WHAT IS BREATHARIANISM? OH MY!

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WHAT IS BREATHARIANISM? OH MY!

When we list the things humans need to survive, most of us come down to three basic requirements: food, water, and shelter. But there’s a movement that claims two of those three things are holding us back.

Some of the most extreme Breatharians claim to survive off of the life energy of the universe alone, no food or water involved. Others who believe themselves to be One With The Breath appear to drink water and snack once in a while – and somehow remain healthy. 

One might wonder which of these Breath devotees are telling the truth – and which ones are projecting an image that no human could ever embody.

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Is it possible to go months or years without eating or drinking?

Do Breatharians really exist?

If so, how have they managed to defy the basic scientific principles we thought we understood?

Read on to learn more about this practice and whether it actually allows people to subsist on something loftier than mere food.

What Is Breatharianism?

Breatharianism is the practice of going without food, water, or both and, instead, living from the life energy of the Universe. As the name suggests, Breatharianism uses the breath to harness this energy and nourish the body. Breatharians claim to exist only on air and sunlight, foregoing food (and sometimes water) altogether, sometimes for years at a time.

While Breatharianism is a reboot of the ancient Yogic practice, today’s New-Age Breatharianism birthed in the mid-90s, thanks in part to the work of a woman born Ellen Greve, who has since changed her name to Jasmuheen.

Our friend Jasmuheen wrote a book called Living on Light: The Source of Nourishment for the New Millennium. This book describes a twenty-one-day process that will supposedly help your body adjust to surviving only on air.

While the new-age scene has bastardized this practice, which was established by serious-ass Yogis thousands of years ago, it takes a truly Divine Master or Enlightened Being to be a totes-for-reals Breatharian.

Even Masters like Amma, who eat very little, tend to stay away from using phrases like Breatharian because it’s a dangerous practice – and it’s only meant for people who arrive at some version of Breatharianism naturally – ya know, like because of deep spiritual practices which can result in liberation – a state that is very rare.

How Does Breatharianism Work?

If breatharians aren’t getting their nourishment from food and/or water, where does it come from? Breatharians claim to fuel their body with prana, a kind of life-energy emitted by the Universe itself.

Prana is the Sanskrit word for breath. It points to the substratum and eternal substance that permeates reality throughout every level and realm, including inanimate objects. In other words, Prana is the source of all life built into all aspects of living and non-living realities.

Breatharians claim to be able to harness this energy through intense breathing exercises that connect them with this life-energy. Pranic breathing is an empowering and cleansing practice found in most yoga classes and other spiritual disciplines. 

Pranic breathing is usually performed by sitting in the lotus position, breathing into your stomach and exhaling, all through the mouth or all through the nose – and sometimes only one nostril. The pace of this style of breathing is often very fast with truncated exhales. Pranic breathing can certainly feed you for a time. It can also clear emotions and help you feel more alive and rejuvenated at a core level.

There are centuries of evidence showing the benefits of breathing exercises and meditation. Meditation and breathing can allow us to connect better with our own inner life force, the Universe, other people, and our own bodies.

The challenge with Breatharianism is that proponents claim that these practices can replace food and water. While this might be true for advanced souls, chances are pretty high that Bunny McStretchypants, who teaches beer yoga at the local gym, and Trendy Taj McKrishna, who drinks his own urine at parties, are probably not real Breatharians.

Folks like these are most often hopped-up on new-age narcissism while pretending to be the real deal, when in reality, they can barely manifest enough money to pay their electric bills. 

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What a Breatharian Diet Looks Like

On its face, the Breatharian diet seems simple: don’t eat food or drink water, ever. But when you dive into the practice, you’ll discover it’s much more complicated.

There are two basic steps to the breatharian diet: the initiation and the long-term plan. And there are two styles of Breatharians: crazy people who think they can do it forever and reasonable people who know they probably can’t do it for very long. Both types tend to eat once in a while – and most Breatharians drink water regularly.

