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Your Breath Shall Set You Free About Niraj By Niraj Naik Niraj Naik first discovered

Your Breath Shall Set You Free

About Niraj

By Niraj Naik

Niraj Naik first discovered the power of breath in a wellness center called Nirvana in Reading, England, where he found peace and solace in their saunas from his highly stressful career as a community pharmacist. It was here that he began to intuitively extend his exhalations and make toning sounds with his voice to bring him into a deep meditative state. To the surprise of other spa members, he was able to stay in the saunas for much longer than everyone else - up to 1 hour at a time at 90ºC temperatures.

Doubting the intentions of the pharmaceutical industry, Niraj left, and he began working in the Head Office of one of the UK’s largest supermarket chains where he implemented a healthy shopping list system, providing life-changing and life-saving information to members/patients on diet, nutrition, and holistic health. This is where Niraj was first branded as “The Renegade Pharmacist” when corporate management deemed the programme too “risky”​ because it could impact the profits of the chain.

Niraj was overwhelmed with dread at the thought of having to return to his career in the pharmaceutical industry where he would have to dish out pills to patients he knew he could help recover. He became a patient himself, and was diagnosed with stress-related depression and an autoimmune disease called Ulcerative Colitis. Housebound and at rock bottom, Niraj faced two options: undergo a colonoscopy or act as a guinea pig for a previously untested pharmaceutical drug.

Faced with this new reality​,​ Niraj’s dear friend, Swami Ambikananda, came to the rescue and explained to Niraj that he actually had a new gift. That if he created a third option by using the holistic practices of ayurveda, yoga, meditation, and pranayama (breath) to heal

himself without the use of medication or surgery, he would become a great role model to others.

With a newfound motivation, Niraj returned to the sauna, revisited his instinctive methods of stress relief, and practiced all that he was learning about extended exhalations, breath retention, and chanting/toning techniques. Combined with his own style of self-hypnosis and visualization, he had discovered the catalyst for his cure. Niraj was rapidly healing his mindy, body, and spirit.

cure. Niraj was rapidly healing his mindy, body, and spirit. Swami’s prophetic vision unfolded as Niraj

Swami’s prophetic vision unfolded as Niraj quickly became known around the world for his website, therenegadepharmacist.com where he published some of the Internet’s most viral articles of all time relating to holistic health and spiritual growth. He became a host of Wim Hof Ice Bath Events after teaming up with the superhuman yogi and they found that they shared a lot in common.

Niraj began training with Dr. Prakash Malshe and gained a great understanding of the medical application of yoga and the science behind why certain pranayama techniques can influence the physiology for healing and heightened states of consciousness.

From this, Niraj formed the curriculum of SOMA Breath, a system based on the ancient traditional yogic practices before they were altered by modern day practitioners of a dogmatic and often misunderstood yoga.

Today, SOMA Breath is a thriving online school and community with members from all around the world who come together to support one another on their journey of health and spiritual growth. SOMA Breath is also being taught at wellness centers and retreats on the island of Koh Phangan, Thailand, as well as across Europe, the USA, and the rest of Asia.

Niraj owes a lot of SOMA Breath’s success to the SOMA tribe. His ultimate vision is to create an holistic school that does not rely on one single guru, but instead the tribe becomes the guru. Using social community building tools where the tribe can network and support each other, new wisdom, knowledge, and skills can be reviewed collectively

and implemented in the overall SOMA Tools For Life System. As the tribe grows, so do you.

INTRODUCTION

Breath Works

“So I just finished a breathing class with Niraj Naik. It was the single most weirdest, most spiritual, most amazing moment of my life… Full stop.” Andy, Bali.

That was it: the final confirmation I needed. Breath really works.

I had just facilitated a SOMA Awakening breathwork experience at a friend’s villa

located in Uluwatu, Bali. Participants experienced a profound, transformative, and psychedelic journey stimulated by a combination of hypnosis, tribal rhythmical music, and pranayama breathwork techniques. A short hypnotic induction guided the participants to set an intention that arises through the awareness of their true core desire.

For Andy, his wish was to experience proof in the existence of a spirit world through a religious experience.

Andy was the least likely candidate to be taking a class like this, let alone to experience the results he had! The son of a preacher, Andy rebelled throughout his life against the religious views of his family and became a devout pro-scientific atheist in the process. He really wanted to prove his disbelief in anything remotely spiritual wrong.

After just one session of a SOMA Awakening, Andy became an instant convert.

It was in this session that I also became a full convert to the power of breathwork. After successfully using simple pranayama techniques taught to me by Swami Ambikananda

- a well respected yogi from England - to help me heal a chronic autoimmune condition when I had decided that medication was not an option.

The continuous miracles I have either witnessed or been a part of since that time have been an ongoing testament to the profound power of breath. My journey to this point sparked my interest to discover exactly why and how breath works.

The Awakening

We live in a time where we desperately need creative minds and visionaries to join forces and solve the immense problems that face humanity. The financial system, healthcare, and the environment are suffering because of a broken system.

The schooling system has educated generations ​out​ of this creativity and crushed billions of souls in the process. Modern societies have become robotized and turned into obedient servants, propping up a corrupt and crumbling economic system, which is slowly destroying our planet.

Most people are experiencing life through a sleeping trance, but to change things we must wake up! There was a time however where things were different, a time in our ancient history that we can learn a lot from.

The Legend Of Soma

The legend of Soma tells of a sacred ritual that the ancient Rishis would indulge in during the Golden Age of the Vedic tradition. In this time period the population was much smaller and resources were more abundant. Communities lived peacefully and harmoniously.

This legendary ritual is said to have involved the ingestion of a psychedelic plant; the identity of which has still not been confirmed by historians. Apparently, this was a mysterious and magical ritual that would allow the Rishis to commune with the Gods and have direct divine downloads of wisdom that would aid the betterment of society. It is also thought to be the same ritual that would allow the Rishis to create superhuman powers, overcome death, and lead to immortality.

This sounds like a myth, however new emerging science is beginning to back up many of the claims held in our spiritual past.

Substance To Spirit

These inspirational visions would go on to inspire the verses of the Rig Veda, an ancient text that forms the origins of yoga, ayurveda, tantra, Hinduism and Buddhism. However, according to the legend, Soma eventually ran out. This forced communities to go inward in order to seek new ways to create to the same ecstatic states that allows connection to the divine.

Another result of this long process for the Rishis was the realisation that we all possess our own version of every single drug or medication that exists in nature and that breath control is the method that awakens our “inner pharmacy”.

Scientifically, Soma could be described as a molecule that gives the same result as ingesting a quantity of DMT and other psychoactive chemicals when it is released in the body. It sustains itself long enough inside the brain to produce visual and psychedelic effects when we activate it with our breath.

This molecule is found in very small amounts in our bodies. We also naturally produce tryptamines like melatonin and serotonin, which are structurally very similar. It has been hypothesised that either DMT or a combination of tryptamines are released both when we dream and just before we die. This explains the reason for the vivid dream-like hallucinations and “near death” experiences you get after consuming DMT in larger amounts. This is why DMT is also referred to as the “spirit molecule”.

Spirit To Science

Breathing practices are important to yoga, tantra, and shamanic cultures. The word “Spiritual” has its roots in the Latin “Spirare”, which means “to breathe”. The word “Conspire” (Latin “Conspirare”) means “to breathe together”. In fact, the original rituals of modern day organized religions have a breathwork component to them as they are believed to lead us closer to God or the divine (just like the Rishis).

An ancient pranayama breathwork technique called ​Nisshesha Rechaka Kumbhaka, or, holding your breath beyond the comfort zone for a short period of time, creates a physiological state known as intermittent hypoxia that induces brief periods of lower-than-normal blood oxygen levels.

If practiced correctly according to legend, this breathwork ritual will lead to eternal youth and immortality by producing Amrita, also known as ​the nectar of Gods.

Perhaps Amrita is in fact the movement of somatic stem cells around the body. Stem cells have the ability to turn into any other cell and are found in greatest numbers when you are in the womb as an embryo, a time when you literally exist in a state of hypoxia, where the oxygen levels inside the womb are about 10% of the outside world. Once you are born, the stem cells hide away in places of low oxygen such as bone marrow. New treatments are emerging that extract stem cells from your body, in hope that one day they can be used to recreate organs. This can cost upwards of $20,000.

However, ​new researchshows that ​intermittent hypoxic trainingin which you create brief periods of low blood oxygen levels, can produce results almost instantly by stimulating stem cells to come out of hiding and move around the body to places where they can heal and regenerate healthy cells for your organs.

This form of therapy has been used by ​Russian doctorsfor decades to treat diseases such as coronary heart disease, and to improve recovery time from injury and athletic training. Stamina and endurance is also improved as intermittent hypoxia stimulates the production of new muscle tissue, red blood cells, and even blood vessels.

Using a combination of scientifically proven breathwork techniques, rhythmical and euphoric music, guided meditation, and imagery I have developed a remarkable process for reaching heightened states of consciousness and ecstatic bliss. It has even been described as a “psychedelic orgasm on DMT” by a modern shaman.

