Breatheology - The study, learning and understanding of breathing

Stig Severinsen, MSc Biology & PhD Medicine
4x Freediving World Champion, Multiple Guinness World Record Holder, Founder of Breatheology®, Author of the bestselling book “Breatheology – The Art Of Conscious Breathing”, Coach & Mentor.

Breathing is what generates your energy – the process of life. So the better you breathe, the stronger and healthier you become. Unfortunately, many people develop bad breathing habits – or simply don’t know how to breathe properly because it was never taught to them!

In all animals the process of breathing is automated and controlled on a subconscious level.

Breatheology works on every dimension of the human breath by uniting Ancient Wisdom, Modern Science and Peak Performance in sports. It is based on philosophical principles, and driven by practice and experience.

If you search for simple ways to strengthen your health, rehabilitate, optimize your sports results or just improve your stress resilience in a hectic everyday life…then you might want to take a closer look at the concept of Breatheology.

Breathe & hold your breath…

Stig Severinsen

From the bestselling book:
Breatheology - The Art Of Conscious Breathing

Unconscious breathing

Your life is lived between two breaths – your first inhalation and your last exhalation.

Each day you breathe between 20,000 and 30,000 times. This amounts to roughly 10 million breaths each year and one billion breaths in a lifetime. You are probably good at breathing, but it is actually very likely that you are not using your lungs to their full capacity. This is a shame because if you do not utilize every breath you are waving goodbye to extra energy in your daily life.

Most people are not very conscious of how they breathe. In particular, poor breathing habits are common in modern times. When was the last time you took a deep and slow breath and thought closely about the intimate relationship between your breath, your body and your mind?

By consciously taking hold of your breathing, you have a unique opportunity to change and strengthen both your body and mind. Our incredible organism is capable of transforming itself to a degree that science has not believed possible. Thus, recent research shows us that the human lung is capable of increasing its size through training, and that positive thoughts can, in fact, affect and rejuvenate your brain. If you learn how to improve your physical and mental capacity, your general health and your chances of living a long life will improve.

It may seem odd that many people are ignorant about such a natural thing as breathing. Both animals and children breathe deeply down into their “stomach” and thereby utilize the lungs optimally. However, for busy people, this is more the exception than the rule. This unfortunate fact is mainly determined by social and cultural trends due to the hustle and bustle of everyday life, which has distanced us from our body. All in all, this leads us to completely forget the calm and deep breathing we were given at birth. Life is rushed and often we forget to listen to our bodies.

Unlike, for instance, heart rhythm or digestion that only a few people can control, anybody can learn to control their breathing. Naturally, this will not reduce the stress or the workload in your life. However, gaining more oxygen in the organism and a more relaxed nervous system can help you become better at managing the pressure and unpredictability of life. All you have to do is remember to consider your breathing.

Indeed, breathing is exactly what this book is about. I hope to initiate you into the enormous potential that mind control and conscious breathing can bring to your life in order to manage stress and increase your daily energy level. When your lungs become stronger, you have a better “filter” in your body, you will be able to absorb more oxygen and gain more energy in every cell, while at the same time your body will be more able to more efficiently eliminate or expel metabolic waste products.

Become aware of your breathing
There are two points at which your body, and often your mind, is under extreme pressure: during “extreme” or ultimate athletic performance and when facing a life-threatening illness. By becoming familiar with the reactions of the body in these extreme situations, you can come to understand how conscious and efficient breathing habits can contribute to more positive energy in your everyday life.

Since my childhood, I have loved water, nature and sports. Today, I have integrated all three of these into freediving at a professional level. Freediving is about holding your breath under water. You can achieve this most easily when you are relaxed and in control, which has always felt natural to me when I dive. I consider freediving an adventurous sport – not an extreme sport – but I readily admit that somepeople find it extreme. Nonetheless, I have selected safe and efficient breathing techniques influenced by freediving but modified so that anybody can use them. As you learn conscious breathing techniques, you will find the benefits relevant to your daily life.

Since I was a child, I have spontaneously used several of the conscious breathing techniques, and during the last ten years, I have begun to use some techniques with more reflection—both when working towards world records in freediving and in my everyday life. To optimize my performance, I have practiced yoga regularly. The central goal of yoga is to control your breathing to strengthen your body and gain greater peace of mind. The knowledge of different yoga techniques is an essential tool in gaining optimal efficiency of your breathing.

As opposed to mind control techniques, which so to speak, work from the inside – from mind to body – this book deals primarily with techniques that work from the outside in by focusing on breathing – from body to mind. It is easy to concentrate on breathing and whether you are young or old, sick or healthy, efficient breathing techniques are safe and easily exercised habits that can be used by anyone.

These breathing techniques are not new but rejuvenated wisdom about breathing from ancient practices such as yoga. For example,
pranayama – a traditional aspect of yoga, is composed of two Sanskrit words. The first, prana, meaning life force, and the second, ayama, meaning control. If we understand breath in terms of life force, there is a connection between controlling your breath and controlling your life force. This key concept from pranayama is one of the influences on the discussion of body and mind as connected through efficient breathing, which is part of the basis for this book.

I view life from a holistic perspective and believe that body and mind influence each other respectively. In the same way, I believe that people should live in harmony with nature rather than dominating it. I continue to be fascinated by living organisms, and curious to know about their design and function. Studying biology, which in Greek means “the science of life,” was a natural course for me to take – what can be more interesting than life itself? Consequently, I earned a PhD in medicine.

My scientific background stems from the natural and health sciences.

Therefore, during the book I refer to the benefits of breathing exercises and breath control on body and mind – be it concerned with sports, illnesses or any other cause.