Many of today’s Breatharian programs recommend starting with an initiation period of fasting. Fasting  gets your body jump-started into surviving off of nourishment other than food. In some protocols, this initial fasting period, during which you drink either only some or no water and eat no or very little food, lasts seven to ten days. Other programs only require you to go three days without any nourishment.

After the initial fasting period, Breatharians recommend that you move to a liquid diet. This consists mostly of fruit and vegetable juices and broths. Some wanna-bees will drink lemon water with cayenne pepper to slowly shut down their digestive systems.

Many Breatharians say they eat every now and then, either in social situations or because they want to enjoy the sensation of eating food. However, a handful of Breatharian leaders claim to go for months or years without eating anything at all. 

While this may or may not be true, it’s certainly fascinating! I have to mention here – um, please do not try this at home!

Breatharianism Doesn’t Work

Now that we know about Breatharianism and its principles, let’s get right down to the facts – it doesn’t work for 99.9999% of those who claim it as a lifestyle.

The simple truth is that the overwhelming majority of humans, aliens, and wandering spirits need food to live. More importantly, you can’t go more than a few days at a time without drinking water before your body begins to shut down. 

There’s no denying that our culture often tends to overindulge in food, and many people have unhealthy relationships with food. As we’ll discuss more later, there are some potential benefits to using breathing exercises and meditation as a way to improve your relationship with food. But the basic tenet of Breatharianism – that humans can live without food and water – has no basis in fact or science, except the occasional Enlightened Master who probably doesn’t need to promote their adherence to this practice. 

And any Enlightened Master worth their salt will probably want a cookie now and again, because cookies were made by God to make our inner-children smile. So there.

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Breatharian Deaths

One of the problems with Breatharianism as a practice is that it can be very dangerous. So far, there have been five known deaths connected with Breatharian practices. The most recent death was in 2012, but the best-known was an incident in 1999 in which a woman died of dehydration and hypothermia after practicing the program described in Living on Light.

In most cases, people don’t die of starvation as a result of Breatharianism, but rather as a result of dehydration. Doctors estimate that you can only go for less than a week without water before you die of dehydration. After that point, your organs begin shutting down, your blood gets thicker, toxins build up in your body, and eventually you die. Good times!

Breatharian Leaders Eat

When you start looking closely at Breatharian leaders and the programs they claim to follow, one fact emerges: Breatharian leaders eat. They may make sweeping statements about going months or years without consuming any food. But when you start asking for details, a number of inconsistencies tend to show up.

Some Breatharian leaders admit to regularly drinking vegetable broth or fruit juice, as well as eating in social situations. Although these amounts of food may be much less than what most people consume, it’s definitely a source of nutrition other than sunlight and prana. A few Breatharian leaders have even been caught ordering in-flight meals or with whole refrigerators full of food. 

The Cost of Breatharian Retreats

In addition to being physically dangerous, some might say that Breatharianism classes and retreats are outright scams. Breatharian leaders tell their followers to go long periods of time without eating or drinking, all the while they are regularly eating food. Meanwhile, they’re raking in thousands of dollars in profits from retreats and coaching fees.

Why are they making so much money? Because New-Agers are knuckleheads. They believe trends will save them from themselves. Yeah, it doesn’t work that way.

They way it works is this: chant, pray, eat healthy, forgive, accept, release – and repeat. It’s not complicated.

Many Breatharian retreats, which are designed to get you started on the fasting program, cost more than $1,000. One-on-one coaching sessions can cost $75 an hour or more, depending on who you see. The simple fact is that too many New-Age trendsetter phonies make an insanely lucrative living off of selling dangerous lies.

Using Breath for Food Control

Although the Breatharian fasting program is dangerous, there are some helpful ideas we can take from it. Many people in our society have unhealthy relationships with food, including overeating and, in many ways, being addicted to food. We have to eat food to live, but there are definite benefits to being more conscious of what we eat and how we consume it.

