First thing’s first. Breathing.

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There is a guy in India who claims to be a breatharian. No food, no water since 1940. Only prana (the name of the “vital life force” in Hindi) and sunlight. If true, this means Mr. Prahlad Jani, now 84, has not broken his fast for 73 years. What’s even more amazing is that this cat is super vital and healthy, and still going strong!

God only knows if he is the real deal, or if he is secretly binging on Indian junk food and Diet Coke as we speak. Either way, he is someone who seems to have cracked the code of how to harness and use the amazing power of conscious breathing.

Breathing is regulated by both the Voluntary and Involuntary Nervous System (pilot and auto-pilot mode). Breathing is on auto-pilot by default, but the moment we become aware of it, we can consciously take over the steering wheel. When this happens, the breath becomes a bridge between the voluntary and involuntary nervous systems; the conscious and the subconscious mind; and, ultimately, the mind and the body. T
his means when we steer our breathing consciously, we regulate the dynamic between our sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (rest) nervous systems, thereby controlling our heart rate, blood pressure, peristalsis (rhythmic contractions in the gut), immune and endocrine systems and central nervous system – well, pretty-much everything.

So, our first step for today is to become aware of our breathing as we go about our daily activities.

Once we have managed to “catch” our breath, the second step will be to make our breathing deeper, slower, quieter and more regular.

Prana in Hindi; Ruh in Arabic and Spiritus in Latin mean both ‘breath’ and ‘spirit’. Every time we take a breath, we are actually being breathed. Inspired.
And every time we consciously breathe together, we conspire …

P.S. I would love to hear from you, my fellow conspirators. What is your style of breathing? Was it easy to bring your attention back to your breathing? Do you have any effective breathing techniques that work for you? How did it feel to breathe with focus?
P.S.S. Nature is the best conspirator! Go out!

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Since breathing is the name of the game this week, here is one simple technique that will detoxify your lungs, one of the key organs of elimination – as well as the rest of your body.
It is called “3 before you eat.” It is meant to be practiced before meals.

This is how to do it:
1. Sit down.
2. Make sure your behind is comfortably parked in your chair, that your back is straight and that your feat are flat on the floor.
3. Close your eyes.
4. Take 3 deep breaths by inhaling and exhaling through your nose.

And that’s all there is to it!

These simple 3 deep breaths are enough to turn off the Fight or Flight response, and turn on the Rest and Digest mode, which promotes a happy and healthy digestion during meals.

Deep breathing also helps us in another way: it expands the amount of air that is drawn into our lungs. Our average breath, and especially our chewing breath, does not fill even 50% of our lung capacity. By taking a deep breath, we use more of our lung space, which means a bigger serving of the body’s most important nutrient – oxygen.

“3 before you eat” is, in fact, a meal in itself. It’s a true Happy Meal.

P.S. Try this a couple of times and tell me if you have experienced a new form of fullness.

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1. The right lung is slightly larger than the left.
Most ladies can relate to this – in some aspects more than others.

2. Hairs in the nose help to clean the air we breathe as well as warming it.
That’s why I guess most gents keep them long – they like their air warm and clean.

3. The highest recorded “sneeze speed” is 165 km per hour.
This is a definite heart stopper. All I can say “Bless you, Fast and Furious”!

4. The surface area of the lungs is roughly the same size as a tennis court.
Oxygen molecule is the tennis ball, and breathing your racket. Work the court!

5. The capillaries in the lungs would extend 1,600 kilometres if placed end to end.
This means that you need only 25 breaths to travel the Earth around the Equator, and 15,5 through the poles. Maximum globe trotting, minimum carbon footprint.

6. We lose half a litre of water a day through breathing. This is the water vapour we see when we breathe onto glass.
If this is how much we lose on breathing, no wonder that we need to drink at least 2,5 l of pure water every day. Most of my patients think that this mission is impossible, and even dangerous.

7. A person at rest usually breathes between 12 and 15 times a minute.
Don’t be competitive about this one. Fewer and fuller is better.8. The breathing rate is faster in children and women than in men.
I think that Buddhist monks must have tipped the scale.

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Now that we know what a powerful engine we carry in our torso, let’s shift gears and go for a ride. We will test a simple technique of walking and breathing in a pattern that stimulates the lymph system and energises the body. I call this technique ‘Firestarter’. Anthony Robbins, in his ‘Ultimate Edge’ program, calls it ‘Breath Walking’.

This is how to do it:

1. Start walking. Take purposeful strides and walk in a rhythm. You want to be at a steady pace, but do not want to be out of breath.

2. Sync your breaths with your strides. The rhythm of breathing is supposed to be 4-4, so take four short breaths in, one after another, followed by four short breaths out – in time to your steps. So: in-in-in-in | out-out-out-out. The breaths in should be through the nose, and the breaths out through the mouth.

3. Walk like this for 5 minutes.

4. Now start tapping your fingers to the rhythm. The technique is to tap your thumb on the index finger, then on each finger across to your pinky (on breaths in), and then from your pinky to your index finger (on breaths out).

5. Keep walking and practicing this ‘choreography’ for another 5 minutes.

That’s it!

The lymph system, together with the lungs, belongs to our toxin busting brigade, what I call ‘The Mighty Six’. If you want to find out more you can read about it on my blog http://rawfast.blogspot.se/2012/08/why-fast.html?view=magazine&m=1.

It is so important to our body that, if it were shut down for 24hrs, we would die due to toxic overload around our cells. It is our body’s sewage treatment plant that collects and takes care of the waste products. It also carries antibodies and immune cells that are able to destroy bacteria, viruses and abnormal cells, such as cancer cells. It plays a huge role in the effectiveness of our immune system.

