“Breathing is unquestionably the single most important thing you do in your life. And breathing RIGHT is unquestionably the single most important thing you can do to IMPROVE your life. If you’re interested in preventing illness, proper breathing may help you protect against angina, heart disease, respiratory infections, and fibromyalgia. It will also help you live a longer, more energetic, and stress-free life.”
~ Sheldon Saul Hendler, M.D., Ph.D., specialist in internal medicine, “The Oxygen Breakthrough”
“How do you know if you’re doing the Oxycise! breath right? Is there a special feeling or some way I can tell?”
The inhale should feel deep and peaceful and relaxed… like taking a drink of cool, refreshing water. The air should enter deep into your lungs and your abdominal muscles (your tummy) should be totally relaxed. As you inhale deeply and fully, let your tummy expand freely. The air doesn’t actually enter your stomach — it’s just pushing down on the abdominal cavity a little as it fills your lungs. If you put your hands on the sides of your waist, just under your ribcage, you should be able to feel the expansion as your lungs fill.
Right after the inhale you should tighten and “Lift” your abs. This is very similar to the muscle contraction in your abdomen that happens automatically when you cough or sneeze. The difference with Oxycise! is that we want you to learn to control it and be able to maintain it. You might try “faking” a cough and see if you can identify the muscles that contract. Doing this several times may help you discover how to relax and then tighten these muscles. You should work to maintain the muscle contraction throughout the 3 sniffs, exhale and 3 extra puffs. Then relax the contraction for the next inhale.
“I’m having problems taking in 3 sniffs while my abdominal muscles are tight.”
This is totally normal — and it’s supposed to be difficult! It’s hard to take in extra air when your abdominal muscle are tight — that’s why you don’t want to tighten up during your inhales. But after the inhale you don’t need a lot of extra air because your lungs should already be full. What you are doing is just trying to “top them off” a tiny bit. Your abdominal muscles are actually working against the power of your diaphragm as you try to take in some extra sniffs. That’s what makes this step a great toning exercise for the abs!
“I don’t have any air left after the exhale to do 3 extra puffs… should I take in a little more air before the puffs?”
No, don’t take in extra air at this time. The whole purpose of this step is to TRY to do 3 more puffs, even if your lungs feel totally empty. In fact you should try to completely empty your lungs on the exhale — don’t try to “save” air for the 3 puffs. When you feel like you don’t have any air left after the exhale, then try to do just 3 little tiny puffs. This makes your abdominal muscles have to tighten to try to squeeze a little more air out. Another great ab toner!