Swami Rama in 1969 baffled scientists by stopping his heart beat for 17 seconds. He even managed to raise the temperature of one side of his hand up by 10 degrees, and the other side down by 10 degrees by willpower alone. This proved for the first time, under controlled conditions, we can consciously influence our autonomic nervous system.
However these are just impressive displays that appear like magic and should not to distract you from what more is possible. What Swami Rama was trying to show us is that by learning yoga and pranayama we can actually reclaim control over our physiology and psychology. We can become liberated and not only live longer more healthy lives, free from diseases, but also create a closer connection to the divine.
In more recent times, a close friend and mentor of Niraj, Wim Hof ‘The Ice Man’, also an accomplished yogi, broke several world records and also shocked scientists by being able to stay in ice for 2 hrs without his core body temperature changing. He was also able to withstand the effects of an e-coli infection by willpower alone. He then went on to prove for the first time during a scientific experiment that you could train others to do the same.
How is SOMA breath different to other breathwork modalities?
Soma is a complete holistic system of breathwork techniques. There is no one size fits all, and Soma takes into account everyone is different and requires different breathing techniques depending on their needs. Soma Therapeutic Breathwork techniques are the core pranayama techniques that have the most scientific evidence to support their function.
The Awakening is inspired by the most revered Pranayama Kumbhaka technique previously mentioned called Nishessha Rechaka Pranayama and the ancient ritual of Soma that has over 50,000 references to it in the ancient text, Rig Veda, that is the basis of modern day Hinduism and the Vedic philosophy that yoga originates from. It is also inspired by the breathwork technique that is the core of the Wim Hof Method, created by Wim Hof, the work of Dr Prakash Malshe an Indian doctor based near Rishikesh, the birthplace of yoga who uses pranayama and yoga to treat his patients, and Swami Ambikananda Saraswati who has one of the most popular yoga schools in the UK that is based on the earliest recorded traditional yoga practices.
Modern counter parts such as Rebirthing, Holotropic Breathwork and Transformational Breath focus on one method that hyperventilates the body. These should be done with caution as oxygen creates oxidative stress in the body, and are not for regular use because of this reason.
The Awakening is something that can be practiced more regularly and can
only lead to positive health and psychological benefits.
You can understand the differences in more depth here: https://therenegadepharmacist.com/breathwork-breathwork-demystified-science-purpose-different-breathwork-practices/