A measurement called the control pause (CP) was developed to measure relative breathing volume. Quite simply, it is the length of comfortable breath hold time following an exhalation. All you need is a watch or clock with a second hand. Here is how to measure your breathing volume:
1. Take a small, silent breath in and a small, silent breath out.
2. Hold your nose with your fingers to prevent air from entering your lungs.
3. Count how many seconds until you feel the first signs of air hunger.
4. At the first sign of air hunger, you will also feel the first involuntary movements of your breathing muscles. Your tummy may jerk. The area around your neck may contract.
5. Release your nose and breathe in through it.
6. Your inhalation at the end of the breath should be calm.
The following are important points to be aware of before we start:
1. The breath is taken after gently exhaling.
2. The breath is held until the first movements of the breathing muscles. It is not a measure of the maximum length of time that you can hold your breath.
3. Your CP only measures your breath hold time. It is not an exercise to correct your breathing.
Remember that taking your CP entails holding your breath only until the first involuntary movements of your breathing muscles. If you had to take a big breath at the end of the breath hold, then you held your breath for too long.
THE THREE STEPS TO INCREASING YOUR CONTROL PAUSE
Stop Big Breathing
a. Breathe through your nose permanently
b. Stop Sighing – swallow or suppress the sigh
c. Never hear your breathing during rest
Practice reduced breathing (will be explained in depth in future blog entries)
Take physical exercise with correct breathing
To increase your CP from 10 – 20 seconds, STEPS 1 and 2 are necessary. To increase your CP from 20 – 40 seconds, STEP 3 is necessary.
The following are essential rules to making progress.
- You will feel better each time your CP increases by five seconds.
- If your CP does not change, you will not feel better.
- Your CP should increase by three to four seconds each week.
- The most accurate CP is taken first thing after waking. This CP is most accurate since you cannot influence your breathing during sleep, and it is based on your breathing volume as set by your respiratory centre.
- Taking your CP throughout the day will give you feedback at those particular times.
- Your goal is to have a morning CP of 40 seconds for six months.