1. How long does it typically take to relearn how to breathe, and optimise the breathing we are doing?
It seems funny to say “relearn how to breathe”. After all, everyone is already breathing. However, this is deceptive. Just like there is a technique for optimising the way you run, walk, or even type, there is a technique for optimising and improving the way you breathe. It is straightforward to learn this technique, but mastering it may take a little longer. However, you will feel the results almost immediately. From the very first moment you learn the basic rules, you feel a massive difference to your vitality, and later to how you manage your emotions and stress as well as to how you are able to maintain yourself focused and your mind clear.
We recommend that you practise just for 5 minutes daily. In no time, you will be experiencing all the effects.
2. Breathing plays a considerable part in yoga and meditation practices. How is the DeRose Method different, and what are the unique benefits of practising it?
Breathing is the foundation. It brings oxygen into your body; it brings in energy. The rhythm of your breathing profoundly influences your personal rhythm. As such, it is only natural that the way you breathe plays a massive part in yoga and meditation.
The DeRose Method, unlike any other type out there, has its roots in very ancient philosophies. Some people had even considered these philosophies extinct before they came into contact with us.
In our ancient concept of meditation, it would be impossible to achieve the state of meditation without the aid of breathing techniques. They prepare your brain to focus better; they change its regular activity and provide ideal conditions for successful meditation. Our meditation consists of surpassing the instabilities (vrittis) of the mind. It can only happen when you combine the elements taught by the DeRose Method, such as concentration and breathing techniques.
3. Why do we hold our breaths so much? How do we train ourselves not to?
It is incredible how many people stop breathing throughout their day and night without ever being aware of it. It can be a meaningful sign that you are not breathing correctly and should learn and train the optimal technique. Moreover, for many people, this is also a sign of stress, and more, as holding the breath lowers the oxygen in your system, increasing the feeling of stress.
Let us explore this in a bit more depth: your breathing is one of the key links between consciousness and subconsciousness (mind and emotions). One interferes with the other, and vice-versa. But not everyone is quite aware of this, even if collective wisdom already guides us towards this direction. An example would be someone getting worked up – collective wisdom would suggest: take a few deep breaths! We all know, even unconsciously, that a deep breath helps us to think more clearly, to evaluate our actions and to bring us back to the moment.
This interaction of the conscious with the subconscious is fascinating. Your breathing is the entry point to expand the awareness of your subconscious. Increasing the awareness of your breathing will help you understand the interaction between your conscious and subconscious. Could your subconscious be telling you something when you find yourself holding your breath?
The answer is, fortunately, simple: all you need is to train your breathing! You must learn from certified and credible teachers the techniques and have a little discipline with training. In no time, you will be finding the opposite. Instead of holding your breath and being tired, you are breathing deeper, slower; you become better oxygenated, your brain is working better, you are more productive and creative!
4. Is it possible to practice the DeRose Method at home, or at your desk at work? Can it be integrated into your day, or does it require longer more focused classes?
The DeRose Method is super adaptable. Many of our students practice and train in our schools, in their homes, during their commute, even cooking or working!
Our broad gamut of techniques and the way we teach them, offer our students a unique ability to know the techniques, to feel how they impact you individually and therefore when it is the best time to use (and train) them so that you can get the best results in your life.
In our eyes, a true practitioner is the one who has incorporated the techniques in their lives and are using them throughout the day.
5. Should we adopt different breathing techniques to deal with stress, than to help us increase mental focus and stimulate creativity? Or should the same methods be applied to all outcomes?
In the DeRose Method we teach 58 traditional breathing techniques. Each of them has a different purpose and can be used in different situations. At first, the objective is to get the student executing the correct mechanical breathing process. Then increase the complexity and add more subtle elements which make this technique so fascinating.
From the initial steps, the students are already observing the effects on themselves and learning how they respond to the technique. The idea is to train in the classroom, so that when you are faced with situations of stress, or when you need creativity, you can fall back on your training and use the techniques to achieve the objective.
Let me help you get started: for us, breathing consists of using more diaphragm and less the chest during the respiratory process. So when you inhale you have to expand your abdomen out, filling up the lower part of the lungs, and when you exhale you contract your abdomen inwards. By doing that, you are using the most significant part of your lungs and the one that oxygenates your body correctly. You can add a simple rhythm as an exercise. Inhale in 2 seconds, hold your lungs full in 2 and also exhale in 2 seconds. If this feels easy increase one second per phase in your next cycle (3 in, 3 hold, 3 exhale; then 4 and maybe even 5 seconds.) Time this exercise to last for 5 minutes. At the end, observe yourself and notice how you may be different because you changed the way your breath.