Episode #10 of the course Breathwork: Science and practice by David Urbansky
Welcome to the final lesson of the breathwork course. Congratulations on making it through the entire course. I truly hope you have learned something you didn’t know before. In this final lesson, we’ll summarize the main takeaways from this course and guide you into further learning should your curiosity have been awakened.
What you have learned and bonus tips
Scientific benefits are plentiful! Conscious breathing is one of the simplest and most effective ways to improve your health and wellbeing. In this course, you have learned a multitude of benefits that have been proven in research studies over and over again. The reason that there are so many proven benefits is that breathwork improves and heals something so fundamental to your wellbeing. Your breath is your engine and a well-oiled engine gets you anywhere.
Breathe through your nose, night and day! If you want to make sure you force nose-breathing during the night, you can buy some micropore tape and cover your mouth. This sounds ridiculous, but keeping your mouth shut during sleep is even important for your oral health. If you ever wake up with a dry mouth, you were breathing wrong during the night. Your mouth should stay moist to protect your teeth with saliva.
Remember the magic number 5.5! Breathe 5.5 seconds in, 5.5 seconds out. This adds up to 5.5 breaths per minute, which has been shown to be the ideal rhythm for heart coherence. For ease of counting you can also pick the number 6, close enough.
For athletic improvements, breathe fast! You have learned bhastrika and kapalbhati. Practice those for 10-20 minutes a day. Avoid these exercises at night as they are very invigorating and might make it difficult to fall asleep.
Hold your breath! Add a practice session consisting of five maximum breath holds with two-minute breaks. This will help to improve your VO2 max and tolerance for CO2, which has positive effects on your cardio performance.
Test to measure improvement! You have learned three simple tests to measure your pulmonary fitness:
1. Breathe deeply in and count fast but audibly as high as you can. Try to get to 85 or higher.
2. Count the number of breaths per minute at rest. Aim for the magic number of 5.5.
3. Hold your breath for as long as possible without exhalation. Aim for 45 seconds or longer.
Where to Go from Here
Reading this course gave you the advantage of not needing to read hundreds of research papers and books on breathing. I have done that for you. That being said, there is still much more to learn, so here are some suggestions if you want to dive deeper into the world of breathing:
We have covered Wim Hof in a previous lesson. He has multiple online courses that you can take. Wim also goes on excursions and plans vacation trips that include breathwork, meditation, and plenty of cold exposure. Wim is also a super fun guy so definitely go check him out! If you want to read about him, I’d recommend the book What Doesn’t Kill Us by Scott Carney .
Stig Severinsen is a multiple world record holder in breath-holding. He coaches and offers online courses at Breatheology World. Check out his TED talk  to get a feel for what he’s like.
Patrick McKeown is a breathing education expert who coaches people on how to breathe for better health and performance in sports. He has online courses and wrote the best selling book The Oxygen Advantage .
Lastly, a really good read from a non-expert (but professional journalist) is Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art  by James Nestor. In this book, Nestor shares his personal experience of discovering the benefits of breathwork in his own life.
Congratulations again for investing time in your health by reading about the importance of breathwork. Knowing and applying just a fraction of what you’ve learned will change your life for the better. Share your new-found knowledge and live strong!
Super Power Breathing: For Super Energy, High Health & Longevity by Paul C. Bragg
 What Doesn’t Kill Us: How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude, and Environmental Conditioning Will Renew Our Lost Evolutionary Strength
 Breathholding is the new black | Stig Severinsen | TEDxOdense
 The Oxygen Advantage: Simple, Scientifically Proven Breathing Techniques to Help You Become Healthier, Slimmer, Faster, and Fitter
 Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art
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