Mindful eating is a helpful practice that uses meditative practices to help control food intake. You may find that using breathing exercises can be a great way to curb food cravings in times when you’re trying to cut back.

Breathing can be a great way to build a healthier relationship with food, but you have to be sure you’re managing your diet in a safe, healthy way. 

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Do Breatharians Exist?

It would be easy to say that Breatharians do not exist. I’ve personally met a few Enlightened Masters who I never saw eat. And if you’re a real Breatharian or spiritual master, you’re probably not running around with a trendy book telling everybody to try it. Why? Because elevating ourselves through the most intense spiritual practices is f*cking painful – and not for everybody. 

While most of us cannot survive on life-energy alone, breathing and meditation can build healthier relationships with food and our inner Beings.

Breathing, sunlight, food, water, movement, and forgiveness can all work together to help you to build a life that’s healthy for your body, mind, and spirit.

I am here to help you awaken and bravely create an inspired life. Learn more about my services today and start changing your life in the most positive way.

REMEMBER!

You are a beautiful Living Being filled with light and love, born from stardust. You are unlimited potential in every direction. With a focus on discipline, virtue, and your own goodness, you can become as expanded and liberated as you desire. 

Pray for others and the Universe prays for us. 

LOTS OF BLESSINGS TO YOU!

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There is no “Other.” There is only you experiencing yourself.

Yogi Bhajan: Happy, Healthy, Holy Sikhism And Kundalini Yoga

Yogi Bhajan

Yogi Bhajan, a spiritual master. A Shutterstock Licensed Image.

It was an unusually dry, hot morning in the summer of 1996, in Española, NM, at the grand home and Mother Ashram of Yogi Bhajan (also known as the Guru Ram Das Ashram). I and a handful of other followers arrived in the early morning to be nurtured and schooled by the brilliant and loving Sikh master.

The eight of us sat comfortably in his living room and were greeted by his lovely wife, Inderjit Kaur, and given some tea. After a short speech on Kundalini yoga and meditation, Yogi Bhajan invited me for a private walk.

I loved being around Yogi in those days. He was very kind to me, often doing my numerology, and giving me personal counsel. He was fatherly, patient, and intuitive. He was also connected to one-third of the world’s wealth. I miss him, dearly.

“Make Yourself So Happy So That When Others Look At You, They Become Happy Too.”
— Yogi Bhajan

The Amazing Life Of Yogi Bhajan

Harbhajan Singh Khalsa (1929-2004) was born in Gujranwala, located in the Punjab province, which is now in Pakistan. Born into a wealthy family, his mother was Hindu, and his father was a Sikh. His parents enrolled him in Catholic schools where he was taught by nuns. Given the extreme wealth of his family, Yogi Bhajan was somewhat of a prince. He commanded thousands of servants and employees.

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When India was divided, Yogi Bhajan fled to New Dehli, India where he was a refugee. He would eventually excel in economics at Punjab University, where he was also a debater and athlete. He would go on to work for India’s IRS and as a customs agent at an Indian airport. Yogi Bhajan and his wife Inderjit, also known as Bibiji, had two sons and one daughter.

Yogi Bhajan began teaching in the United States in the 1960s, during which he inspired many followers within the hippie movement.. In 1969, Yogi Bhajan incorporated his 3HO Foundation, which he led as its spiritual director.

A non-governmental organization within the United Nations, the mission of 3HO is to be an organized community for the family of people who live not just “with” each other, but “for” each other. 3HO has since grown to over 300 centers in over 35 countries, with hundreds of thousands of followers.

Yogi Bhajan also founded the International Kundalini Yoga Teachers Association to help set standards for teachers of Kundalini yoga and meditation.

