Breathing Better Is Not That Hard
I am blessed to see my families again after they have had their babies, and I do get some beautiful compliments about how my course changed their labour. But during a birth debrief with a couple, I received one of the most wonderful and confusing compliments I have ever been given. This one was different.
“You saved my career!”
A big statement, which invited a big question. HOW?
It turns out that this father worked in a top-secret special service in the military that required an extremely high level of fitness. This man experienced asthma symptoms but refused medication as it may jeopardise his career – he was not allowed to be medicated. He held a lot of anxiety around having an asthma attack whilst doing his job – this had happened a couple of times and left him struggling to hide his condition.
During my Transform Your Birth course, I give a brief but powerful teaching on the importance of breathing volume. How much we breathe with each breath influences how much oxygen we receive and can also influence people with asthma symptoms, anxiety, poor energy levels. Even snoring and sleep apnoea can be improved with better breathing. I then teach some powerful habits that will influence breathing volume, and when practiced over time, can be trained into the automatic system. So even when you aren’t thinking about breathing, your body breathes better.
This father was particularly interested in the course and asked me more questions at morning tea, without letting me know why he was so interested. He practiced the new habits and had not experienced symptoms since.
So, breathing better is not hard and can result in some profound changes within the body.
How to breathe better…
- Breathe for your body – Be upright, with a relaxed posture to release tension from the diaphragm. This will result in more efficient and easier breathing.
- Breathe through the nose – Nose breathing allows our body to clean and filter the air and reduces the tendency to over-breathe. Nose breathing, even during intense exercise if you are really clever, can enhance stamina, performance, and recovery. For most people, this requires training.
- Breathe Gently – Gentle automatic breathing, not forced deep breathing.
- Breathe Slowly – Most people also need to slow down their breathing. As a population, we tend to breathe too fast. Add a little pause between each breath.
So simple, so obvious, but few people breathe this way automatically.
Now in my early fifties, I decided it was time to get back into strength training, so I started with a pump class. I managed the whole class nose breathing and barely cracked a sweat, wasn’t overly sore, and was still pretty strong given I haven’t done weights for about 3 years. Not bad for an old bird! It’s all in the breath, my dear ones.
Sending love and good breathing to you all,