“Everything breathes: breathing is the inspiration of Life within all living forms of reality. All matter is in a continual state of particle exchange. In humans, breathing is the biological basis and spiritual expression that renews life, propels awareness and focuses body-mind functioning in time and space.” (1st Principle of Conscious Connected Breathing – J. Youst) Breathing is often overlooked by many exercisers and many Personal Trainers and Coaches. The fact is that breathing is the first thing we do when we come in this world. It is a primal exercise, as the squat, crawl, run and jump. RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU Yet despite being so fundamental and natural, many find it difficult to control their breathing. And almost all of us take it for granted. Here’s something to think about. If we cannot control such as simple task as breathing, how on earth can we expect to control our bodies, our thoughts and anything else in our surrounding environment or the wider world. So lets look at the why and how of breathing.

These are some of the benefits of correct breathing:

1)     Sends oxygen rich blood to your muscles
2)     Helps you recover after exercising
3)     Helps your body relax when no tension is needed
4)     Helps you heal faster by improved circulation to the affected area
5)     Helps you focus on the present moment, helps you focus in general
6)     Increases your strength. In general, it is recommended to breathe out on the effort (i.e. when you come up from a squat or when you push yourself up in a press-up) There are many other benefits, these are just a few.

What is a correct breathing and a reverse breathing.

Reverse breathing is when you breathe in while pulling your stomach in. This means you are trying to inflate something that deflates. When you breathe in you want to inflate your stomach and then you breathe out you deflate your stomach. It helps to hold a hand on your chest and one on your stomach. When you breathe in the hand on the stomach should move outwards, while the hand on the chest should not move at all. When you breathe out the hand on your stomach should move inwards, while the hand on your chest should not move or move very little. When doing a deep breathing technique the hand on the stomach moves in/out first, followed by the hand on the chest which moves as well. But for regular breathing the hand on the chest should not move. The process is more complicated than this but for now this is all you need to know so you can breathe properly.

Breathing exercises

Breathing-for-Fitness_2 Here are 3 beginner breathing exercises for you to try. If you have any medical conditions please ask your doctor before doing these exercises.

Linear breathing technique

• BREATHE IN through your nose on a count of 4
• BREATHE OUT through your nose on a count of 4.
• Repeat and adjust the timing according to your level

Triangle breathing technique

Imagine an equilateral triangle. It has 3 equal sides • BREATHE IN through your nose on a count of 4.
• HOLD on a count of 4.
• BREATHE OUT through your nose on a count of 4.
• No hold after this one. Repeat and adjust the timing according to your level If this is challenging reduce the time or go back to linear breathing and practice. If it’s easy increase the length of the in and out breathe and holds

Square breathing technique

A square has 4 equal sides. • Thus BREATHE IN through your nose on a count of 4.
• HOLD on a count of 4.
• BREATHE OUT through your nose on a count of 4.
• HOLD on a count of 4.
• Repeat If this is challenging reduce the time or go back to square breathing and practice. If it’s easy increase the length of the in and out breathe and holds. Let me know how it goes. I’d like to hear from you. If you need any help and/or advice don’t hesitate to contact me.

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