Pranayama: Extend Your Life by Extending Your Breath | Jim Kambeitz | TEDxBismarck

Pranayama: Extend Your Life by Extending Your Breath | Jim Kambeitz | TEDxBismarck

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Translator: Tanya Cushman
Reviewer: Peter van de Ven What if I told you doctors have discovered
a miraculous medicine that would allow you
to catch yourself in times of stress, sadness, anger, anxiety or pain, and within moments,
regain control of yourself, bring yourself together, stopping the suffering
right in its tracks, all-natural, laboratory-tested
and no side effects? You’d probably say, “Hmm how much is it?” Free. Most of you’d probably think,
“Hey, sign me up.” And the more inquisitive might ask: “Can it even help insomnia,
digestive problems, arthritis pain, lower my blood pressure?” Yes. You’re probably thinking, “It sounds too good to be true.
Let me get this straight. So, it will make every aspect
of my life better, and I don’t have to do anything
but take this pill?” Wait just a minute. I didn’t say you
didn’t have to do anything. You have to do one thing every day. “But you said it was just a medicine.” It is, but it’s not in a pill form. This medicine is yoga, breath control, aka “pranayama” in Sanskrit. The gurus believe if there is
any physical, mental or spiritual disease that yoga cannot cure, than it cannot be cured. It is that powerful. And do not fear: it is a proven science, not a religion, and anyone can do it, “except for,” as my teacher
in India always says, “a lazy person.” (Laughter) Now, at this point
in the hypothetical situation, I would predict,
if you are anything like me, you’re thinking, “You mean I have to do yoga?
I can’t just take a pill?” Well, that is exactly
what I thought until one day, when I was hopelessly desperate and no longer able
to stand on my left leg. I was convinced by the Western doctors who had done my knee surgeries
ten years earlier, that the only way
I could walk into old age was to get a complete knee replacement. Now, I didn’t feel this way at the time, but I was sure lucky to be so desperate because changing ourselves
is so difficult, and there are only two ways
we can really do it. One: be miserably desperate,
have no other options, and two: being inspired. So, as I look out in the audience today, I sincerely hope that many of you
are miserably desperate and the other lot of you are inspired
by some part of this story to consider adding meditation,
yoga, conscious breathing into your daily routine. Now, I didn’t always feel this way. Here’s me in high school: football player,
wrestler, 20 pounds heavier, and if you would have told me
that in another 20 years, I’d be spending most of my time
dreaming about my next trip to India and doing yoga every single day, I’d have said you were completely crazy. So how did it come to this? Well, let’s rewind the tape eight years, living in Poland,
slowly losing my ability to walk, when I went to see a Ukrainian
physical therapist who’d studied in India. He pressed on some points on my knee to get the right muscles
and tendons to relax, thoroughly examined it, and, to my surprise, for the first time in a month,
I was able to stand on my knee. He said, “There’s nothing
wrong with your knee except that you are hurting your knee. You are walking wrong,
eating wrong, standing wrong. Your body is out of alignment, and if you want to walk, you need to start doing yoga
every single day – lengthening your hamstrings, imprinting the proper alignment
onto your body with this practice – right away.” Thinking about what he said
on the tram home, I was really confused. Because this went against
all of my core beliefs about my health. I’d been convinced that
because my parents had knee problems, then I would have knee problems. That every day a person gets older,
their health just gets worse and worse. That my knee was destroyed
from years of sports and that the only way
that I could ever heal was to cut out my knee, and I was seriously planning that. To accept that I was
unknowingly injuring myself would mean that I would have to be
responsible for my own healing. And if I couldn’t walk in the future,
it was only because I was lazy. For the next two days, grumpy but scared, I did yoga first thing every morning, imprinting that proper muscle alignment
on my body, and I could walk. Woah! First time in a month, I’m walking. So the third day: “Hey, I’m healed. This is great. This yoga was awesome,