Through a more therapeutic variation of this same process, the layers of your mask peel away and reveal your true nature. You cannot help but become your authentic self. You connect deeply to who you truly are. Through this awareness comes the path to truth. Through this profound truth you learn exactly the difference between what is good for you and what no longer serves you. You can remove negativity and attachment to the past, fully embrace the present, and be at your very best every single day.

This is evolution of SOMA Breath.

Your Breath Shall Set You Free

Do you know what the original meaning of “spiritual” is?

It comes from the Latin, “Spirare”, which means to breathe.

Inspire, to breathe in

Conspire, to breathe together

Many cultures throughout history have breathed together in some ceremonial way, and sacred rituals involving breath are a common thread between priests and religious leaders of many religions.

Until 1386 the word “conspire” simply meant to breathe together. After the word “conspiracy” became known, the root word “conspire” took on a new meaning: to plot something wrong, evil, or illegal.

The power of breathing together as a group practice was hidden for centuries due to the misdirection of a powerful word. Could the reason for this misdirection be due to an assumption that people meeting up to do breathwork rituals must be up to no good?

Think of it this way: in the 1300s, the divide between rich and poor became more apparent than ever before. Those who took part in the breathwork rituals typically became the more prosperous and healthy members of society. Perhaps a rejected member chose to speak badly of this community, or perhaps an envious lower class society decided that these people were evil and greedy.

However, modern science now shows us that when we breathe together in certain ways, some very interesting and positive occurrences arise; especially to your heart, feelings, and emotions. In fact breathing together may be the one thing that can solve the root cause of a lot of the problems of society - disconnection and social isolation, which create anxiety and depression on an epidemic scale.

SOMA Breath

In Thailand I lead breathwork ceremonies inside a giant meditation pyramid. Groups of us sat in circles, facing each other, moving hands up and down our bodies to conduct the energy of each long rhythmical inhale and exhale to beat-driven, trance-inducing music, with the inevitable symphony of orgasmic bliss emanating from the choir of breathers. This is a typical Soma awakening breathwork ritual.

To anyone from the outside looking in, we must all look incredibly strange. In fact, we may even look intimidating, possessed, crazy to someone who has never encountered this before.

However, in each SOMA session, new friendships, new loves, intimacy, and deep connections arise from this magical ritual. Soma has no doubt made a hugely positive impact on the members of our spiritual community in Srithanu, a small village located on the east side of the island of Koh Phangan.

My Story

Back in 2010 my life could not have been more different. I was housebound, depressed, and seriously sick with a chronic illness called ulcerative colitis. For a number of years prior to this I had felt incredibly socially isolated and disconnected. I had become increasingly disillusioned with the way society had become in England. Especially in my career as a pharmacist, working for a very corrupt and broken system. Standing mostly in one spot dishing out pills all day long like a Big Pharma robot slave, I was surrounded by moody, miserable, and negative people and a boss who only cared about the profit we made that day. I was in living in a waking trance: a perfectly programmed existence that was in no way serving my best interests.

My life revolved around the familiar pattern of wake up, coffee, sit in traffic, get to work, more coffee, complain with colleagues, complete my robotic and soulless work with minimal breaks, endure the endless mindless natter and gossip about the latest TV shows and celebrities who I had never heard of; McDonald’s for lunch, pizza for dinner, drink more coffee, sleep late, party hard, and consume a lot of alcohol and recreational drugs at the weekends to escape from the madness and misery my life had become. I felt I no longer fitted into the culture I grew up in and I feared that maybe this is all that life had to offer. I had no idea the impact of this fear until much later, when it all compounded into my diagnosis of a severe case of ulcerative colitis.

In many ways, this was my blessing. It was through my sickness that I first discovered the potential of simple breathing exercises to relieve stress and even heal conditions ruled out as incurable by conventional medicine. When I asked whether there was any cure for ulcerative colitis, the doctor told me to shut up and keep taking the meds. But the side effects had taken their toll and the last option remaining was to surgically remove my colon. I could not accept that. By sheer fate alone a now very close friend of my family, and a world renowned yoga teacher, Swami Ambikananda, came to the rescue and taught me pranayama breathing exercises and simple lifestyle changes based on yoga and ayurveda.

I really felt the power of these breathing exercise when finding peace and solace in a sauna after a hard days work. I would frequently visit a wellness center called Nirvana in my home town of Reading, England. I instinctively started to extend my exhalation and even make toning sounds with my voice this would bring me into a deep meditative state. To the surprise of other members of the spa, I was able to stay in the sauna for many times longer than everyone else, up to 1 hour at 90ºC+ temperatures. I felt the normal meditative state was expanded inside the sauna. I had a closer connection to my soul and spirit. The sauna was my temple and I regularly attended to worship.

Miraculously, within a few months I was back on my feet at full health. Within a year I was living on a tropical island doing what I love for a living! Looking back on my healing journey, I know that the pranayama breathing exercises were the major catalyst to my recovery.

This motivated me to delve deeper into researching exactly how and why something as simple as breathing could make such a profound change in my life.

The records

Yogi Ramachakara, in ​The Science Of Breath, the acclaimed book on yogic breathing published in 1903, writes extensively on how and why rhythmic breathing is the secret to attaining physical, spiritual, and even psychic mastery according to the master yogis in India.

In 1969, ​Swami Ramabaffled scientists by stopping his heart beat for 17 seconds. He even managed to raise the temperature of one side of his hand up by 10 degrees, and

the other side down by 10 degrees by willpower alone. This proved for the first time, that under controlled conditions, we can consciously influence our autonomic nervous systems.

However, these are just impressive displays that appear like magic and should not distract you from what more is possible. What Swami Rama was trying to show us is that by learning yoga and pranayama we can actually reclaim control over our physiology and psychology. We can become liberated and not only live longer more healthy lives, free from diseases, but also create a closer connection to the divine.

In more recent times, a close friend and mentor of mine, ​Wim Hof‘The Ice Man’, also an accomplished yogi, broke several world records and also shocked scientists by being able to stay in ice for 2 hrs without his core body temperature changing. He was also able to withstand the effects of an e-coli infection by willpower alone. He then went on to prove for the first time during a scientific experiment that you could train others to do the same.

HeartMath Institute, a group of scientists who have done a lot of great research on the effect of breathing on physiology, ran another very interesting study called Achieving Collective Coherence. They discovered that people who breathe together in a special rhythm create a phenomenon known as collective coherence. According to HeartMath, when we are in a coherent state, virtually no energy is wasted because our systems are performing optimally and there is synchronization between heart rhythms, the respiratory system, blood-pressure rhythms, and so on.

Among the many benefits of personal coherence are increased composure, more energy, clear thinking, enhanced immune-system function, and hormonal balance.

The Science

Why You Should Breathe Consciously

Breathing is the only physiological function that can be both voluntary and involuntary. You can consciously control your breath or you can ignore it and let your body breathe on its own. You cannot live without breathing so by letting go of conscious control, your breathing falls under the control of your most primitive part of your brain that deals with survival. This is the realm of your unconscious mind where emotions, thoughts, and

feelings (of which we may have little or no awareness) can become involved, disrupting the rhythm of your breath. This means your breath can become incoherent and irregular when you lose conscious control over it.

Have you ever driven a car all the way home to realise that you don’t remember much (or any) of the journey? This is because a familiar route has become an autopilot habit. You still have conscious control. However, if you completely let go of all conscious control, or even drive under the influence of alcohol, you may not see that child suddenly run across the road.

Breathing is much the same in that if you let go of conscious control of it by taking it for granted, or if you live your life under the constant influence of distraction, noise, and ignorance, your erratic breathing and thinking may also land you in grave danger. However, when you place our attention on our breathing, you can turn conscious breathing into a positive habit.

By consciously focusing on your breath you stimulate the cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex is the largest region of the cerebrum in the mammalian brain and plays a key role in memory, attention, perception, cognition, awareness, thought, language, and consciousness. Through the power of intention and certain breathing exercises that you are about to learn, you will be able to stimulate the growth of new brain cells in this region of the brain for enhanced brain function. Make conscious breathing a daily meditation practice and your breath shall truly set you free.

Nose Breathing Versus Mouth Breathing

We naturally take our breath for granted, and as a result, we are never taught how to breathe. It is therefore very common for people to shallow breathe through their mouths, especially under times of stress.

What happens when we mouth breathe?

Breathing through the mouth usually only fills up the upper lobes of the lungs, which have more sympathetic nervous system receptors and a more stimulatory response in the body that can release stress hormones. This may have evolved to help us under times of great exertion and stress, when greater volumes of oxygen may be needed, along with a boost in our sympathetic, flight or fight response.

When you work out intensely you will naturally breathe through both your nose and mouth to

bring in more oxygen to supply your muscles’ demands. However, under times of emotional stress you may also breathe through your mouth more when in fact you do not need the excess oxygen as you are not physically active. This can lead to extra unnecessary stress on the body and more stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system than is actually required.

What happens when we nose breathe?

Your energy levels are directly linked to the function of your lungs as this is where oxygen is absorbed into the body. Your lungs extract oxygen from the air primarily on the exhalation. As your nostrils are much smaller than your mouth, the rate of air flow into your lungs is reduced. Air exhaled through your nose creates extra back pressure and the air is retained for longer inside your lungs. This gives more time for oxygen to be absorbed into your bloodstream.

