I feel blessed to have discovered, more than 30 years ago, the powerful effect breathing has on overall wellbeing. I’m grateful every day of my life for that discovery. As I experimented with the power of breathing, I came to believe that it was the most reliable and useful tool of transformation available to us. Since then I have used breathing for my own transformation on a daily basis, and I’ve taught the key techniques to more than 20,000 participants in our Hendricks Institute seminars and talks. It is our goal with this website to get the key tools of breathing to everyone in the world who can use them. Please experience their magic and pass them along to others who can benefit.

the two essential breathing processes

Lifestream Breathing: The "Yes" Breath

 

Yes Breath Instructions:

  • Sit down in a comfortable chair, towards the front, so that just your pelvis rests on the chair and your feet are flat on the floor.

  • Rest your hands on your thighs or your waist.

  • Begin by inhaling and letting your stomach expand with your breath.

  • As your stomach expands slightly, let your pelvis roll forward and your spine extend while you bring your head up.

  • As you exhale, let your head drop down and your pelvis drop back. You'll find that your body makes a natural "C" shape.

  • Repeat the in-breath and the out-breath, allowing your breath to lead the movement.

Things to notice:

  • When I breathe in, I relax my belly-muscles and let my spine flex so that my chin and head tilt up, at the same time rolling forward on my sit-bones.

  • When I breathe out, I roll backward on my sit-bones and tilt my chin/head down. (I’m exaggerating the movements for training purposes. You don’t need to make them quite so large.)

  • Our students call it the “Yes Breath” because it looks and feels like a whole-body “Yes.”

Here’s why it feels so good:

When you breathe naturally, your body is designed to flex in a certain way that allows your whole body to participate. Most of us lose this natural kind of breathing through years of uncomfortable desks and chairs, too-tight clothing, physical and psychological trauma. When our breathing is under stress, we tense the belly-muscles and stiffen our spines.

Lifestream Breathing is a direct antidote to stressed breathing.  If you take a few minutes a day for a week or so to learn how to do re-acquaint yourself with natural whole-body breathing, your body and mind will thank you every day of your life.

The Centering Breath: "Reset Button"

Instructions for 2 mins of practice:

  • Begin by breathing slowly and gently all the way out, then pause and wait to breathe in again until your body tells you it needs a breath. This will allow the oxygen/CO2 ratio in your body to balance itself. This is the Centering Breath.

  • You might wait ten seconds or thirty seconds or longer before your body needs a breath. Don’t wait so long that it feels effortful. When your body needs a breath, gently let the air in and resume your regular breathing cycle.

  • After a few cycles of regular breathing, do a second Centering Breath.

  • Breathe slowly and gently all the way out, then pause and wait to breathe in again until your body tells you it needs a breath. Don’t wait so long that it feels effortful. When your body needs a breath, gently let the air in and resume your regular breathing cycle.

  • After a few cycles of regular breathing, do a third Centering Breath.

  • Breathe slowly and gently all the way out, then pause and wait to breathe in again until your body tells you it needs a breath. Don’t wait so long that it feels effortful. When your body needs a breath, gently let the air in and resume your regular breathing cycle.

Here’s why it feels so good:

The technique my students call “Reset Button” is simple to learn and practice, yet it produces the most remarkable, rapid results! I use it whenever I feel off-center, and within a minute or two it reliably puts me back into harmony again. For example, I’ve used it hundreds of times on airplanes, subways and other places where it’s easy to get jostled and knocked off-center. Modern life is full of such challenges, and with the Reset Button you’ll have a new and reliable way to deal with those challenges. I haven’t had a cold in more than ten years, partly because I do the Centering Breath for a few minutes any time I feel a scratchy throat or a stuffy nose. I can’t prove scientifically that The Centering Breath is the sole reason I ward off colds, but I can assure you I don’t plan to stop doing it any time I feel symptoms

back to top

What you'll Feel: Benefits and Results

Based on the experiences of people who use these practices, here are the benefits you’ll likely enjoy:

• Steady high energy that lasts all day.

• A calm, centered feeling deep inside you.

• Mental clarity and focus.