two days, healed me. I’m done.” I started walking, and I was great, saying, “Yeah, it’s really true.
I don’t need to do this.” By the end of the day,
knee started locking up, my old muscle memory returned,
and I couldn’t walk. At this moment, I was livid. I said, “You mean I have to do yoga
every day if I want to walk? Aaagh.” Not happy, but desperate, I did my yoga. I started out with sun salutations, about 30 minutes of Vinyasa yoga, and that’s just flow –
just means you flow with every breath. After a few weeks,
I wanted more; I needed more. So I started doing half
of the Ashtanga yoga primary series. Ashtanga yoga is
a really beautiful form of yoga where you turn your whole body
into a breathing machine, and you do that for about 90 minutes
through a series of poses, and at the end, you are in bliss
for the rest of the day. Nobody, not even the taxi drivers
in Warsaw, can make you angry. (Laughter) And at that point, I had to admit
the Ukrainian was right. And that was when I got inspired because not only did my knee heal, but all these other changes
started happening. I was never a morning person, but all of a sudden, I’m waking up
at the crack of noon to do my yoga. (Laughter) My asthma, that I’d struggled
with all my life, completely disappeared. My stomach pain – gone. I had chronic stomach pain, nonstop; I was always walking around like this. and most baffling of all,
I remembered where I put my keys. (Laughter) So I started studying
everything I could about yoga, and I wanted to know more, which led me to all
the deeper things behind yoga. I needed more than just
the physical practice. So, we call the positions
in yoga “asanas.” And I had to go beyond the asanas. Before, you see, I used to think
yoga was just these physical poses that you’d get in and
hold your breath in for a while. And then I realized, wow, the rest of yoga
has all these subtle breathing practices, and the only reason
why we do the physical yoga is in order to heal our bodies first because we can’t sit in meditation
and bathe in the bliss of life if all we’re thinking about
is how bad our back is killing us. I started discovering all these practices,
and it was so exciting; I was like a kid in a candy store,
just blown away by the simplicity. Then you come to the Sanskrit language,
and it’s so beautiful too; it’s so logical and so powerful. Let’s take the word
“pranayama” for example. It describes a lot of different
breathing practices, and I feel it really sums up
the essence of yoga and why we do this. So let’s dissect it. First you have “prana,”
which means “the life force.” Literally, it’s in the air we breathe;
it’s all around us. And then we have “ayama,”
which is “lengthening.” So literally, “life lengthening
through breathing.” This ancient yoga practice, it’s also really proven in science
if you look at what breathing does. When you slow your respiratory rate, it kicks in the parasympathetic
nervous system, right? Lowering your blood pressure,
calming your body down, relieving stress. Breathing fast, on the other hand, kicks in your fight-or-flight
sympathetic nervous reaction. It makes your heart race,
mind race out of control. Want to live a long life? Here’s a key: it’s a chart of the average breaths
per minute and then how long they live. Mouse: breathing average
of 130 breaths – breathe very, very fast – and they only live
to be one to three years old. Next we have the dog: dog breathes about 30 breaths
on average per minute; they live 10 to 20 years old. Let’s jump to the chimpanzee: they breathe about 14 breaths per minute, little better, and they live 40 years. The horse: they breathe
about 12 on average, while at rest, and they live to be 50 years; they can’t – I wouldn’t want to ride that one. (Laughter) And the human, let’s just
average it at nine. Well, a healthy human,
anywhere from 6 to 12. An unhealthy human,
maybe 12 to 24 breaths per minute, and that unhealthy human
will probably live less long. So, now we have the whale: whale breathes 6 breaths a minutes, lives to be 100. Obviously, there are exceptions,
but the tendency is pretty clear. Alright. So there you have it. I shared this information, actually,
with a colleague at work – he’s in his 60s – and he said, “Where were you
when I was younger? You should have told me
this then. Come on.” And that is exactly
what my wife and I thought: “Why isn’t this taught in every school
from preschool until university.” So my wife and I decided, “Hey,