Breathing through your nostrils also filters, cleans and conditions the air so that you breath higher quality air into your lungs. As nostril breathing also warms the air, it flows into the lower part of the lungs where there are more parasympathetic receptors. This helps you stay calm and relaxed. If you are competing in sports, simply breathing through your nostrils can stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system to maintain more focus. In some cases you will need extra oxygen and so breathing through both your nostrils and mouth at the same time will ensure you do not over stimulate your sympathetic nervous system.

Where Intention Goes, Breath Flows

When you have erratic thoughts or are in a low emotional state such as fear, anger, or anxiety your breathing becomes erratic and and so does the rhythm of your heartbeat. When you are in emotional states like passion and joy, your breathing becomes more smooth, consistent, and rhythmical, and your heart rhythms become more coherent.

You can create heart coherence by changing your attention to creating a more positive intention by focusing on gratitude, forgiveness, or a scene of success rather than failure. By bringing your attention to your breath and breathing more consciously, you can change the quality of your emotions and heart rhythms.

The way we measure the quality of heart rhythms is by measuring a factor called Heart Rate Variability, or HRV.

What Is Heart Rate Variability (HRV)?

You may not be aware that your heart beats at a slightly different pace all the time, meaning the distance between one beat and the next is constantly changing. The variability of the change in the interval between each individual heart beat can be measured as Heart Rate Variability (HRV).

You can tell a lot about your performance and health just by monitoring your HRV over the course of a day. Your heart rate fluctuates throughout the day as it adapts to changes in your physiology, energy, and stressors. If your heartbeat were totally consistent, it would be a sign that your heart cannot adapt to stress anymore, and you are about to die! So, HRV is a measure of how much your heart rate fluctuates, i.e. the time difference in the intervals between each heartbeat indicating that your heart is adaptive and resilient to stress.

According to ​Dr. Alan Watkins, a medical doctor and neuroscientist who uses HRV extensively to improve performance and productivity, there are now some 19,000 published scientific papers that explore the different aspects of HRV and it can be used for the following:

• HRV can predict illness and death crucial for succession planning.

• HRV quantifies energy levels and levels of dynamism crucial to performance.

• HRV is directly linked to brain function crucial to effective decision making.

• HRV relates to individual identity which is highly relevant to authentic leadership.

How HRV is related to breathing

When you inhale, you stimulate the sympathetic nervous system and your heart rate goes up. When you exhale, you stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and your heart rate goes down. Through rhythmic breathing you can create cardiac coherence because your heart rate begins to vary in a consistent way with each breath - a more efficient use of energy.

The 3 Factors For Heart Coherence

manner is consistent. However if you breathe 2 seconds in, 4 seconds out, then 3 seconds in and 8 seconds out, and so on, it is not smooth and consistent. So breathe to a rhythm, breathe in beats!

2. Smooth​ - Your breath should be a smooth flow in and out. There should be no breaks or stutter to your breath. An easy way to ensure this is to breathe in through your nostrils (you should always breathe in through your nostrils and avoid mouth breathing as much as possible) and breathe out through your nose or your mouth, however when you breathe through your mouth, purse your lips a little so that your exhale is slow and smooth. Imagine making the sound of an ocean wave and bring your awareness to the sound your breath makes.

3. Intention​ - Coherence of your heart rhythm is influenced by your emotions. It is much harder to get into flow states and coherence if you are feeling down or your mind is clouded by negative thoughts. A simple way to solve this is to bring your awareness to something you are truly grateful for, for example a loved one, something you love to do, or the delicious meal you just ate. The sense of gratitude has been proven in various studies to change your emotional state from low to higher very fast!

Eliminate The Pause

The easiest way to ensure you begin to breathe with rhythm is to eliminate the pause between each breath. It is often this pause that creates irregular breathing patterns that leads to incoherent HRV patterns. Keeping your breath smooth, connected and circular with no pause is the foundation for effective rhythmic breathwork.

With that, there is a point when holding your breath for a certain length of time (kumbhaka) can be the key to unlocking your superhuman potential. We will discuss this in depth later.

What Is The Optimum Breath Rate?

This really depends on the result you are looking for.

1. Heart Coherence:​ Studies showthat HRV is increased most by breathing at a rate of 5 or 6 breaths per minute (5 seconds in, 5 out) with an equal I:E (inhale:exhale) ratio. However, coherence still occurs with any ratio as long as you breathe rhythmically. One of the goals of pranayama is to bring your normal day to day breath rate down to at least 5 or 6 breaths per minute, or even half that. According to yoga - longevity is dependent on your breath rate - the less you

have to breathe, means the more efficient your physiological functions are, and so less the impact of oxidative stress, and the longer you live!

2. Flow States:​ Heart coherence and getting into flow using your breath depends on rhythm, smoothness, and intention. An active breath rate of 6-10 breaths per minute is adequate for creating the higher energetic states needed for positive emotions like passion and joy. ​Passionis the number one predictor of flow and peak performance. More rapid breathing should always be followed by breath retention (kumbhaka) in order to bring the physiology back into balance.

3. Rest & Digest:​ Studies showthat by extending the exhale time, or breathing in an I:E ratio of 0.5, results in more of a relaxation response reporting increased relaxation, stress reduction, mindfulness, and positive energy compared to just slowing down the breathing rate. Your parasympathetic nervous system switches on which controls your rest and digest mode. Do a few rounds of this before and after eating to avoid indigestion.

The Ideal Inhale:Exhale Ratio

According to the Yoga sutras, the ideal way to breathe is with a ​slow rechaka. Rechaka means exhalation in sanskrit. The ideal ratio is when your exhale is double your inhale time (= 0.5). This ratio is also shown in studies to be the optimum time needed for increased relaxation, stress reduction, mindfulness and positive energy. This can be explained physiologically as exhalation stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. You also absorb most oxygen on your exhale, so this also adds to the increase in positive energy.

When you breathe in this ratio, the conscious focus and effort required to extend the exhale stimulates the cerebral cortex. This is a very important region of the brain that deals with things like thought, awareness, memory, attention, and language. By bringing your attention to slowing down your exhale, your thoughts become more focused, your parasympathetic nervous system is switched on, and your emotions become more calm.

The Butterfly Effect Of Coherence

What ​Heartmathalso discovered is that by simply being in the presence of coherent people you can become coherent. Like the butterfly effect, one small change in coherence in a person could make a great shift in coherence across the world. The more coherent our world is, the better for all of us. SOMA Breath shows us that every

person is capable of achieving, increasing, and maintaining our personal and social coherence.

Physiology

Directed Neurogenesis

Neuroplasticity is the concept that your brain can change. Neurogenesis is the ability for the brain to grow new brain cells. Numerous studies, especially on stroke victims who have brain damage, now demonstrate that your brain can regenerate and repair damaged areas. What is even more amazing is that new emerging research shows us that it is possible to actually self-direct neurogenesis and intentionally grow new brain cells in the areas desired.

Dr Jeffrey Schwartz, a leading researcher of brain dysfunctions, and Sharon Begley, a Wall Street Journal science columnist, conducted great research together on a phenomenon of self-directed neuroplasticity. In 1989, while treating patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), using a therapy based on Buddhist mindfulness meditation, they discovered that patients were able to reshape their brains to diminish or remove obsessions.

In 1995, Alvaro Pascual-Leone at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, had a group of volunteers practice a five-finger piano exercise, and another group simply think about practicing the piece, using mental visualizations of practicing each note at a time. He discovered that those performing the mental rehearsal produced as big a change as the group who carried out the actual movements!

With Soma Breath you will learn how to use the power of intention and visualization combined with the physiological effects of breathwork and meditation to stimulate and self-direct brain growth in areas that would be appropriate to you.

A Soma Breath coach is expertly trained in facilitating directed neurogenesis.

Music Is The Language Of The Soul

Quantum science shows we are all connected in some way on an energetic level. Thoughts and emotions affect your hearts electromagnetic field, which affects our environment. Music also has a ​measurable physiological effectbased on whether you resonate with it or not, and music that resonates with you has the ability to light up all

areas of your brain and boost low alpha brainwaves associated with optimum cognitive function.

A quick exercise

Listen to two pieces of music, one you love and one that you really hate…

How do you feel after listening to each one? Do you feel contracted or expanded? Do you want to relax and enjoy or run away?

When we have high vibrational emotions like love and passion, we produce coherent frequencies in the electromagnetic field that radiates from the heart - like listening to a piece of music that you love. Low vibrational emotions like fear and hate produce discordant frequencies, just like when a piece of music is out of tune.

We intuitively know which vibrational state we are in by tuning into the emotions we feel. When we radiate high vibrations by choosing to feel love, we shift our frequencies into coherence. Every individual thought, intention, emotion, and what we feel energetically impacts our environment, which affects the collective vibrations on a global level. By simply breathing in rhythm to music that is beautiful and soothing to you, we can create a natural state of physiological coherence. This physiological state of coherence will rub off on others around you by simply being in their presence - this is the power of collective coherence at enhancing the consciousness of the entire planet.

