'Breatharian' claims she lives on oxygen and fasts for 97 days

A woman has revealed that she is on a diet that consists of taking energy from nature and not eating any solids.

Audra Bear identifies as a breatharian and claims she fasts for up to 97 days because food gets in the way of her enjoyment of life.

Despite the dangers and lack of any scientific backing whatsoever that it works, Audra, 25, insists that it is good for her.

She has tried various diets over the years including being a vegan then a raw vegan for four years before taking on so-called pranic living and breatharianism.

Pranic healing is said to involve living through the energy that you breathe in and absorb from the nature around you.

Some have suggested the diet is a dangerous hoax.

The NHS would class Audra’s eating habits as a very low calorie diet but would recommend it be clinically supervised by a medical professional.

It is usually adopted by people who are obese – those with a BMI of over 30 – and is not the first option people should turn to when it comes to losing weight.

They also recommend that the maximum time on the diet should be 12 weeks or intermittently – two to four days a week.

Audra, from Minneapolis, Minnesota, spends up to three hours a day focusing on her breath work and mostly lives on teas, juices and smoothies.

Nevertheless, Audra believes that she is breathing in ‘prana’ when she inhales.

She said: ‘There is something magical about conscious, controlled breathing that brings you with a face to face meeting with yourself, it brings you back to the core of your being.

What the people who know what they’re talking about say

Nutrition scientist Helena Gibson-Moore told MailOnline: ‘Everyone needs energy (calories) for our bodies to function properly. There is no scientific evidence that we can get the essential nutrients needed for good health from air alone.

‘A diet that only includes fruit juices and teas is likely to be low in energy so although initial weight loss may occur, in the long term you will be missing out on important nutrients for good health.

‘By only consuming one food group such as fruit and vegetables, in a specific way such as juicing, without balancing it with other food groups, is not healthy and can be harmful if sustained over time.

‘Whilst the evidence for such diets in terms of disease prevention is lacking there is a wealth of evidence that varied and balanced dietary patterns including fruit and veg, wholegrains, good sources of protein like oily fish, pulses and nuts, some dairy or dairy alternatives, some unsaturated fats and lower intakes of fatty processed meats, refined grain, salt, saturated fat and sugary foods and drinks is associated with better health outcomes.’

‘Breathwork helps you to realise who you are and what you need or don’t need. I never intended to ‘quit food’ I just started practising for 40 minutes a day and after about five days I no longer had a hunger for dense foods. My first fast lasted 97 days.

‘My favourite way of receiving pranic energy is through conscious breathing. Breathwork is the base of healing and detoxification for the physical and emotional body, 70 per cent of toxins in the body are released through respiration.’

Trying to explain the science behind it all, she said: ‘It gently guides your body into para sympathetic nervous system which relieves stress, aids digestion, stops cravings, increases mentally clarity and happiness.

‘I wouldn’t recommend anyone to fast, cleanse or restrict without first learning about the breath. You can also experience prana through time in nature, sunbathing, earthing, creating and playing.

‘You can eat if you choose to, for entertainment or social settings, know your energy is sourced from the life-force all around you. Most days I just drink teas, fruit juices, green juices and fresh coconut waters. I do eat occasionally now, but more for celebratory reasons.

‘My energy is heightened, my senses are stronger, and I’m feeling the healthiest I’ve ever been. I feel relaxed about life and a deeper connection to myself.’

Prana means energy and when breathing in, people inhale both air and prana which is found in all air and space.

Those who follow a pranic lifestyle are nourished from prana and are no longer dependent on other sources of nourishment but usually still consume water and juices. A breatharian is nourished by the air only and sees no need for water or juices.

Misconceptions surrounding this way of life are that it’s about restricting, something that Audra firmly disagrees with and says she feels freer than ever before thanks to her lifestyle without having to worry about food getting in the way.

Audra says everyone can live a pranic lifestyle and that they already are simply because they can breathe.

Speaking about her routine, she said: ‘I always do a breathwork session first thing in the morning. I do about 45 minutes of conscious controlled slow diaphragmatic breathing. Then I’ll practice yoga, sunbathe, more breathwork, spend time in nature, walks and hikes.

‘I travel a lot so it’s always different things in different places. This lifestyle is about playing and having fun, doing the things that you truly enjoy doing. I enjoy making my own juices, so fruit and veg shopping is always fun to me too.

‘I believe everybody already is [living like this] in some way, we all breathe every day, it’s what keeps us alive. I feel so much abundance living this way because it is about enjoying the things you love in life. Travelling, creating, dancing and playing.

‘It’s like the feeling you have when you are a kid and you’re playing outside with your friends and your mum calls you in for dinner, you don’t want to stop what you are doing and you realise you are having so much fun you don’t even want to eat. That’s how life feels for me, like food gets in the way of my enjoyment of life.

‘I feel like a lot of people eat of out habit not necessarily because they feel like they need it. That’s how this lifestyle can free up so much time, money and energy for you to love, express, create and play.

‘This is not about restriction or living in lack. Living in this way is very big step away from a traditional life but the lifestyle also brings about so much abundance, health and happiness. That is where my focus will always be.’

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