we’re not going to wait for school. We’re going to teach our baby
from the moment of conception.” Pregnant – we’re off to India, doing as much yoga, chanting
and meditation as we possibly can. Then once our daughter was born, we held her on our chest, and we lay down and breathe deep
as much as we could, super deep, because we wanted to force her
to imitate us, and she would; she’d sync up her breath with ours
after we’d done it long enough. And if she started crying, well then, we’d breathe really loud
and exaggerate our breath in her ear, and that calming sound
would calm her down. And so it would be something like this: (Breathing loudly in and out) And that sound is the same sound
you hear in Ashtanga yoga, very deep, loud sounds like this: (Breathing loudly in and out) So the whole time you’re doing yoga
for an hour-and-a-half, you are physically calming yourself down. It’s like taking tranquilizers,
but yet you have the energy of coffee. Totally amazing. So when our baby would cry and
the breathing wouldn’t immediately help, she wouldn’t catch on,
we couldn’t snap her out of her crying, well, at least it calmed us down. (Laughter) And eventually, that had
a calming effect on her. Think about our normal reaction
when a baby cries: breath stopped, brain not getting oxygen, “What can I do to make
this baby stop crying?” So, holding our breath;
body’s lacking oxygen; telling brain, “We need oxygen”; brain starts panicking. It’s so hard to stop. When our daughter was
a little older and started crying, we would say, “Breathe.” As soon as she started crying, we’d get
eye contact, get right in her face, and say, “Breathe.” And then we’d do it with her: smiling and breathing. And she’d normally jump right on
and breathe super loud. If she’s still crying,
and we can’t stop her, then we grab her and hold her. Just hug her and breathe with her until she breathes
and calms herself down. And let’s take a look at this breathing. (Video) Jim Kambeitz:
Lily, what’s the matter? Breathe, honey. Yeah, breathe. (Both breathing deeply) Yeah. It’s okay, don’t cry, Lily. So that’s what it looks like; she literally went,
in about seven seconds, from screaming like crazy
to (deep breathes), and she started smiling. Totally amazing. So my wife and I, we’re thinking,
“Hey, this is really great.” But then we hit terrible twos
or terrific twos, depending on who you are. And in the terrific twos,
we have tantrums, and tantrums will force you
to learn yoga in a whole new way. (Laughter) As my friend in Poland said, “Yoga is not for the mat. You have to practice it while changing a diaper with one arm and holding a second baby with the other on one leg while doing your taxes.” (Laughter) But what do you do? Child is tantruming;
you’re trying to get her to breathe, it won’t start breathing –
like a computer, kind of frozen? So, the next thing we need to practice
is detached observation without judgment. Child starts crying,
make sure they’re safe, detach and leave the room. If they resume tantruming, stay calm; eventually it will go away. A tantrum, like all our bad emotions
and tough situations in our life, they will leave our bodies, with time. And research has shown that you cannot have an emotion
in your body any longer than seven seconds unless you fuel it. Remember, anxiety is in our mind, and our mind has to give us
the fuel to keep it going. Here’s a formula for transforming
uncomfortable emotions or experiences, with our breath. First, we recognize
what we’re suffering from: “Oh, anger, frustration.” Next, we start breathing very deeply. And next, we release it
and keep breathing. It will go away. So, speaking of going away, I’m going to leave you with one last fact my scuba-diving teacher
taught me years ago. “It is biologically impossible
to have an anxiety or panic attack when you are breathing fully,
deeply, slowly.” You can’t do it. Think of how many billions
of dollars are spent each year in anxiety, arthritis meds,
supplements, surgeries; money and time wasted on the symptom
instead of healing from the root. And I confess, I did it too. I tried everything from protein shakes
and antidepressants to shark-cartilage pills
and knee surgeries. Searching for the answer outside when all along, we have all the tools we need
right here inside us. So I invite you
to give permission to yourself to control and extend your breath, and in so doing,
control and extend your life. If a baby can do it, then so can you. Thank you. (Laughter) (Applause)