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Kumbhaka

The Secret Tool Of The Super Human Yogi’s

Life is a series of inhales and exhales. Your thoughts are excited by breath. When you press pause on your breath, you press pause on life itself. Your mind becomes still and your thought files reassemble. You go into the deepest meditative state. It is like pressing defrag on your computer when it becomes slow and cluttered in order to make it run faster. Pausing your breath is your personal defrag button… if done in the right way. Your brainwaves drop into low alpha and you become more at one with your

subconscious mind. Your power of intention and self hypnosis is dramatically increased when you pause your breath. This pause is called ​Kumbhaka.

In yoga there is another way to pause your breath called ​Nisshesha Rechaka

Pranayama. This means “to hold your breath beyond the comfort zone”. When you hold your breath for long enough, you trigger a positive stress response in the body so that it adapts to a low oxygen environment. This leads to the production of more red blood cells, new blood vessels, and even dormant parts of your brain waking up. It has an overall strengthening effect on your body.

The mechanism for this can be explained by the fact that holding your breath lowers oxygen levels in your body and creating a state called intermittent hypoxia (brief periods of low oxygen). Russian scientists trying to improve athletic performance in the 1970s discovered the numerous health benefits of this state when they noticed that when people when up to high altitudes with low oxygen for brief periods of time they would report an improvement in the symptoms of a variety of chronic health conditions such as hypertension and chronic inflammation.

A

mechanism to explain these health benefits is the “awakening” of somatic stem cells

in

the body, which can only survive in hypoxic conditions. The systemic hypoxia created

by kumbhaka enables the movement and proliferation of stem cells to areas in the body

that require healing. They can also be directed towards the growth of new stronger cells

in areas such as your heart and brain.

A side effect of this process is generating heat in the body. It is actually the same

technique used by Himalayan yogis to survive extremely cold conditions.

Getting the correct dose of kumbhaka is very important. Another important factor is the use of certain yogic energy locks to avoid the energy generated by hypoxia from disrupting other physiological functions. Too much hypoxia for too long can lead to more harm than good. Too little and it will not work at all.

Charming The Snake

At first when you practice Kumbhaka you may experience a strong sense of fear when holding your breath as we are all so conditioned into feeling an urgency to breathe. This fear response is initiated in your reptilian brain, a region of the brain we have in common with birds and reptiles.

The reptilian brain is the most primitive part of the brain and will instinctively trigger you to breathe much sooner than you actually need to. It is driven by the need to survive at all costs. It controls the body's vital functions such as heart rate, breathing, body temperature, and balance. It deals with sexual urges and the instinctive drive to procreate. It gets angry in response to danger, and most of all it deals with fear. If you imagine you have 3 different people inside your brain, your reptilian brain is the horny, hungry, and fearful one. It likes to take revenge and get angry, however it would rather run away than fight, but fight to the death it shall if your survival depends on it. It is also the reason why you may choose survival and security over following your more ‘risky’ passions in life.

The second region of the brain to evolve is the limbic system. It is driven by the need to fulfil desire and satisfy hunger. The main structures of the limbic brain are the hippocampus, the amygdala, and the hypothalamus. It deals with emotions, desires, and our value judgements. Memories of positive or negative experiences in early life create imprints and conditioning that lead to hard-wired habits programmed deep into your limbic system. Most of our subconscious behaviours are formed in this region of the brain. Both the reptilian and limbic system are core components of the subconscious mind.

The third and most evolved region of the brain is the neocortex also considered the ‘human’ part of the brain as it is what really distinguishes us from other animals. It is driven by the need for connection and belonging. This region of the brain deals with reasoning, imagination, creativity, and problem solving. It is where the higher intellectual functions reside and it is consider the seat of compassion and forgiveness. It oversees the rest of the brain and it moderates the impulsive and instinctive responses of the reptilian and limbic brain. This region is the seat of the conscious mind.

Under perceived stress, we are in a struggle for survival. It is our reptilian and limbic regions of the brain that dominate. The fundamental drivers are money, sex, and food or fuel. When any of these areas of life go off balance your reptilian brain is switched on and you are at risk of making very irrational decisions or actions.

Charming the Snake

A pulse oximeter will show you that you actually have a lot more oxygen in your blood than you perhaps thought. For most people, unless you have a serious lung problem

such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), your SpO​₂​(peripheral capillary oxygen saturation) levels are usually around 97-100% and remain that high even after holding your breath for 30-45 seconds, the average time it takes before you will feel the first urge to breathe again.

To trigger the positive stress response that brings the health benefits of kumbhaka you need to reach a ​target of 85% SpO₂​or less, that requires you to hold your breath for around 1 minute and 30 seconds or more. To really experience the full benefits of kumbhaka your breath retention time needs to be 2-3 minutes to give enough time for the stem cells to proliferate and move around the body.

You may now be wondering: how do you hold your breath for that long? Surely that’s impossible and you would die! It is actually very possible to hold your breath for several minutes. The current world record is 24 minutes, set by Aleix Segura Vendrell in 2016. The method free divers like Aleix use is to breathe pure oxygen first to eliminate as much carbon dioxide as possible from the body.

This is because it is actually your carbon dioxide levels that signal your brain to breathe again, not the lack of oxygen. The yogis somehow knew this thousands of years ago and so would use rapid rhythmic breathwork to breathe in more oxygen and to breathe out as much carbon dioxide as possible before practicing kumbhaka. This essentially tricks your brain into allowing you to hold your breath for even longer.

When you learn how override this sense of fear and can remain calm despite the response of the reptilian brain, you can liberate yourself from the overactive protective instinct of the subconscious mind.

Reprogramme The Subsconscious Operating System With Conscious Breathwork

When you learn to consciously override the first urge to breathe, a sense of peace and calm will wash over you like a wave of good feelings, as you realise you did not die. Eventually, with further practice you will reimprint a less impulsive fear response. Your instinctive hardwired response to fear is reprogrammed and calmed down. Imagine that your subconscious mind is like the operating system of a supercomputer. It gets programmed with a set of conditioned beliefs and habits that are like computer apps or imprints wired into the circuits that are your subconscious mind’s go-to instructions on

how to respond or act. These bio-circuits influence your decisions, actions and interactions throughout life.

Irrational vs Rational Fear and Why Neither Are Your Fault

Imagine this: You want to cross a busy road. Your hardwired instruction in the circuit of your reptilian brain that deals with your survival responds, “cars equal danger” and your body immediately responds to an instinctive command of stop, look, and wait until the road is safe to cross. Some people may have overridden this instinctive command by playing a game of dare as kids and not getting hit by a car. A new imprint would replace the old and the dare-playing child may now be less careful when crossing the road again. This could end in tragedy. In some cases a learned response to fear is very rational and can save our life.

It is when fear becomes irrational that it causes obstacles in our life. A classic example is the fear of public speaking. In many cases people really want to speak in public as it would help their career a great deal, however they feel paralysed by the fear response that overwhelms them when the time comes. This makes them believe they can never talk in public and they will instinctively avoid doing so at all costs, hampering their potential for success in their career or business.

Panic attacks, excessive sweating, losing train of thought, forgetting words, and stuttering are common reactions that you may notice when you see a person on stage trembling with fear. This same example also applies to the extremely common fear of approaching a person of the opposite sex that you are really attracted to for the first time. It is considered an irrational fear because you are not going to die from doing it!

So why does your body react in this way?

FOFO: The Fear Of Feeling Out

The Most Dangerous Epidemic Spreading Across The World

Back in the times of our tribal ancestors, if you were rejected by the tribe it would mean you were totally alone in the world. Something as trivial as not being able to dance could end in this rejection. If you were born a lighter or darker skin color than everyone else,

such as an albino, or if you were much smaller or weaker than other members of the tribe you would most likely be excluded, and off on your own you would have to go.

Unless you were a real Renegade and managed to create your own competing tribe

elsewhere, you would be outcasted, fail to pass on your genes, and would inevitably die

a fast and painful death. Humans are not top of the food chain. The fear of this ever

happening is perhaps the greatest fear of all and it still drives a lot of human behaviour to this day.

It seems we have moved on a lot since those tribal ancestral times, but is that really

true? The Fear Of Feeling Out or excluded is still a driving factor in a lot of human behaviour. The human need for belonging, connection, and love are perhaps the greatest human needs of all, and it is hardwired deep into the bio-survival circuit of the human reptilian brain.

Think back on your own life at how many things you have done, decisions you have made, which events you did or did not attend, books you did or did not read, clothes you wore or would never dream of wearing simply to fit into the culture you felt most attracted to. Marketing and advertising is all designed to create cultures within cultures, and to lose the deep seated fear of feeling out, to get you to the buy stuff that makes you feel more “in”.

Depression and anxiety is a serious epidemic around the world. A big reason for it is this growing movement towards becoming tribal cultures again. You may be at risk of depression if you feel you have been excluded by your “tribe” because for example you do not earn as much money as them and you can’t afford to go to the same places. Perhaps you do not feel connected to your workmates, peers, friends, or even family. Perhaps you made some big life changes, but they don’t understand so they think you’re weird. Until you discover a new “tribe” that makes you feel more “in”, you may suffer from depression or anxiety, especially if it is your own family who are beginning to exclude you.

