Taking Control - a breathing lesson from HipSilver Contributor Richard La Plante


 Taking Control Carbon Dioxide Tolerance

by Richard La Plante

As we come out the other side of this pandemic, let us retake control of ourselves and our bodies, beginning with the essence of life, the breath. We begin this practice with calming the mind, using mindful breathing as a precursor for meditation. This requires gentle nasal breathing, sipping the air, not gulping it, with the tongue placed on the roof of the mouth, near the front teeth, to establish a connection with the autonomic nervous system. Once in a state of calm, we use the ‘breathing stick’ to open and close the ribcage, allowing the lungs to fully expand in a sequence of full, three-part breaths (lower, middle, and upper sections of the lungs), followed by the same movement, performed on the third exhale, without oxygen, causing the body to build and tolerate more carbon dioxide than usual. Understand that the more carbon dioxide the body is trained to tolerate the greater the release of oxygen into the cells – because it is carbon dioxide that forces the oxygen to break its binding with the blood (hemoglobin) and the greater the tolerance of C02, the more efficiently we use oxygen. Then, back to calm.

Relax and breathe.