The Perfect Breath

Start listening

In Breath, James Nester tells us:

Mammals with the lowest resting heart rates live the longest. And it’s no coincidence that these are consistently the same mammals that breathe the slowest. The only way to retain slow resting heart rate is slow breaths. This is as true for baboons and bison as it for blue whales and us. I’d hear this repeated over and over again by Olsson during our early Skype chats and again throughout the Stanford expriment. I’d read about it in Stough’s research. Buteyko and the Catholics, Buddhists, Hindus, and 9/11 survivors were aware of it as well. By various means, in various ways, in various eras of human history, all these pulmonauts discovered the same thing. They discovered that the optimum amount of air we should take in at rest per minute is 5.5 liters. The optimum breathing rate is about 5.5 breaths per minute. That’s 5.5-second inhales and 5.5-second exhales. This is the perfect breath.

Remember: The optimal breathing rate or perfect breath is 5.5 second inhales, 5.5 second exhales approximately 5.5 times per minute.

In Breathing, Dr. Andrew Weil tell us:

One of the breathing techniques Dr. Weil recommends is a 4-7-8 breathing exercise.

Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.

  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  • Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  • Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  • Exhale completely through
  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
  • This is one breath cycle. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four cycles.

You can watch Dr. Weil perform the 4-7-8 breathing technique here.

Join the discussion