We’re pretty impressive. Humans I mean. What's crazy is we can go weeks without food, days without water but barely a couple minutes without breathing. Breathing is so important that we leave it up to our autonomous nervous system. This allows us to stay alive while using brain power for other things like scrolling Instagram, driving and not getting hit by a car while walking down the street.
Controlling our breath is powerful. Since we never think about it, we don’t realize that controlling it can have such an impact on our mood, or the state that we’re in. We can use different breath patterns to elicit different states. Many of you are familiar with meditation, which is concentrating on your breath to notice your thoughts and feelings. What I’m talking about is called breath work. It isn’t necessarily meditating, but can produce similar results.
We can do breath work in a variety of ways. As a dedicated training session, like pushing the sled using nasal breathing only, or using a certain number/types of breaths as a rest period. You can do it as a warm up, like we do at the gym. You can also do it post workout, to tell your body it’s time to calm down. Below, are a couple protocols you can try right now.
3 rounds of 4 second inhale, 8 second hold, 4 second exhale
Then, take 15 breaths, full inhale, relaxed (not full) exhale
Then, hold your exhale for 10-30 seconds
Repeat 2-3 more times
Try this right now if you’re trying to wake up, or when you’re shifting tasks today
5 second inhale through your nose
10 second exhale through your nose or mouth
This is a good one to do post workout and if you’re feeling anxious or stressed.
Let me know how they make you feel!