Tummo Breathing: Tibetan Practice for Your Health and Good Mood Improvement
Breathing is the foundation of life. Our health, not only physical but also mental, depends on how deeply and consciously we breathe. Think about it: every cell in our body is 65% oxygen.
Among the yoga systems, the practice of Tummo stands a little aside due to its specificity, yet it is beginning to gain in popularity.
Tummo yoga reveals the power of breathing, which helps not only to relieve stress, but also to normalise thermoregulation. How to breathe to stop getting cold often.
As well as helping one find inner harmony, it also normalises energy in the body and helps one to warm up more quickly.
What is Tummo Breathing?
One of the most interesting and useful practices is Tummo. It comes from Tibet and literally translates as "inner fire". Tummo is a prime example of how the psyche and the physical body are closely linked. The principle of this breathing practice is based on exercises, visualisation and the recitation of mantras.
We will look in detail at how to practice Tummo breathing, but first let's see where this ancient technique originated.
Origins of the practice
As a scientific phenomenon, the practice of Tummo began to be studied in 1980 under the direction of Professor Benson of Harvard University. A medical study involved 3 Tibetan monks practising Tummo. Before the trial began, their temperatures were measured at different parts of their bodies, and after the experiment, it was found that the temperature in the fingers and toes of the participants increased by 8.3 °C. This physiological state was described by the professor as the opposite of stress.
The G-Tummo technique dates back to sacred Tibetan Buddhist texts from the 8th century. Given the extreme conditions of the Tibetan plateau, where temperatures often drop below freezing due to the high altitude, it is not surprising that this process of raising body temperature was invented.
How to Practise Tummo Breathing
In practical terms, Tummo is a system of physiological and breathing techniques, concentration, visualisation, mantra chanting and contemplation. The experience of inner fire involves the transformation of energy (prana) in the navel area as it moves from the lower chakras upwards and from the upper chakras downwards along the central energy channel.
Through manipulation of the flow of subtle energies in this channel, an "inner heat" appears.
From a standing position:
- Stand up with your hands down.
- Breathe in, slightly squatting with the arms up (the inhale should be deep, as if from the stomach to the chest filling the body with oxygen).
- Next, exhale: bend over, pull the abdomen and buttocks in, put your hands on your knees, legs half-bent. Hold your breath, pulling your belly in as far as it will go. Breathe in very slowly, while straightening and moving your hands from the knees to the hips.
From sitting position:
- Sit up, put your hands on your knees, posture is straight, exhale.
- Next - take a deep breath: fill yourself with oxygen, hold your breath (oxygen is burned with the fat in your lungs).
- Bend forward slightly, resting on your knees and pulling your belly and buttocks in. Slowly breathe in again - straighten out, filling with oxygen.
- Take the starting position.
These exercises are really good as a basic Tummo yoga practice. Mental attitude: go into a meditative state and focus on imagining fire.
Tummo breathing dirationy is individual, but during each Tummo session you should try to complete at least 2-3 rounds of the three-step process, if not more. Some more experienced meditators may practice Tummo breathing for a longer period of time, for example 30-45 minutes, but this is not always necessary, especially if you are a beginner.
The Benefits of Tummo
The main aim of tummo is to conquer spiritual peaks and achieve enlightenment quickly, but the practice can also be used for warmth and satiation. Mastering tummo is necessary for the realisation of the illusory body.
Yoga of inner warmth - tummo - is based on work with prana and chakras. There are guidelines for physical exercises, but they don't receive much attention, and they are not always necessary. The main method is meditation on energy centres and channels, and breathing exercises for prana guidance, visualisation and raising the kundalini energy.
Because the aim of yoga is spiritual development of a person, as a result of such development he should at least become smarter than others. That is, his brain needs to be well supplied with nutrients and oxygen. And how to improve the blood supply of the brain? Only by dilating the peripheral blood vessels. This is done by increasing the concentration of carbon dioxide - by holding your breath.
Remember the three steps of Tummo: Visualization, Vase breathing technique and basic abdominal holding.
Bear in mind that spiritual practices such as Tibetan Buddhist Tummo breathing are fuelled by the desire to reduce negative or beneficial thoughts and feelings and increase compassion.
This breathing exercise is best practised on an empty stomach. As practitioners need to contract the stomach and inhale deeply into the stomach, it is much more comfortable if you do not have a belly full of food.
Practice with a guide first to know how to practice the technique correctly for a powerful experience.