I don’t know about you but being in the city really drains me.
Weaving through in and out of traffic, exposure to air pollution, and going in and out of air-conditioned rooms in the concrete jungle really takes their toll.
After just a week, I can already feel changes in my body. My skin feels dry, my appetite has shifted, my sleep patterns are scattered.
I’m not used to being indoors this much. And it feels like a vicious cycle. I want to stay in more, and that makes me feel more tired and lethargic.
Are you also crashing in the afternoon? Or feeling drained?
How can we get our bodies feeling more vibrant and at full capacity?
Rev up your body
Do you know how a morning run, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), or Spartan-style 300 workouts, can get you feeling pumped up and ready for the rest of the day?
Actively placing your body into a heightened, sympathetic, “fight or flight” mode and get the heart racing, lymphatic system draining.
In the same way, we can use specific breathwork techniques to heat up and rev up our systems and place us into a more focused, awakened, and attentive state.
This style of breathwork tends to involve cyclical hypoventilation and targets the sympathetic state, or “fight or flight” response.
Here we breathe in out of the mouth, at progressively faster intervals, and expose the body to a slightly oxygen-deprived, or hypoxic state.
This behavior can trigger the production of adrenaline in the body.
And it feels invigorating.
What is cyclical hyperventilation?
Cyclical hyperventilation is similar to breath exercises that Wim Hoff has fabricated and popularized.
It is also similar to traditional Tumo breathwork techniques, which Tibetan Meditation practitioners have developed so they could warm their bodies up to endure cold mountain climates for long periods of icy meditation.
Even after one session of cyclical hyperventilation, you can feel the difference in your body.
So when I was feeling low in energy after a long morning in the city yesterday, I tried a free breathwork exercise that the shaman Rudá Iandê created to reboot the body (available for download by Ideapod Tribe members).
Here he uses cyclical hyperventilation and targets muscle relaxation so you can see where you are also carrying unnecessary tension in your body.
This breathwork exercise is further modernized and includes multi-layering sound design, such as harmonic frequencies, binaural beats, isochronic tones to heighten the sympathetic response and stress release.
Rudá’s calm and encouraging voice guides you through the process.
I tried it while in the city and it got my body pulsing and feeling more awake.
To access the breathwork exercise, sign up for Tribe and then proceed to the Tribe Portal to download it.
Benefits of cyclical hyperventilation
There are many uses and advantages to this cyclic hyperventilation.
Huberman labs, based out of Stanford University, explore the science behind the benefits of using the breath to rev up and calm down the system.
Huberman has numerous interviews with the top researchers studying the impacts of sympathetic and parasympathetic breath stimulation.
He recently cites one notable study released in the peer-reviewed PNAS, entitled “Voluntary activation of the sympathetic nervous system and attenuation of the innate immune response in humans,” which shows some promising results in the field of health.
A team of researchers conceded that cyclical hyperventilation breathwork combined with a period of breath retention seems to increase adrenaline levels, enhance the body’s response to inflammation and increases our capacity to combat infection.
Subjects were exposed to Escherichia coli (E. coli). One group used a protocol of three rounds of cyclical hyperventilation and then held their breath until they felt the urge to breathe, while the other had no breath protocol.
Significant findings were discovered.
Those using the breathwork protocal, exhibited increased levels of adrenaline. Their bodies also significantly changed in pH (from 7.4 to 7.6) into a more alkaline state during the breathing session, and produced an enhanced response to two major inflammation pathways and a detectable ability to fight off the E. coli infection.
This study is quite novel and leads the field to show how breathwork techniques can actively enhance your body’s functioning and overall health.
Breath yourself into a feeling of vitality
We all know that we can stress ourselves into illness, but what if we can start to breathe ourselves into better health? And help our bodies to ward off infection?
The affects of cyclical hyperventilation and breath retention is a promising area of health research.
It seems to give us all the more reason to explore and improve our wellbeing through the most immediate resource that we have available to us – our breath.
I encourage you to try Rudá’s cyclical hyperventilation technique. It’s available to Tribe members.
I know I’ll be experimenting with this more as I hop from city to city this month to keep myself feeing revved up and ready for the day.