“On the fifth of January, when I gave a lecture, they asked me, ‘What have you brought for us?’ I said, ‘I gave you a Healthy, Happy, Holy way of life.’ I have not come here to collect students; I will create teachers, and teachers so created in this 3HO, shall teach the world a way of life with style. That’s what we have said; that’s what we are doing; that’s what we are.“
-Yogi Bhajan, 1/5/93

 

In 1973, his educational organization, known as Sikh Dharma International (SDI), became a 501c(3) religious organization, committed to teaching the highest level of Sikh ideals, while also serving humanity and the global Sikh community. Sikh Dharma International offices are located at the Mother Ashram.

Yogi Bhajan, known to his followers as Siri Singh Sahib or Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji, was loved by many. He was the founder in or trusted management consultant for over 17 businesses in natural food, breakfast cereals, beauty products, real estate, computer systems, security services, and yoga centers. Companies that he influenced include Golden Temple, Akal Security, Peace Cereals, Yogi Tea, Soothing Touch, and many others. Yogi Bhajan’s employees and associates sometimes affectionately called him, “The Boss.”

While Yogi understood that most religions share the same core beliefs, he was grateful to be taught the fundamentals of Sikhism and yogic knowledge by his grandfather, Bhai Fateh Singh. His spiritual teacher was Sant Hazara Singh of Gujaranwala, a profound yogi and mystic.

Because of his dedication to his teachers, Yogi became transparent about his background, challenges, and beliefs, with the hope it would inspire others to deepen.

He once offered, “I was born into a very rich family. I played with diamonds for marbles, and I had great authority. I was the elder son of the ruling dynasty, like the Prince of Wales, and I had every opportunity to act like a total idiot. There were thousands of servants to whom my word was the law, and I could have whatever I wanted, like a rich, spoiled kid.

But I was lucky. I had a very saintly grandfather, and a saintly family tradition and disposition. I met a lot of holy men who would come to our house, and I chose a very saintly teacher. His approval of me was considered the joy of the family. His mark on me is so deep; I love him even now. Do you know that I still do not recognize the face of my grandfather or my teacher? I never ever looked at their face, but I can accurately draw their feet. That’s the consciousness of it.”

When Yogi Bhajan came to the west, it was not to grow a large body of students who loved his Kundalini Yoga; it was to create teachers who would go out into the world and teach peace and yoga, as an alternative to the prevalent drug culture within the hippie movement.​

Yogi Bhajan became a US citizen in 1976. He was affectionately called Siri Singh Sahib Ji by his devotees.

The Teachings Of Yogi Bhajan

Yogi Bhajan’s lectures were stimulating, heart-centered, and profound. When he began teaching in the late 1960s, it was not merely to share yoga and meditation practices. He taught a full lifestyle that inspired every individual to radiate and shine in every aspect of their lives.

​Yogi Bhajan’s teachings continue to include lessons on how to dress, eat, relate, communicate, love, raise conscious children, and do business with loving grace. Overall, Yogi Bhajan’s goal was to inspire, uplift, and enlighten everyone he encountered. He wanted every spirit to feel whole, healed, and sovereign. I am able to feel his warmth and love to this day.

Deeply committed to serving humanity and guiding his fellow Sikhs, Yogi Bhajan was the first Sikh to offer accessible teachings that were relatable to people from every background, language, and culture.

According to Yogi Bhajan’s SikhDharma.org, “Sikhs believe in creating abundance, peace, and prosperity by praising the name of God, earning a righteous living and sharing what they have to serve humanity. Sikh populations across the globe enthusiastically participate in outreach activities and contribute to their local communities by serving food (langar) and through building interfaith dialogue and cooperation.”

SDI’s mission is to serve and uplift humanity through the teachings of the original Sikh Gurus along the path of Sikh Dharma, as shared by Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan. The foundation’s global vision is to raise humanity’s spirit by serving God (the Divine or the One-in-All).

The Yogi Bhajan Library of teachings is a vast, accessible online archive. You can access it here.