The good news is that you can actually respond better to change and become more adaptive by controlling this primal fear response. This can help you prevent the fear from manifesting into something much worse like chronic disease and depression. Instead of overreacting and letting the fear take over your life, you can learn to “charm the snake”, get back into your flow, and find or create a new tribe that lives by your values.

It is also this irrational fear that makes you consume things you do not really want, or conform against your own will just to fit in, or never be able to speak in public or freeze at the sight of a person you admire. This is not really you - it’s the reptilian brain, and by charming the snake and making it your friend, it can help you significantly lead a more happier and fulfilled life.

It is by learning simple breathing exercises that you can become cool and calm when bombarded with negative comments, insults, or rejection. You can become a liberated superhuman!

How To Control FOFO

Fear and hardcore survival instincts are hardwired within the first few interactions of your life and they are the hardest of all to shift. Higher yoga rituals are designed to reprogram these. Conscious breathing is the first reprogramming tool of the yogis. The reprogramming power is especially enhanced if you turn the practice of kumbhaka into an active meditative process using visualization and incantations. This is an extremely effective way to charm the aforementioned snake, as your reptilian brain does not respond to words and logic - it prefers images and symbols.

You may be familiar with the sensations and side effects of fear: sweating, blushing, inability to think straight, freezing up, or even making a crazy instinctive reaction that ends in embarrassment, such as saying the wrong thing or getting into an unnecessary fight.

Strong emotions such as fear shuts down your cerebral functions as your limbic reptilian brain takes control. Instead of directing blood flow to activities like thinking or contemplating, your brain is aimed solely towards your survival under any cost.

Fear leads to physiological changes that prepare you to be more efficient in a dangerous system. Your brain becomes hyper alert, your pupils dilate, your breath capacity increases, breathing gets faster. Your heart rate increases and so does your blood pressure. Blood flow to your muscles increases, too, while blood flow to organs that deal with digestion decreases or even stops completely because they are not as important when you need to escape danger.

The ‘Off Switch’ For Stress

The human species has not evolved to adapt to the current societal pressures. In our ancestral past this fear response would be a valuable protection mechanism in the threat of danger from wild animals or invading tribes. However in today’s time, instead of wild beasts or warriors attacking us, it is our boss at work, deadlines, taxes and bills to pay. These emotional stressors creates the same physiological response, and unlike animals who have an off switch for stress, humans do not. Many of us wallow in an ocean of stress hormones, and unless we do something about it, the stress will inevitably lead to disease or even kill us.

Often poor digestion is the result of less blood flow to the digestive organs due to the flight or fight response being switched on for too long. Poor digestion is a major cause of chronic disease, low energy, and poor performance.

Unless you learn to control the stress response it can wreak havoc over your health and life!

The good news is that breathing rhythmically and practicing kumbhaka are two tools that help us to consciously turn off stress and charm the snake. Rhythmic breathwork followed by kumbhaka is also the magical process for creating the Soma within.

We discuss the science and the method of kumbhaka in more depth in the Soma 21-Day Awakening Protocol.

Why Is AUM The Sacred Sound Of Creation?

According to the ancient yogic texts, AUM or OM is considered the sacred sound of creation. If you take a closer look at exactly ​what happens physiologicallywhen you make this sound, it may well be the most simple ‘creative’ tool available.

The yogis are not the only people to chant single tones like AUM. The tibetan monks, tuvan throat singers of Mongolia, and various other tribal cultures sing in single tones. When you make a single tone sound for an extended length of time you are naturally extending the exhale. You stimulate the cerebral cortex which in turn also calms down the hypothalamus and even pain receptors. What is interesting is that this may explain why people scream or yell when they get hurt too.

Making a single tone stimulates the vagus nerve, your brainwaves produce more alpha and theta waves, which is the state hypnotherapists like to get their subjects into as it is the time when suggestions work best. Through the power of intention and visualization you can stimulate the creation of new brain cells in the cerebral cortex.

AUM is actually 3 syllables: Ahhh, Ooooohh, and Mmmmmm.

Each of these tones creates a vibration in a different area of the body.

Ahhh = Stomach/Abdomen

Ooooohh = Heart/Chest/Throat

Mmmmmm = Brain/Pineal/Pituitary Gland

Through this toning sequence you can vibrate and stimulate the endocrine glands and energy centers of each of these areas of your body. This has the power to create, restore, and revitalise the cells and organs important for your optimum living. The highest tone of Mmmm that stimulates your higher cortical functions and glands of the pineal and pituitary. Toning also has the power to alter consciousness and your ability to create reality itself.

By combining rhythmic breathwork, kumbhaka, harnessing sexual energy, and toning you now how a powerful process for awakening your creativity, ability to manifest, and your brain and cognition enhancing power!

The AUM Meditation

When you chant AUM, you naturally extend your exhalation. This has the effect of switching off your sympathetic nervous system and activating your parasympathetic nervous system. With this exercise, your brainwaves will flow naturally into the alpha state and your third eye chakra will be activated. This is where your pineal gland is located.

In many ancient cultures the pineal gland is considered to be “the seat of the soul”, and this scientific AUM meditation can be used to enhance the activity of the pineal gland. This allows you to connect with the divine and the universal consciousness. Deep meditation in this state enables you to receive divine inspiration, heightened creativity and divine knowledge.

Soma Sauna

Saunaswere first utilised some 4000 years ago and plenty of research has been carried out on the health benefits. Sauna is one of the top methods utilised to flush toxins from the body as it causes you to sweat profusely, forcing toxins such as heavy metals to the surface of your skin. A deep sweat is a great way to release toxicity from the body which has built up from exposure to various environmental elements such as pollution and the additives commonly found in refined foods we consume.

Saunas have even been found to burn calories and aid in weight loss due to your body’s elimination of toxins, which in turn increases your metabolism. Saunas have also been found to greatly reduce the stress hormone cortisone, which has been linked to weight gain. Studies show that athletes who regularly use saunas have higher endurance due to increased blood flow.

A recent finding also shows that saunas promote a natural hormone called HGH

(human growth hormone), which is vital for maintaining healthy tissue, organs and muscles which begin rapidly degenerating with age. HGH is also necessary for strong sexual health into good age, therefore sauna are powerful for supercharging your sexual energy.

For me, going to a sauna and steam is akin to going to church. I have developed my own sauna meditation ritual based on simple pranayama breathwork exercises and visualization techniques to reach altered states of consciousness. During this ritual a deep meditative state with a surge of low alpha and theta wave activity is achieved where I can consciously control my autonomic nervous system and influence the powers of the brain stem. If you believe in the law of attraction and manifesting, it is this ritual that is the key factor for my own ability to create the reality I want.

What Happens When You Breathe Together

If you watch a baby in their mother’s arms you will see how the baby’s breathing syncs

to the mother’s. You will also notice that if you are spending a lot of time with one person, your breathing pattern will match theirs. Forms of therapy such as NLP and hypnotherapy model this phenomenon and the therapist will alter their breathing patterns to match their clients to create instant rapport.

If you are on a date and want to create instant rapport, or if you want to experience deeper connection during love making, simply breathe together in the same rhythm or match your rate of breath to theirs. Studies have also shown that couples tend to naturally sync their heart and breath rhythms together, it’s a sign of love and connection.

By breathing to a rhythm together as a group we can create a harmonious energy between each person as our heart rhythms synchronise, creating rapport and a stronger bond between the group. This is the power of collective coherence at creating a better community for all.

Soma Awakening experiences are greatly enhanced as a group. The connection, friendships and bonds created by breathing together is what makes this such an important tool for building community.

Science Of Immortality & Becoming Superhuman

In The Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda, he shares miraculous stories of superhuman yogis who have become immortal and live in the mountains of the Himalayas. These are questionable claims, but it may be a real truth that can be explained by having a deeper understanding of yoga and its effect on your physiology and stem cells. So the theory claims that if we can activate our stem cells we should be able to live longer disease free lives as we can keep regenerating healthy cells and replace old ones.

In Pranayama, the breathwork component of yoga, the most revered breathing technique is called Kumbhaka. This involves different types of breath retention or simply holding your breath either in (puraka) or out (rechaka). Through the process of yoga, by steadily increasing your retention times, it is claimed you can reach a state of eternal bliss called samadhi and become immortal.

What happens when you hold your breath?

So let’s recap:

When you hold your breath you build up CO​₂​and deplete O​₂​in your bloodstream. The longer you hold your breath, you become hypoxic. If it continues for too long the lack of O​₂​will have serious consequences - we need O​₂​for life to exist. However short periods

of hypoxia known as intermittent hypoxia have been shown in various studies to be beneficial to health. This is where the magical effect of intermittent hypoxia kicks in. Intermittent Hypoxic Therapy (IHT) encourages this.

