Went to a lecture by Dr. Andrew Weil last night. I didn’t know who the guy was before the lecture. Turns out he’s a doctor who’s popular with those interested in wellness beyond just going to a doctor when they’re sick. While the lecture was fine and his tips were of the “what’s found by the research” ilk (e.g., get more omega 3 fats in your body, get more vitamin D, and have some turmeric), people at the lecture were quite interested in his advice on breathing and how two sets of four of a yoga-inspired breathing exercise could reduce your stress, help your heart, and generally help enhance wellness. I had a few thoughts while listening to him tell the audience how to inhale through the nose for four counts, hold the breath for seven counts, and then exhale through the nose for a count of seven.
1) “Why is it so quiet in here?” Somehow, a room full of 2,000 adults felt that they had to hold their breaths and not make any noise while listening to him describe the technique. Even the woman who’d been having uncontrollable vocal outbursts was quiet. It was eerie (or I am a complete child who can’t sit still for four sets of four breathing exercises).
2) “He’s just breathing people.” You all paid how much to come listen to a man talk about breathing! (I did too, but at least I had a star sighting–Lance Ito was in attendance.)
3) “Hey lady, it’s not that hard!” The woman sitting next to me was taking written notes. She wrote out in long hand “four breaths in, hold for seven . . . ” you get the point. It’s not that hard, it shouldn’t have required notes.
© Laura Genao 2006