Yogi Bhajan Quotes

There are many Yogi Bhajan quotes on love, life, marriage, raising kids, and business. Here are a few of my favorites:purchase-the-personality-cards-oracle-tarot-deck

  • “Recognize the other person is you.”
  • “Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light.”
  • “An attitude of gratitude brings great things.”
  • “What is a human being? A magnetic field, that’s all he is. What kind of magnetic field is it? It vibrates on its own nucleus and in proportion with its existence with the entire universe. And there are many magnetic fields, millions of them. Without your talking with somebody, you communicate.”
  • “When ego is lost, limit is lost. You become infinite, kind, beautiful.”
  • “Share your strengths, not your weaknesses.”
  • “The greatest art is to sit, and wait, and let it come.”
  • “Your total life is nothing without activity. When you are not acting, you are dead. You act in sleep also. You act through dreams. You act through mental vibrations. You are continually vibrating. The moment you don’t vibrate you are dead. Death is nothing but non-vibration of a finite unit. That’s all death is.”
  • “Self-reliance conquers any difficulty.”
  • “Hope is not a prediction of the future; it’s a declaration of what’s possible.”
  • “When you speak, it should be as if Infinity is speaking.”
  • “The most difficult thing on the earth one can practice is to be humble. It is not easy; it is difficult because you have to surmount the existence of whole Maya and to recognize that God is by your side. Then you feel the humility.”
  • “Love is the ultimate state of human behavior, where compassion prevails and kindness rules.”

Yogi Bhajan Books

While Yogi Bhajan gave many profound and inspiring lectures, the list of books below continues to enlighten those who are drawn to Kundalini Yoga and the 3HO way of life.

  • Yogi Bhajan, The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan
  • Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji (Yogi Bhajan), Furmaan Khalsa: Poems to Live By
  • Yogi Bhajan, The Master’s Touch
  • Yogi Bhajan with Gurucharan Singh Khalsa, The Mind: Its Projections and Multiple Facets
  • Yogi Bhajan, The Aquarian Teacher – KRI International Kundalini Yoga Certification Text and Manual
  • Yogi Bhajan, The Game of Love, A Book of Consciousness: The Poems and Art of Yogi Bhajan
  • Yogi Bhajan, Man to Man: A Journal of Discovery for the Conscious Man
  • Yogi Bhajan, I am a Woman: Book and Yoga Manual

“The first song I sang was, ‘We are the people, the people of love, let us people love today.’ Certain little things started happening in a very unique way with all of you. All of those who have left, all who are with me, who shall be with me, or who shall leave me, all play a very important role in the development of 3HO—a lifestyle of the Age of Aquarius where humans shall be first and foremost purely human, and will do everything graciously.”
-Yogi Bhajan, 1/5/94

Yogi Bhajan’s Motto, Credo, And Challenge

You might find these on several of Yogi Bhajan’s websites:

  • Motto: “If you can’t see God in all, you can’t see God at all.”
  • Credo: “It’s not the life that matters; it’s the courage that you bring to it.”
  • Challenge: ”Don’t love me; love my teachings.”

Yogi Bhajan’s Death

Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji died of complications related to heart failure on Oct 6, 2004, at his Guru Ram Das Ashram. His wife, Inderjit Kaur survives him, along with his sons, Ranbir Singh and Kulbir Singh; his daughter, Kamaljit Kaur; and five grandchildren.

Yogi Bhajan was a blessing to this world, and his teachings will live on in those of whom he taught, inspired, and loved.

To participate in the 3HO community and enjoy past of Yogi Bhajan’s vision for the world, consider attending Yogi Bhajan’s annual International Peace Prayer Day Celebration in New Mexico. You’ll meet lots of warm-hearted people, and enjoy lively music and interfaith prayers. You’ll also hear speeches by luminous leaders in religion and politics, and those in service to humanity.​

“We started a healthy, happy, holy way of life, and that became 3HO. It is a dream come true. It is a very pure path in which every human is worshipped equally. Everybody is a potential teacher. There is no ‘yes’ and ‘no’, rather there is a set discipline to follow…We built a foundation called the 3HO Foundation: a Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization of people.