62 thoughts on “Pranayama: Extend Your Life by Extending Your Breath | Jim Kambeitz | TEDxBismarck”

  1. பிராணயாமம் is a தமிழ் spiritual word…

    Pranayamam is a Thamizh spiritual word…

    Thamizh siththars (sidhas/saints) were the inventors of these ancient breathing techniques.

    Kindly watch " Vinayaka worship – a great mystery solved "

    Thanks for reading !

    Master the Steed of Breath
    The Jiva is the master of senses five;
    He is the head of the body habitat;
    There is a steed he rides to his destined goal;
    The masterly one the steed carries,
    The feeble one it throws away
    –That steed the Prana breath is.

    Control of Inhalation and Exhalation
    A goodly one is Jiva
    He has steeds two,
    But he knows not how to master them
    If the lordly Guru lends His Grace,
    The steeds will tame become.

    Breath Control Activates Body
    Faster than bird that steed flies,
    Far headier than wine the pleasure it gives;
    It infuses vigour, dispells laziness
    True we say this, let the wise listen.

    Breath Control Yields Life Nectar
    Let Prana merge in Mind
    And together the two be stilled
    Then no more shall birth and death be;
    Therefore, learn to direct breath
    In streams alternating left and right
    And in silentness chant "Aum"
    Then shall you sevile of the nectar of life.

    "Puraka Kumbhaka Resaka Alternated–Cleansing of Nadis"
    Purakam is to inhale by left nostril matras six and ten
    Kumbhakam is to retain that breath for matras four and sixty
    Resakam is to exhale thereafter for matras two and thirty
    Thus alternate from left to right and right to left
    With Kumbhakam in between.

    Breath Control Makes Body Light as a Carpenter-Bee
    If you control the breath within,
    However old your body,
    Young and crystal-hard it turns
    And with the goodly Guru's benign Grace,
    Well may you wing your way in heaven
    As unto a carpenter-bee.

    written by
    saint " tirumular " 5 th century

  3. Everybody interested in this should try the breathing of the Wim Hof Method. It has lots of similarities but… give it a try:)

  4. unfortunate to see yoga and meditation need medical approval! something which was practiced and proven from thousand of year now need certificate of modern failing medical system.

  5. I loved the talk. I would love to contribute fixing the audio of this video. If you are interested please let me know.

  6. Sanathana Dharma or Hinduism one of oldest 'Way of Life' for Humans has contributed in all ways possible for Humanity. SAVE Hinduism.. SAVE Hindus !

  7. This is so cool, even if for the parenting insight alone. Overall, what a good story and presentation, and good content and message.

    Explaining how you've taught your daughter how to calm down was genius imo (on top of the genius that is teaching your child these skills since birth!!).

    "If a baby can do it, then so can you" lol yes!

  8. So amazing, the benefits of pranayama! Everyone should turn to yoga, meditation and breath work instead of reaching for medications or considering surgery as a primary choice of healing.

  9. Hi Jim,
    I am studying engineering and live in a hostel.
    I plan to start doing yoga using books or online videos.
    Please suggest a good online resource that is genuine and would be able to instruct me the right exercises in the right way.

  10. There still so so much to be discovered of the ancient indian texts, that we never expected it to be there. Pakistan should also help in this expedition as because area of pakistan and india have same ancient history.

  11. I enjoyed this talk. But you cant compare the life span of a mouse and a whale and try and say its all down to how fast they breath. They are completely different species of animals in different habitats.

  12. Great talk and vision, Jim! Thank you for sharing your story. And don't mind negative comments – there are still unhappy people out there. But it's getting better and talks like this one are making it happen.

  13. Great talk and vision, Jim! Thank you for sharing your story. And don't mind negative comments – there are still unhappy people out there. But it's getting better and talks like this one are making it happen.

  14. Thankyou Jim, such a simple lesson than has taken me 42 years of living to hear. This knowledge is powerful and healing, and I will be sure to practise and spread the word. Namaste.

  15. Sanathana Dharma one of oldest 'Way of Life' has contributed and still contributing for humanity in many forms ( Yoga, Ayurveda, Astrology, ZERO,. etc) Practice, enrich and explore Sanathana Dharma !