Uses & Contraindications Of IHT

IHT improves mitochondrial function and can enhance athletic and sports performance. IHT can be beneficial for the treatment of a wide range of degenerative diseases, including:

Chronic heart and lung diseases

Hypertension

Asthma and chronic bronchitis

Liver and pancreatic diseases

Anxiety and depression

Iron-deficiency anaemia

Lack of energy and fatigue

IHT is contraindicated in case of:

Acute somatic and viral diseases

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD-II and COPD-III)

Chronic diseases with symptoms of decompensation or terminal illness

Individual intolerance of oxygen insufficiency

Cancer, unless IHT is prescribed by a doctor

People with epilepsy, pacemakers or heart arrhythmias, unless treatment (including IHT) is under direct medical supervision.

IHT is not a cure for illness. Doctors and medical professionals add great value to our world and we are blessed to live in such a medically advanced age. Instead, IHT is one aspect of living an holistically healthy lifestyle.

What Happens During Intermittent Hypoxia?

All the effects of hypoxia are generated through the now well-documented “Hypoxia-Inducible-Factor-1”. These effects are primarily to help you survive lower Oenvironments. It seems that inducing hypoxia through breath-holding creates a positive stress response by turning on your body’s survival mode in the way extreme temperatures from saunas and ice baths do too.

Increase in red blood cells through the production of EPO.

Produces growth factors that lead to development of new blood vessels. This happens even in heart disease so can help prevent heart failure.

Induces Nitric Oxide Synthase that has a variety of positive effects on cell tissues. Nitric Oxide helps protect cells from oxidative stress and also stimulates vasodilation. It may even help erectile dysfunction as it is involved in the vasodilation needed to erect the penis.

It induces Tumor protein p53 also known as the ‘guardian of the genome’ that protects the DNA of a cell and prevents cells from turning into cancer cells.

Stem cells can only survive in hypoxia. Stem cells are abundant in fetal circulation where O​₂​is low. They disappear from circulation soon after birth. They survive in various locations called “niches” in the body such as bone marrow in adulthood. The amount of stem cells in the body reduces with age. It is possible that stem cells may migrate from bone marrow to various tissues where they stimulate repair and growth of new cells by just a few minutes of hypoxia a day (intermittent hypoxia). This could benefit many degenerative disorders including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s

It has shown to stimulate neurogenesis in the brain by the proliferation of neural stem cells that can also help memory, cognitive function and even act as an antidepressant.

Hypoxia & Stem Cells

It has been shown in rats that the number of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) in the peripheral blood increases by as much as 15 times in hypoxia. It is also well recognised that stem cells retained their self renewing properties when cultured in hypoxic environments of 2% oxygen compared to 20% in normal air. Bone marrow stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells have low numbers of of mitochondria, and are more adapted to anaerobic survival rather than oxygen rich environments.

Oxidative stress

Studies have shown that oxidative stress is a major factor in causing degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and osteoarthritis.

This could be as result of stem cells staying locked in ‘Niches’ by excess oxygen in the blood

Is Carbon Dioxide Toxic?

In normal amounts carbon dioxide is not at all toxic. It diffuses from your cells into your bloodstream and from there out via your lungs and is always present throughout your body. You would have to inhale large quantities of CO₂​for a prolonged period of time to causes any harm to the body. This duration would be much much longer than what you would expect during intermittent hypoxia.

Diseases That May Be Treated By Intermittent Hypoxia

“Low dose” Intermittent Hypoxia training may be a simple, safe, and effective treatment with considerable therapeutic potential for multiple clinical disorders, and is receiving increasing support from experimental and clinical studies.

Type 2 Diabetes

This debilitating illness has reached epidemic levels around the world. The current methods of treating it are with drugs that include stimulating insulin release from the β cells by sulfonylureas, stimulating peripheral utilization of glucose by biguanides, and reducing insulin resistance using thiazolidinedione derivatives. These medications require constant use and their effect diminishes over the time meaning higher doses and more need to be taken. This can lead to all kinds of nasty side effects.

Often, extremely restrictive carb free diets need to be employed if a patient wants any chance to reverse or manage the symptoms without relying on medication. However human embryonic stem cells can be directed to turn into cells that produce insulin. Mice have been seen to regenerate β-cell mass after losing 70%–80% of it.

Coronary artery disease

When blood vessels providing blood flow to the heart die or become blocked, blood flow is reduced, which can result in a heart attack. To fix this, someone undergoes a bypass surgery. Blood flow is redirected to the heart by creating an artificial blood vessel. Stents are sometimes used to widen the affected blood vessels too. However in recent years scientists have been looking for ways to see if the body can create “natural bypasses” by the formation of coronary collaterals.

When the narrowing of coronary arteries is gradual by atherosclerosis, it has been shown that coronary collaterals form naturally to improve blood flow. It is thought that tissue hypoxia leads to the formation of VEGF that stimulates the growth of these new “natural bypasses”.

Patients with sleep apnea and hypoxic spells have also been shown to create coronary collaterals naturally. Dr. Buteyko hypothesised that sleep apnea, asthma, and other disorders that reduce the amount of oxygen in the blood was actually the body attempting to create a hypoxic environment. The Buteyko method actually works by creating intermittent hypoxia, which makes perfect sense as to why it has such incredible results at curing asthma and sleep apnea.

Osteoarthritis

As we age normal wear and tear on the joints causes cell damage. If your rate of cell repair is lower than the rate of damage, you get osteoarthritis. Scientists are trying to harness stem cells, multiply them in culture and then put them at the site that needs recovery. Hypoxic conditions have been shown to increase hypoxia-inducible transcription factor HIF-2α that leads to growth of stem cells in osteoarthritis patients.

Autoimmune Conditions

Autoimmune diseases such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s, asthma, and arthritis result in an increase of inflammation at the areas affected by the disease. Cytokines play a major role in the development of inflammation. In experiments with rats induced with a form of rheumatoid arthritis that were treated with intermittent hypoxia, it was shown to have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect, by a cascade of effects that lead to the inhibition of cytokines.

The Buteyko method also has many years of anecdotal evidence of people recovering from a variety of chronic autoimmune conditions. The Wim Hof Method also boasts similar success stories from its users.

As a past sufferer of an autoimmune condition I believe the cause and treatment is probably more complicated than simply holding your breath. Factors such as poor digestion, poor lifestyle choices, leaky gut, emotional and physical stress are to be taken into account for the progression of many chronic diseases - not just autoimmune. However intermittent hypoxic training may offer some relief of symptoms and be part of a wider protocol that takes into account the other lifestyle factors.

Memory and Cognitive Function

In this highly competitive and busy world, people are always trying to get the edge on their ability to think sharper, faster and improve their memory. The field of nootropics has grown widely in the last few years with attempts to create complex smart drugs and vitamin formulations with the aim to boost cognitive function. However, an overlooked natural nootropic may lie in simply holding your breath.

Neural stems cells have been shown in studies to proliferate in the brain under hypoxia leading to neurogenesis and the growth of new brain cells. Memory has also been shown to be improved in studies with rats. Other studies have shown its ability to heal brain lesions that would be caused during degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

Intermittent hypoxia causes vasodilation and also increases blood flow to the brain. Could combining certain yoga postures such as inversions and headstands with intermittent hypoxic training be a powerful method to improve cognitive function?

The Spirit

Releasing The ‘Soma’ Within

Could Soma be the same molecule as DMT? What is responsible for creating the spiritual and visionary states described by the ancient Rishis? Did they figure out how to release it through breath control, and could this mechanism explain why we have also experienced and witnessed many people having a psychedelic trip after a SOMA Awakening?

Dr. Steven Barker has been extensively involved in studies researching the endogenously produced hormone dimethyltryptamine (DMT) since 1976. He writes “I think DMT may primarily be synthesized in the lung during specific physiological states; controlled breathing, such as occurs in many meditative practices, extreme physical exertion, hyperventilation, near-death changes in respiration rates, hypoxia, etc. DMT synthesized in the lung would go directly to the brain, by-passing the metabolic destruction that would occur from liver metabolism.”

No one knows the full explanations behind the spiritual visionary experiences possible through breathwork, so this is a brief explanation for why SOMA possibly works:

With deeper practice and extended length of the Awakening sessions from 45-minutes to 1-hour, you can create an effect that may be explained by the release of Soma or DMT in the body. During these extended sessions the rhythmic breathwork phase is significantly longer - up

to 30 minutes. This supercharges the nervous system and may stimulate the production of DMT in the lungs. After several cycles of breath retention you can bring your SpO₂​levels down to 50% and less. You can lengthen your breath retention times to 3 minutes or more! At this point perhaps your reptilian brain is tricked into believing that you are about to die, and it prepares to do so by releasing the same molecules that are triggered when you die.

Rick Strassman theorizes that DMT is responsible for creating the ‘white light at the end of the tunnel’ experiences commonly reported by survivors of a ‘near death’ experience. The awakening of sexual energy may enhance the psychedelic experience by stimulating the production of dopamine, serotonin, and other tryptamines.

The rhythmic breathwork followed by brief pauses in breath is similar to the breathing patterns associated with rapid eyeball movement sleep (REM) which is when your brain is most active during the different phases of sleep and your dreams are most intense. What I have noticed during Awakening sessions is that people go into a similar state to REM sleep while still conscious for 30 seconds to a minute. With eyelids shut, their eyes would seem to rapidly move around in different directions. Then after a few moments they would safely return back to consciousness and report remembering intense visions, total loss of time and space, or absolutely no memory of what happened, and sometimes all three!

