Yoga Breathing

Yoga Breathing with Lucas Rockwood

In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Lucas Rockwood explains the importance of yoga breathing for health and longevity.

Lucas Rockwood is a yoga teacher, trainer, nutritional coach, writer, and serial entrepreneur. With a formal yoga training background in Hot Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Gravity Yoga, and the Yoga Trapeze, Lucas has studied with some of the most well-respected teachers on the planet.

Lucas founded Absolute Yoga Academy in 2006, one of the top 10 yoga teacher training schools in the world with 2,000 certified teachers. He also founded YOGABODY, an internationally-renowned nutrition, education, and publishing organization serving 81 countries. Lucas is a highly-acclaimed writer, radio show host, TV personality, business consultant, weight loss expert, and health coach.

Main Questions Asked:

  • Does our breathing affect our blood pH level?
  • Is there a good way to breath and a bad way to breath?
  • Are there any special breathing techniques we should use before going to bed?
  • What about breathing prior to exercise?
  • Is there anything else important that we should think about when it comes to yoga breathing?

Key Points Made by Lucas:

  • Yoga allows us in some cases to override our autonomic nervous system.
  • The simplest way to affect your blood pH level is by breathing in certain ways which will affect your nervous and brain state.
  • The challenge we have with breathing is our poor posture and restrictive clothing. Most people have poor biomechanics when it comes to breathing.
  • The average breathing rate of 8-12 breaths per minute is slightly elevated, we should be aiming for water breathing, 4-6 breaths per minute.
  • Water breath will tend to balance you out; if you’re feeling lethargic it will bring you up, if you’re excited or anxious it will bring you down.
  • Your breath normally favors one nostril or the other, each indicating a certain energy state. We are always alternating between the different states of fight or flight and rest.
  • You can influence which energy state your body is in by controlling your breathing rate. which can set you up for success when it comes to the activities you’ll face each day.
  • Whisky breath, anything slower than 4-6 breaths per minute, is the best breathing rate to encourage sleep. Focus more time on the exhale and the rate.
  • If you breathe like you’re asleep, your body will respond in kind.
  • Breathing oxygen does not suddenly flood your body with oxygen. Most people are fully oxygenated most of the time, the variable we control through breathing rate is carbon dioxide. By slowing down your breathing we are increasing the amount of CO2 in our bodies which has a number of positive effects.
  • Coffee breath, 20 breaths or more per minute, will reduce the CO2 in your blood stream and put your body into a sympathetic nervous state.
  • Breathing shouldn’t be complex and you can use water, whisky, and coffee breath whenever you need to.

Resources Mentioned:

How to Breathe

Lucas’ website

Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again

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