Breath is probably the most elementary motion within our body and in close dialogue with Mother Nature. Our breath means ultimately life. Not only due to its delivery of Oxygen into our body but also because it connects our body with our environment we living in.
Breathing helps to enhance our awareness of being alive. I guess that’s why so many athletes talk about feeling so alive when they exercise and notice their breathing rate go up.
This is why I think we should observe our breathing carefully since correct breathing assists in establishing homeostasis between our body & mind and can lead to improved performances.
A natural and unrestricted breath is needed to achieve a consummate movement and good physical performance.
My athletes always ask me for training zone: “What are my heart rate and/or wattage zone for this or that?”. All my athletes receive a detailed training workout with HRs, Speed ranges and wattage zones. In addition to that I also like to indicate the importance of gauging a training block or race effort on breathing rates.
For example, turn your focus on your breathing. Focusing on your breathing helps to relax your mind in a stressful moment or during a demanding and challenging effort. This focus can help to enhance performances due to a lower basal muscle tone (staying loose) and improved body posture.
All physical movements, or the access to & application of specific motions or skills, require proper breathing. The intensity level of a specific exercise requires a certain amount of oxygen. For example, high intensity training increases oxygen demand which is compensated through a higher and/or deeper breathing rate (ventilation). Just think about the following for second: “Humans can survive for many days without food and water but without Oxygen only a few minutes”.
Largely breathing happens involuntarily, but emotions can also have a direct impact on it. Stress or anxiety can bring your breathing to a halt. For example, a runner relates his experience: “I had enjoyed my trail run until a hungry looking mountain lion crossed my path”. The runner must have been in great stress (shock), probably stopped breathing for a little while and froze –well, at least for a few seconds I can imagine.
It is possible, though, to periodically move the process of breathing into our consciousness. A wrong or ineffective breathing can be improved with breathing exercises. Improved breathing enables us to sustain a challenging physical performance, to deal and recover from a stressor and to manage our emotions.
Well, unless someone feels so overwhelmingly stressed out about something and prefers a much more hands-on proactive cutting edge therapy successfully applied for many years by baboons. If this is the case, I suggest grooming and scratching backs.