Using brain mapping we studied the brainwaves of participants who had experienced a full SOMA Awakening. Interestingly, gamma waves were significantly boosted during the peak intensity of the rhythmic breathwork phase. Gamma is associated with peak brainwave activity usually only seen in experienced meditators such as the Dalai Lama. Moments of inspiration and profound clarity are associated at the gamma brainwave level. An alpha-theta cross was observed during the breath hold phase that is associated with the brain resolving a lot of information. This may explain why participants feel more of a sense of peace and clarity after a SOMA Awakening. It is also similar to the resolutions and the feeling of spiritual cleansing after consuming a DMT-containing entheogens like ayahuasca.

However, at present all DMT research is either theoretical or done using rat models. The sheer fact that DMT does not last a very long time in the body, and the lack of funding for this kind of research means that research in humans in lacking.

The Magical Power Of Incantations

You may be familiar with the children’s stories of witches and wizards casting magic spells to heal the sick or even put curses on people. The witches of folklore did actually exist in real life, and the used “incantations” to influence changes in people. Incantations are affirmations combined with high energy emotional states. When you give a hypnotic command to your

subconscious mind in the form of an affirmation or suggestion it is more likely to create a change that if you are in a low energy state.

Why You Get Stuck With Manifesting

The usual way to practice the law of attraction involves creating a mental visualisation or even a vision board of what it is you want to manifest. However most people fail at making this work.

The problem with just imagining the things that we want is that we get great positive feelings, but underlining them are often some murky feelings like doubt and second-guessing - it is these feelings that are really holding you back. You need to clear these first. If all you do is focus on creating a big image of what you want, then all you do is create more thrust which in turn creates more drag - this contaminates the vibrational message going out to the universe.

So how do you get rid of this? How did you know u had a bad feeling in first place?

The Law Of Orgasmic Attraction

The law of attraction is about taking the randomness out of life. It is about attracting the life you want, becoming the person who you want to be, not the person you were programmed to be. This programming occured at a time when you had no defenses, you had no idea what was going on and you had no tools to help you. It’s not your fault, but it is your responsibility to deal with it.

Every single thing human beings do is because of a feeling. So to be aware of exactly how you feel is the secret to manifesting your dream life. The peak of all human feelings is right at the moment of orgasm. By understanding the law of orgasmic attraction, you will finally be able to make the law of attraction work for you.

The law of attraction states that you will attract into your life what is in harmony with your dominant thoughts. However the reason why things like manifesting fails for people is because no one told you what your dominant thoughts actually are.

What Are Your Dominant Thoughts & Feelings?

Your dominant thoughts are little fragments of conscious thought that play on an endless loop. They are stored as emotions in your body that manifest as feelings. They run as programs all the time. The thoughts you are actually aware of are transient and they come and go all the time. However what is stored in your body on endless loops are constantly running and you add layers and layers on top of them because no one told you how to let them go. Even if you knew how to remove them, the layers would still keep building, so it is very important to regularly do some “house cleaning” and maintenance.

You are not broken, the feelings you have are an indication of your neurology, which is designed to protect you, make sure you survive and pass on your genes at all costs, did it exactly how it was programmed. The feelings are just warning signs. However, if these are left unchecked they may manifest as common ailments like chronic pain, indigestion, heartburn, headaches, tightness in chest and muscle cramps. You may also feel “contracted” in certains situations rather than “expanded”.

Elevate Your Orgasmic State

The highest emotional state for change is the state of orgasm. The most revered occult ritual is called sex magic. It is the art of transmuting and harnessing the power of orgasmic state to invoke powerful change and transformations.

Studies show that the fastest way to enhance neuroplasticity is 20 mins of intense orgasms. This high vibrational state releases oxytocin (the bonding hormone). This is the primary hormone for amplifying and enhancing neuroplasticity. The right dose of oxytocin in your system allows much faster rewriting of old imprints and overlaying of new imprints in its place. Neuroplasticity is the speed and facility with which the brain creates neurons and pathways. All esoteric traditions from Buddhist meditation to Sufi whirling are methods to invoke brain change and to free yourself from the imprints that occured in the first 7 years of your life.

Breathwork and Sex Magic

By simply modelling the way you breathe just before and during an intense orgasm, you can invoke the same emotional state as if it was a real orgasm. You may actually have a very intense orgasm. Through SOMA we elevate your state through rhythmic breathwork, sexual energy locks, and music all combined to create the most powerful transformational change.

Is There Such A Thing As Free Will?

According to yoga, we are not born with true free will, it is something we have to earn. The process of yoga is designed to cultivate the sense of free will, so if we never reach it, it will give us a sense of peace and acceptance with the fact we are just conditioned robots living in a robotized world constructed by other robots.

Think about all the things that had to happen for you to be reading this right now. You may have been recommended this by a friend, or you may have responded to an advert. Before that event occured in space and time, your friend had to have learned about this somehow and the website that the advert was placed on that you responded to had to be created by someone. The computer that the website was programmed on had to be invented by someone at some point in history.

The very fact that you were born at all is a miracle, because a lucky sperm found a lucky egg at a cross section between time and space. Really, you are the net result of a lot of love making going back millions of years, with the chances of you even existing being 1 in quadrillion!

Just imagine how different your life would be if you were a little bit taller, or shorter, or a completely different race or skin colour? What if you were born a different sex? Imagine if you were brought up speaking a different language than your mother tongue, how different would your life have been?

You could say that life is the product our collective and cumulative responses to external influences, and the external response to your physical traits, which we have absolutely no control over. Your response to a situation begins with a feeling. Everything human beings do is because of a feeling. But where do those feelings come from?

The more you meditate on this question, you can contemplate how a feeling arises because of a physiological change that occurs in the body which is then interpreted by the brain as an emotion. So, what is it that makes this physiological change? An electrical impulse in the neurology of the body is what initiates the muscles into action. But where does that electrical impulse come from?

By using the analogy of a computer, you can assume that just like a computer we have both a software component (your mind) and a hardware component (physical body). Your mind, just like computer software, can be programmed. It is those programs that drive instinctive and habitual behaviour. These programs (also called “imprints”) are recorded memories based on how to respond to situations in order to stay safe, and they are wired and stored into your physical hard drives. Most of these imprints occur in the earliest part of our lives at 0 -7 years, and according to yoga and other schools of mysticism and magic, they are almost impossible to shift.

Our brain stem, located deep in the center of the most primitive part of the brain, called the reptilian brain, has evolved to filter out all of the information from reality that bombards us everyday and to prevent us from becoming overwhelmed by it. It is these filters that defines our perception of reality. But what creates these filters in the first place?

The imprints that occur between 0-7 years old are what shapes these filters. The conditioning from events after this age merely add layers on top. Unless we learn to change our filters, we will merely be existing in a sleeping trance like robots acting out hardwired imprints or “meta-programs”. SOMA Breath is designed to help you wake up out of this sleeping trance by discovering your true will.

Imprints & Meta-programs

Your unconscious mind is hardwired to believe that familiarity equals safety. So your unconscious mind does whatever it is programmed to do, even though a better behaviour may exist. An example of this is smoking cigarettes for comfort. There are much more healthy ways to get a feeling of comfort but if it is not familiar or not yet formed into a habit, cigarettes will remain as your go-to mechanism for stress relief.

These hardwired imprints or programs first appeared in your life at a time when the awareness of good vs. bad, evil vs not evil, spiritual vs. not spiritual did not exist. It was either familiar or it wasn’t. As soon as you were born the most familiar thing to you was your mother’s nipple that you sucked, that gave you an immediate sense of relief and comfort. This action satisfied your first feeling of hunger, one of the earliest primal drives that comes from your reptilian brain, the part of your brain that only cares about your survival. A cigarette prompts the same response due to imprinting.

However, the earliest instinct for survival of all is your breath. The first thing you do when you are born is to take a big inhale, your first big gasp for survival. It may not be a surprise why people, especially in stressful situations, instinctively exert more force on the inhale, and have remaining tension in their chest when they exhale because they find it hard to let go of the air, as though it is the last breath they will ever take. It is quite common to notice people holding their breath after an inhale when they are feeling tense, and then freaking out when told to hold their breath with no air in the lungs.

By modulating our responses to these early imprints, by correcting our breath, releasing and letting go, we can begin the process of true liberation from these early life imprints.

Engaging the Body to Reprogram The Mind

The hardest imprints and traumas to clear are from your inner womb experience, to birth, up to the first 7 years of your life. Higher yoga practices were designed to clear this past traumas and negative conditioning so that you can become free and liberated. SOMA Breath also incorporates higher yoga rituals designed to clear negative imprints and help you break free from the past, so you can be more present, in the flow, liberated, with the power to create your own reality. The rhythmical breathing phase hyper-oxygenates the body, bringing in more oxygen and blowing out more carbon dioxide than normal. This alters the pH of the blood stream and creates a stronger electromagnetic field and current to flow through the body. The effect of this is an elevation of your vibrational and emotional energy.

