSIVE progress just by adopting the position I just described and opening your mouth repeatedly. Please try it and report back as it is important for my research that other people can use these principles.

              • Illuminatus says:

                Check out the gorilla pic: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1119282/figure/F1/

                Notice how straight the head is, aligned to the neck , body and legs. No pillow required!

                Pillows really fuck up people’s posture.

  7. Robert says:

    What do you think of “Inclined Bed Therapy”? If you haven’t heard here is a link: http://www.frex.com.au/ibt.html

    Take a look at the side-effects.

    • Illuminatus says:

      Never heard of it. I can see it helping the legs and the trunk (which are arguably the most important parts re fascial winding) but I can’t really see it helping where the arms wind into the neck etc. It should be complemented with another release technique e.g. yoga.

      If anyone’s interested in booking a Skype session then I can show you my no-nonsense release technique which does everything we need using just simple, ultra-slow movements.

  8. Nana says:

    “I think that sitting partially inverts the breath, and this gets trained as ‘normal’.”
    This sentence all by itself worked like a switch in me!
    I feel meditation instructions don’t really cover how to breathe correctly because the masters of yore could not predict how much our obsession with comfort would end up unteaching us.
    This thing with the comfy beds has been bugging me for about a year. It doesn’t make any sense that I wake up more tense than before falling asleep.
    I’ve been experimenting with sleeping on the floor with just a thin blanket under me, but it’s coldish around here and there’s no heating (Brazil). I’m considering removing my mattress and sleeping directly on the bed frame (it’s a wooden box with very little padding) to see what happens. What is your current sleeping arrangement?
    I’ll leave the mattress around for when I have anyone over, haha.
    Thanks for the blog and the book. You have helped me immensely.

    • Illuminatus says:

      Nicely put! 🙂

      Currently I sleep on a firm mattress, turned over so I’m lying on the harder bottom surface that is meant to rest on the bed frame. I use one thin pillow. However, this still allows sleeping positions which would be impossible if I lay on the floor, meaning the fascial winds are still more complex and thus harder to unwind than if I used a primal sleeping position. These primal postures may be of interest to you: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1119282/

      To unwind I do mindful yawning for several minutes every day upon waking, and also on getting up from any sedentary position e.g. sitting. All fascia can in fact be unwound via yawning but this is a difficult process to learn due to a) The complexity of fascial winds/adhesions allowed by modern living, b) The length of time winds are allowed to accumulate. So, starting with a lifetime of winds, it could take a week of this type of therapy (which I invented) to see serious benefits. The main benefit of this way (mindful yawning) is that it is THE WAY (in my opinion), i.e. it’s the body’s way, it can be done entirely yourself, and it has the potential to fix you 100%. As I said in an earlier reply, a body without winds is a perfectly postured body. Getting work done on you while lying on a table doesn’t fix the underlying problem and the benefits will not last very long anyway (I have had all the main methods performed on me so can evaluate each one).

  9. Clayton says:

    Not sure where to put this comment… I’ve been practicing with laughing daily starting more than a month ago. I used to do a lot with Laughter Yoga but really hadn’t touched it in about a 2 year period. I spent the first 5-7 days doing laughing twice a day for 30 minutes (usually the first 10-15 mins were ‘warmup’/fake laughs to eventually hit the real genuine laughter). Laughing is merely exercising the lungs although the challenge of laughing alone certainly requires overcoming some mental gymnastics haha! I’ve got it down now to about 10 mins of laughter a day since the lungs and mind are now more acclimated to this exercise. Yesterday my laughter went from extreme laughter to a weeping-wailing-emotional-crying laughter (there was also extreme tremors/shaking throughout the body)… while an unusual experience, I’m supposing it is comparable to breathing exercises that may also induce crying or emotional/crying states. It would be great to here any thoughts you may have or if you have experimented with this at all.

    • Illuminatus says:

      Laughter releases the fascia adhered around the nerves in the abdomen, particularly the base of the spine. Its “negative” mirror image is crying — both involve tremors and rhythmic contraction of the diaphragm.

      Most techniques whether mental or physical will at some point result in extreme emotional release. If you told us what you’re trying to DO exactly then we could advise you further?

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