The simple exercise of breathing, walking and finger-tapping stimulate the meridians (energy channels) in our fingertips, which, in turn, stimulate and energize our main internal organs such as the heart, lungs, and the organs of our digestive system.

All of this makes ‘Firestarter’ the ultimate picker-upper when ever we need it. If done in the morning, it enhances our body’s morning detox routine, kickstarts our metabolism and immune system, and helps our mind hone in on the desired state of being and performance for that day.

If, for some reason, you cannot do it in the morning, do it whenever you can. Resuscitation guaranteed!

P.S. If you like this article or think somebody could benefit from the info, please share it. Did you find this information beneficial? Would love to hear from you.

image

Now that we know what a powerful engine we carry in our torso, let’s shift gears and go for a ride. We will test a simple technique of walking and breathing in a pattern that stimulates the lymph system and energises the body. I call this technique ‘Firestarter’. Anthony Robbins, in his ‘Ultimate Edge’ program, calls it ‘Breath Walking’.

This is how to do it:

1. Start walking. Take purposeful strides and walk in a rhythm. You want to be at a steady pace, but do not want to be out of breath.

2. Sync your breaths with your strides. The rhythm of breathing is supposed to be 4-4, so take four short breaths in, one after another, followed by four short breaths out – in time to your steps. So: in-in-in-in | out-out-out-out. The breaths in should be through the nose, and the breaths out through the mouth.

3. Walk like this for 5 minutes.

4. Now start tapping your fingers to the rhythm. The technique is to tap your thumb on the index finger, then on each finger across to your pinky (on breaths in), and then from your pinky to your index finger (on breaths out).

5. Keep walking and practicing this ‘choreography’ for another 5 minutes.

That’s it!

The lymph system, together with the lungs, belongs to our toxin busting brigade, what I call ‘The Mighty Six’. If you want to find out more you can read about it on my blog http://rawfast.blogspot.se/2012/08/why-fast.html?view=magazine&m=1.

It is so important to our body that, if it were shut down for 24hrs, we would die due to toxic overload around our cells. It is our body’s sewage treatment plant that collects and takes care of the waste products. It also carries antibodies and immune cells that are able to destroy bacteria, viruses and abnormal cells, such as cancer cells. It plays a huge role in the effectiveness of our immune system.

The simple exercise of breathing, walking and finger-tapping stimulate the meridians (energy channels) in our fingertips, which, in turn, stimulate and energize our main internal organs such as the heart, lungs, and the organs of our digestive system.

All of this makes ‘Firestarter’ the ultimate picker-upper when ever we need it. If done in the morning, it enhances our body’s morning detox routine, kickstarts our metabolism and immune system, and helps our mind hone in on the desired state of being and performance for that day.

If, for some reason, you cannot do it in the morning, do it whenever you can. Resuscitation guaranteed!

P.S. If you like this article or think somebody could benefit from the info, please share it. Did you find this information beneficial? Would love to hear from you.

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Since I don’t actively consume the main stream media, I always get pleasantly surprised when news, movies and music find me. I seem to invite them to bring their goodness into my life.

When “Can’t hold us” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis came to my doorstep, I was preparing to start RawRamadan homepage, thinking about how I can be of service to everybody out there who wants to get healthier and get inspired.

This song has been a companion on this journey ever since. Every time it starts playing, I feel my pulse rising and a desire to jump around and cut the air with my arms in that ‘hip- hop meets martial arts’ style. I sometimes get so carried away that I actually do this quasi hip hop choreography in the middle of a street. People look at me quizzically, probably thinking that I’m having an epileptic seizure, but I just can’t seem to care or stop.

There is one word for this joyful trance – inspiration.

Inspiration means literally, ” to breathe in and be filled with the spirit of God”. And yes, it can’t come through a song, a text, a person who has taken the courage to make the shift. The trick is to be inspired in order to inspire.

You reading this post on a website promoting radical concepts such as fasting and raw food tells me that you already are. But don’t stop there. Don’t hold yourself to anything that you perceive as pull of gravity. Do things that stir and prompt those creative, loving, joyful juices in you, even if it is a hip-hop song. Don’t set the course or censure what may or may not come your way, or what is possible or not. Give yourself the permission to jump.

In his book ‘Inspiration- your ultimate calling’, Dr. Wayne Dyer gives a great spin on this topic:

“I think of the word inspiration as meaning “being in-Spirit.” When we’re in-Spirit, we’re inspired…and when we’re inspired, it’s because we’re back in-Spirit, fully awake to Spirit within us. Being inspired is an experience of joy: we feel completely connected to our Source and totally on purpose; our creative juices flow, and we bring exceptionally high energy to our daily life. We’re not judging others or ourselves—we’re uncritical and unbothered by behaviors or attitudes that in uninspired moments are frustrating. Our heart sings in appreciation for every breath; and we’re tolerant, joyful, and loving.”

Improving the quality of a breath is one thing, but how do you learn to live its full spiritual potential the way Dr. Dyer portrays it? I’d love to know what got you inspired to jump with me into this challenge.

What ever it might be, don’t lose the sight of it as we come closer to our RawRamadan goals.

Invite inspiration with your every breath and wait to see how it gets answered. You will probably get amazed.

I surely did the first time I heard ‘Can’t hold us’. I knew instantly that it would become the theme song for RawRamadan.

I give it to you now with a hope that its raw energy inspires you to stay on this journey as we go over to the next step – water. http://youtu.be/2zNSgSzhBfM

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