Through a higher vibration and emotional quality, negative emotions can be released and cleansed from the body, and the ability to attract and manifest your intentions is increased. This type of diaphragmatic breathing also moves the largest lymph gland in the body creating a powerful cleansing effect. Before the breath retention phase, you extend your exhale with deep

vocal toning. This allows you to tap into the power of the vagus nerve, switch off stress and connect with your subconscious mind during the breath retention phase.

Life is a series of inhales and exhales. Your quality of thought is also linked to breath. Erratic breathing leads to erratic thinking. Smooth consistent breathing leads to coherent thought – this has been shown by studies from Heart Math Institute. When you pause your breath during the breath retention phase, you press pause on life. This allows you to go into the deepest meditative state possible where you can connect with your subconscious mind. Using the power of affirmations, visualisation techniques, and self hypnosis you can program your subconscious operating system to influence your autonomic nervous system. The activation of sexual energy throughout the process and the gradual progression of the experience through repetition of the routine over a 1 hour duration creates a strong gamma wave stimulation and heightened ecstatic states of consciousness.

Powerful emotional releases can occur, negative imprints from the past can be cleared, and what we call “divine downloads” that are moments of deep insight and moments of inspirations makes this experience truly unforgettable. With a trained SOMA Breath Coach you can upgrade your subconscious operating system and liberate yourself from negative imprints, belief system, and past traumas that may hold you back from success, health, wealth, and happiness.

The SOMA

Soma As A Form Of Psychotherapy

The greatest mistake of most forms of therapy is the reductionist model of separating body from mind. You have talk therapy, psychoanalysis, regression therapy, all different models just focusing on one area - the software. To really make therapy work fast you must engage both the software and the hardware. You must engage the body!

Soma actually means “one body”, “one mind”, “one collective consciousness” in Greek. Soma is the understanding that the universe is holographic and that you are a manifestation of the vibrations that emit from this holographic universe. You are the net result of everything that was, is and will ever be. You are both the hardware and the software. Your are Soma!

3 Pillars Of Soma Breath

One Mind

Super Mind. your very best thinking has got you to where you are today. This thinking is conditioned by the information you consume every day, the people who you communicate with the most frequently, your last five messages on Facebook, your workmates, lover, or partners.

They shape and condition your current reality and future path, so you must be really careful of who you let into your close circle, if you truly want to be successful in anything you do.

This is why some people are drawn to mastermind groups: to collectively learn and share from people smarter than themselves. However it’s the people closest to you who have the most influence and this forms your Supermind. As a SOMA Breath Community, we feed your mind with the most up to date information, we bring you up when you are feeling down. We give you tools to reprogram and upgrade your thoughts. We support all of your wildest ideas and ambitions with love and constructive feedback. Our community becomes your upgraded “supermind”.

One Body

Super Human. The old paradigms are that you are a victim of your genes, that chronic diseases can only be treated through medicine, and that your brain cannot change. This paradigm separates mind from body; one of the greatest mistakes of our time. However, not all is lost because new science is disproving all of this. The fact is that your mind and body are one. By studying real life superhumans, people who have reversed disease, and who have trained themselves from nothing to high level athletes, we have created a series of protocols for becoming truly “super human”. When you start practicing SOMA breathwork, you will learn how to reach optimum states of health and fitness, and explore your full human potential while exercising your creative imagination at the same time.

One Force

Super Charge: Emotion is energy in motion and passion is the number one predictor of success and flow. Passion is contagious, so when you are around passionate people, you also become passionate. Sexual energy is a type of passion, and it is the highest life force energy. We all possess it, but we are not trained on how to properly use it. Dogmatic religions and societal hypnosis has degraded it and suppressed it for so long, that sexual energy has become a taboo in many cultures. What is amazing, is that sexual energy can be cultivated and transmuted into creative energy when you breathe in certain rhythms. The first thing you will learn to do as part of our SOMA community is to cultivate this energy and rekindle your passions. Then, you will notice that your path to success becomes supercharged with an unstoppable life force.

The Practice

Useful Tools For Breathwork

These are some recommended tools for breathwork. None of them are essential to your practice, but they may be of interest to you.

Pulse Oximeter

A pulse oximeter measures the oxygen saturation of your blood (SpO​₂​) along with your

heart rate. This device is typically used by people who have difficulties breathing so that they can monitor their oxygen levels on a regular basis throughout the day. Extreme levels of chronic hypoxia can cause serious issues in the body. We can also use a pulse oximeter to measure our intentionally induced hypoxic states, created using the Longevity technique. A pulse oximeter can also be used to measure your heart rate over time so that you can monitor how your resting heart rate changes as you become fitter and healthier.

HRV chest strap and HRV app

A Heart Rate Variability (HRV) chest strap and app will help you monitor your heart rate

variability. Your heart rate variability indicates how adaptive and resilient your body is to stress. A high reading is between 70-100 and is a sign of a good heart health, whereas a low reading is 40 or under and is a sign that you are struggling with stress. You should see your HRV improve gradually over time as you follow SOMA Breath techniques.

Mala beads

Mala beads can be used simply to count the number of repetitions for certain breathing exercises.

When you join the protocol you will gain access to breathe in beats exercises and PharmaBreath - how to activate your inner pharmacy for improved quality of life.

The Protocol

The 21-Day SOMA Awakening Protocol

Who is it for?

The 21-Day Awakening Protocol is perfect for everyone regardless of age, race, colour or religion. If you can breathe, you can awaken!

How Does it Work?

The 21-Day Awakening Protocol is a high intensity training for your soul and spirit. It is a sequence of therapeutic breathwork techniques combined with brainwave music and guided meditation that awakens you to your full human potential.

Step 1: Creative Visualisation

Your journey through life can be described as a series of “dots” that mark important milestones in your life such as a book you read, a chance encounter, a conversation you had, or a course you decided to study.

We help you achieve your first “dot” or milestone towards your dream life targets by using the Average Perfect Day (APD) guided meditation technique. APD is a method that uses the power of your creative imagination to create a vision, feeling, and sense of clarity about your dream life targets. Then, we chunk these goals down into realistic and achievable milestones.

The entire Awakening Protocol is a powerful intention-setting breathwork practice that will help create unstoppable momentum, motivation, and drive in your life to reaching your first milestones (and beyond!) of your average perfect day.

Step 2: The 21-Day SOMA Awakening Protocol

This transformative breathwork technique supercharges you into a state of passion, flow, and determination by raising your emotional energy to that of high self esteem and confidence. Peak performance coaches recognise that passion is the number one factor for success. This technique is also a powerful self hypnotic tool for seeding your intentions deep into your subconscious mind, programming your brain stem to tune into the frequency of reality that is essential for you to reach your dream life targets. Be prepared for a life full of positive surprises and synchronicities when you begin your journey of awakening to your full human potential.

Week One - The Initiation Phase

The Awakening Protocol begins with a daily 20-minute guided breathwork meditation to get you accustomed to rhythmic breathing and set you up for success.

Week Two - The Awakening Phase

In the second week, the daily guided breathwork meditation is 40-minutes long and is designed to challenge you. After all, if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. This meditation awakens your Inner Pharmacy, strengthening, healing, and nourishing your body with vital oxygen while giving you the therapeutic benefits of intermittent hypoxia.

Week Three - The Soma Phase

Finally Week 3 consists of a daily guided breathwork meditations that is 1-hour long! This meditation releases the Soma molecule within your body, resulting in bliss, connection, and the peak human experience. You will experience profound states of meditative bliss, have insights into your life’s true purpose, and connect with your higher self. Many participants report increased energy levels, an infinitely more positive mindset in life, and more “synchronicities” and manifestations. Some participants also report psychedelic experiences and deeply spiritual connections to the divine.

There’s More

This is not all that is included in the 21-Day SOMA Awakening Protocol. You will take part with a tribe, all starting your journey on the same day. You will be supporting each other and exploring together, and you will be a part of the tribe who have completed the Protocol in the past. Their help and insights will also be available to you, whenever you want it. You are supported at each step along your journey by a qualified and experienced SOMA Instructor. Each week there is a live call with your SOMA Instructor who will give you extra insights to your practice and who can answer all of your questions (not just during the call, but at any time you want to ask them something).

We are so passionate about this daily breathwork practice, that we want to share as much as we can with you, so you will also be given unlimited access to PharmaBreath exercises, Breathe In Beats exercises, a Daily Dose guided meditation that you can use on a daily basis once the 21-Day Protocol has ended, and simply loads more supplementary information, worksheets, and resources.

What are the Benefits?

The 21-Day SOMA Awakening Protocol is a multisensory meditation experience that can awaken dormant parts of your brain, improve blood circulation and cardiovascular health, promote physical and emotional healing, transmute sexual life force energy, and

help to manifest your intentions and take your meditation practice to the next level. Participants report increased energy levels, an infinitely more positive mindset in life, and more “synchronicities” and manifestations. Some participants also report psychedelic experiences and deeply spiritual insights.

The 21-Day SOMA Awakening Protocol also naturally simulates Intermittent Hypoxic Training (IHT). ​IHT training is a medically approved treatment that can enhance sports and athletic performance as well as treat a variety of degenerative diseases, as well as low energy, fatigue and depression. It has positive and instantaneous effects on energy and mood.

Outro

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