MIND BODY BREATH
SUNDO’S EFFECT ON RESPIRATORY HEALTH & LONGEVITY
What if you could adopt a practice that enhances the effectiveness of your breathing and supercharges your immune system? What if this practice could improve your chances of fighting COVID-19 — the devastating respiratory virus which has spread to all parts of the globe?
SunDo is a meditation and breathwork discipline that not only helps lower blood pressure and activate the body’s relaxation response, it also creates a more flexible diaphragm, increases lung capacity, and greatly enhances oxygen intake. And over time, the practice can bring about a transformation of the mind. Many people find that SunDo practice gives them a better ability to focus and a more subtle understanding of themselves and the world.
Applied correctly, SunDo is one of the most powerful ways to optimize the body and mind through breathing. Most of the time our respiratory system works automatically so we don’t have to think about it — SunDo gives us the ability to deepen our breathing during practice and also in daily life.
By not investing enough attention in our breath, it can become restricted – and if we are not aware of it, can get progressively worse with age. While a respiratory illness like COVID-19 is running rampant, it's a very dangerous time to overlook the practice of breathing well. Thanks to the ingenuity of human engineering, we have the automatic part covered. Now the time has come to investigate the power of actively managing and strengthening our breath.
It shouldn’t take a worldwide pandemic to get us to slow down and contemplate the way we breathe, but for better or worse, we are now faced with the realization that respiratory health will determine whether we may live or die from an acute illness.
Shortness of breath and COVID-19: Dyspnea or Tachypea?
Doctors up to this point have had difficulty clearly diagnosing COVID-19 in its early stages as so many of its initial symptoms are shared with other illnesses like seasonal influenza, but one particular symptom is a dead giveaway — dyspnea, or what we commonly call “shortness of breath.” In later stages of illness as the lungs begin to fill with fluid, another symptom sets in: Tachypnea is very fast, shallow breathing where the patient seems to be breathing only within the throat.
In the beginning, one of the first things SunDo practitioners are instructed to do, is to move away from the shallow, choppy breathing many of us absentmindedly slip into, and practice deeper, slower diaphragmatic breathing. Author of Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art James Nestor likens shallow breaths to rowing a boat with short, stilted strokes as opposed to longer, more fluid ones. Both methods may get us to our destination, but one seems to work far better.
“You want to make it very easy for your body to get air, especially if this is an act that we're doing 25,000 times a day,” says Nestor. “By just extending those inhales and exhales, by moving that diaphragm up and down a little more, you can have a profound effect on your blood pressure, on your mental state.”
And our unconscious reliance on shorter, inefficient breaths doesn’t just keep us from experiencing true wellbeing, it makes the reality of a virus that causes shortness of breath that much more dangerous. Individuals prone to anxious shallow breathing may exacerbate the severity of their cases and add to the complexity of an accurate diagnosis, should they contract the virus. Medpage Today explains the dangers of COVID-19 compounded by anxiety in greater detail in the linked article.
A practice like SunDo validates an important principle: We cannot wait until our breathing becomes compromised and burdened with illness to learn how to breathe at our ideal capacity. We need to be proactive in our approach to give ourselves the critical tools needed to withstand a dangerous pandemic like COVID-19.
No Better Time than the Present
Each practice level of SunDo is designed to move the practitioner safely and slowly from a beginner’s breathing rate to a style of deep breathwork that is profoundly calming and enriched with oxygen. It’s almost hard to believe a human being could breathe this way.
At more advanced levels, practitioners experience a way of full body breathing that could also be described as energy breathing - where every cell in the body is being fueled with oxygen and Qi — the vital life force that exists inside each person.
By embracing many dimensions of health and wellness, SunDo offers you a gateway to optimal breathing unlike in any other practice. In times of a pandemic that disproportionately affects the elderly, it is especially important for us to start young, develop a regular practice routine, and maintain robust health and respiratory function into advanced age.
Choose to attend our open studio sessions where you can try a sample class and learn more about starting SunDo practice. One World's Open Studio on September 27 offers three morning class options which are followed by green tea tastings - a great way to boost your immune system for better health!