  16. That's completely ridiculous that he's comparing us to animals. The human being,.. the mammals, you and me, is so much more than just an animal.

  17. It's just that the capacity of humans to understand the real truth of life force is decreasing. people look for quick fixes rather than root fixes! curse of KALIYUG

  18. It’s very unfortunate that people resort to yoga and meditation as a desperate bid to get better. More often than not, it’s a last resort. This really should be our first and primary approach if we really want ourselves to heal

  19. doctors have not discovered this…. this was discovered by indian yogis n saints thousands of years back…. long long b4 even birth of western medical science…

  20. This is so fabulous! Every parent, every teacher, mentor, caretaker, and anyone who loves children ought to see this. At 14:20 where they calm the crying toddler with pranayama — this alone could change the world by liberating the inner sages in children, even babies as old and dangerous as the Orange Menace! Excellent offering to our world. Thank you!

  21. Why isn’t this taught in schools everywhere? It doesn’t make any sense. It’s been proven over the long term, all over the world to benefit EVERYBODY. It really does make no sense- unless you actually know who’s in charge of everything.

  22. Maybe anxiety is like a spark trying to jump start our nervous systems. Makes sense because many of of us are like old cars, running slow from chronic stress, shot nervous systems so all we can manage is some weird, anxious twitch to try to force us to action. Threatening ourselves instead of using positive reinforcement which, btw is proven to work best for all mammals- no matter your shape! The fight or flight response is so worn out because it’s always on and many mammals, rather than fight (who’s got the energy, right?!) will freeze. Fear creates inaction. Faith and hope create action. This is proven research people! You know why people like immediate rewards? It’s obvious. Why wait for some unsure reward in “the future”? Because we might be dead in the future!

  23. THANKS HEAPS FOR THIS, I’ve already started because it’s free and I can still be lazy & hide in my house because I’ve been frozen with fear since a COPD diagnosis two weeks ago. I know this is the only way I will be able to quit smoking. I am so damn addicted to these awful cancer sticks despite the fact that I am a parent to one.
    I just told my 12 year old daughter about this lecture and showed her the graph about slow breathing and longevity and she says “does that mean if you stopped breathing you’d live forever?”🤣 just had to share that. Love to you all💗
    (I’m happy now because I’ve just done 3 minutes of slow breathing. Just one minute on my phone timer every time I want a ciggy-that’s all I have to remember 👍👍👍)

  24. does somebody know something obut that "seven second research" about the amotion lasting? (not the site 6 seconds blah blah that I have found in my search, but some real research? it's really interesting but didn't manage to found some evidance to his words) if somebody knows the way to ask him directly pls share in PM or here

  25. Amazing, so amazing, especially the child calming. That tells it all. If only the world would embrace these things it could be a paradise. Because it also instinctually makes you compassionate, more responsible towards the environment, others, society…. I hope there comes a time when they start teaching this in schools, just the excercises without any religious background because we know everyone would immediately jump in the air. Just the skills and excercises of meditation and yoga. In a generation or two we would change the world for the better more than in the last 150 years.

  26. I hope that you research the anxiety while deep breathing claiming that the two can not happen at the same time a bit more. I doubt I am the only person in the world who uses deep breathing to help through the attacks. Yes full deep slow breathes as difficult as that may sound. I do get what your trying to say about breathing impacting our lives greatly and I agree. I know you cant undo a presentation but maybe a small blurb after looking into it more in the video description?

  27. While I agree with the content, this man isn't doing himself any favours by sounding like a salesman.. could be bad for getting the message across.

  28. Anyone keen on life extension secret and how breathing effects than its a must-read for
    Control for Life Extension: A Personalized Holistic Approach by Valery Mamonov Ph.D. I read this book in 2002 and its been 17 years, I must say I haven't aged much. One of my secrets to this blessing is Breathing Less :-). Please read his book if you wish to know more about your body type and other secrets to longevity.

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