As with any other useful human endeavor, practice and focus is required to get those kinds of results. The processes produce results quite rapidly, though, so even five or ten minutes of daily practice will usually generate noticeable positive effects.

back to top

Instant Download: the breathing university

For Personal Transformation And Professional Development
We have made available for immediate download our most popular video breathing instruction resource:

The Breathing university : How To Breathe For Relaxation Health And Well-Being.

Thousands of people have purchased this hour-long program for their own personal transformation.
However, it is widely used by professionals as a training resource to learn how to use our techniques in their practices.

back to top

The Breathing Box: CD, DVD & Printed Materials

Tami Simon, head of Sounds True, approached me a few years ago with an idea that I immediately loved. She asked if I could put everything people really needed to know about breathing into one package. The Breathing Box is the result.

It contains audio, video and printed materials, all nicely organized in a way that makes it easy to use. Almost every day I receive “thank you” expressions from people who are using The Breathing Box for their wellness, performance enhancement and stress release. I’m very proud of it.

You can get it directly from Sounds True by clicking here.

back to top

Background: How I first discovered the power of breathing

I was working on my Ph.D. at Stanford in the early Seventies when I first saw how quickly the right kind of breathing could make people feel better. Before that moment, if someone had told me that I could feel energetic, calm and mentally-sharp all day by breathing differently, I would have probably said “You’re nuts.” One day in The Counseling Psychology lab where I trained, I had a moment of inspiration that changed my mind.

The lab had one of the first biofeedback machines available for clinical use. Nowadays, you can get a sophisticated biofeedback device that’s as small as an iPod and costs a few hundred dollars. Back then, though, the equipment was the size of a refrigerator and cost nearly $20,000. We would hook clients up to the machine and teach them how to relax. Gradually, by watching the meters on the machine, they would figure out how to make the meter go down by relaxing their muscles and quieting their minds. As they got more and more relaxed, their breathing would slow down to a certain rhythm and pace. One day a thought popped into my mind: Since the breathing slowed down to this particular pace when the person got relaxed, why not just teach the person to breathe that way in the first place? I raised this question with the professor. “Why bother with all the fancy equipment?” I asked. “Let’s just teach our clients how to breathe!” The professor, who had invested thousands of dollars and several years of research proving the effectiveness of the machinery, didn’t think very highly of my idea. He was convinced that it was the machinery that did the job. I wasn’t so convinced.

On my own I began to try out my idea with clients. Lo and behold, it worked! I found that by using the breathing techniques, most people could learn to relax in a fraction of the time it usually took with the biofeedback machines. It also solved a problem often encountered with biofeedback machines, especially in the early days: a lot of people feel anxious being hooked up with electrodes and connected to a big machine with meters and gauges on it. Since most of those people were being treated for anxiety, I didn’t see how it helped to hook them up to a gadget that made them even more anxious. I was excited to find a reliable and simple new way to help my clients. I also began doing more breathwork on myself, to see if I could map out the best techniques and find out why they worked. Nowadays, you can find hundreds of scientific studies on the effectiveness of breathing techniques, but back then about all I had to go on were old yoga and Taoist books, some writings from European biophysical pioneers such as Franz Alexander and George Groddeck, and my own experiments on myself. Gradually over the next few years I built up a set of breathing techniques I could use with confidence to help my clients.

Later, as a professor at University of Colorado, I often got the “You’re nuts” reaction from other professors when they saw me teaching breathing techniques to my graduate students. My conservative colleagues needled me mercilessly when my book, Conscious Breathing, was published. One rat-psychologist held the book aloft in the faculty lounge and said, “Hey look, Hendricks has written a whole book about breathing!” However, I never set out to please rat-psychologists, and I’m pleased to say that science has since caught up with what clinicians, yogis and others have been saying for a long time. Hundreds of scientific studies have been conducted over the past few decades on the power of breathing to treat many conditions. Not long ago, the ultra-conservative FDA even gave their approval to breathing techniques for the treatment of hypertension. It’s been a long time now since anybody told me I was nuts (at least for focusing on breathing!)

back to top
 
The Breathing Coach Is An Educational Service of The Hendricks Institute, Inc.

Disclaimer: All information on this site is purely for educational purposes, and is not intended to diagnose, treat or heal any medical or psychological conditions.
Please see a qualified health practitioner for advice about any medical or psychological conditions.