World record: 22 minutes without air
An underwater feat to leave you breathless
In the normal course of breathing for 22 minutes, provided you’re not exerting yourself, you involuntarily take about 450 breaths.
Stig Severinsen took one.
The 39-year-old Danish free diver set a Guinness World Record earlier this year by remaining face-down in a pool for 22 minutes straight, breaking his own record of 20 minutes and 10 seconds in the process.
This was the new record for oxygenated static apnea, wherein a diver first gulps pure oxygen from a tank to feed the body’s cells and flush out carbon dioxide, then remains as still as possible to preserve precious energy. The record for holding without oxygenating is 8:58, held by free diver Tom Sietas.
More on MSN Living: 50 things everyone should know about marriage
For Stig, holding his breath is more than just a sporting challenge. While the rest of us consider oxygen deprivation something of an inconvenience, he sees breath control as a means to boosting the immune system and reducing stress and pain. He even considers it a path to fulfillment, as expressed in his 2010 book Breatheology: The Art of Conscious Breathing.
David Blaine would concur. In a charismatic TED Talk from October 2009, the extreme magician explained the grueling training behind his attempt to break the prior oxygenated static apnea record of 16:32 — on the Oprah show, where all the most wonderful things happen.
More on MSN Living: The top 10 traits women want in a man
Blaine was suspended in a sphere of water in front of the cameras. At eight minutes, less than halfway through, he wasn’t sure he’d make it. At 11 minutes, he had throbbing sensations in his legs and lips, followed by a numb arm that made him fear a heart attack. Blaine says at 16 minutes he wasn’t even sure he was alive anymore. But, hearing the crowd roar as he passed the 16:32 mark, he held out to set the record (at that time) at 17:04.
For both Severinsen and Blaine, breath control has a spiritual component capable of instilling a singularly pure sense of joy. In a surprisingly emotional close to the TED segment, Blaine expresses that as a magician he tries to show things to people that seem impossible.
“It’s practice, it’s training, it’s experimenting, while pushing through the pain to be the best that I can be,” he says.
Severinsen as well says that the practice of breath control can make you thankful for all things you have in your life. Like, say, air.
File photo of free diver Stig Severinsen (Morten Bjoern Larsen/POLFOTO/AP)
inspire: live a better life
You'll stave off credit card debt by the end of the year if you account for these often-forgotten expenses.
Mark Zuckerberg has an even bigger effect on your life than you thought.
Take this advice to finally tackle that nagging to-do list.
The iconic storyteller would have been 110-years-old
Take the time to appreciate women’s contributions to society. Here are some of the women who inspire us by their example.
Cast of the iconic TV show reunites for Florence Henderson's birthday
We couldn’t be more excited to watch the best athletes in the world compete at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. This year, about 44 percent of the competitors are women according to the International Olympic Committee—which is awesome but wasn’t always the case. Let’s look back at some of the amazing women who paved the way with incredible, memorable feats of girl power.
Still pulling yourself out of holiday credit card debt? Ready to pool some funds for that beach vacation you've been dreaming about at your desk? We're with you 100 percent.
"FOMO, the fear of missing out, is a form of social anxiety," says psychiatrist Gail Saltz. "This type of fear tends to cause compulsive behaviors, like checking out other social situations even as you are in the middle of one currently."
When The Shriver Report was released in early January, we shared some of the more interesting statistics about income equality, the wage gap, and other issues confronting women.
Clay Aiken to run for public office.
Here's how to boost your joy — and put more cash in your pocket.