October 31, 2018
Performance Breathwork is a new term catching on in the fitness industry, but it has been around for some time. It has most commonly been used in the yoga world, and it is slowly moving over to the fitness world, which is really exciting for us as fitness professionals & yoga instructors! I have a pretty solid background in breathing techniques used to calm down your parasympathetic nervous system from my yoga background with one simple technique of making your exhales longer than your inhales. The parasympathetic nervous system is one part of the entire autonomic nervous system. It’s key role is to rest & digest. It conserves energy as it slows the heart rate, increases intestinal and gland activity and relaxes sphincter muscles in the gastrointestinal tract. The other common system is the sympathetic nervous system, that’s fight or flight. This is the state we stay in more than we should, with work stress, traffic in Houston especially, busy lifestyles, trying to fit everything in your day, and just trying to keep up with your to-do list & what everyone else is doing. We are all tempted by what our friends are doing (on social media) and we want to do it too or better! It’s natural human behavior to want to be apart of the crowd, but all of those stressors are doing just that, causing unnecessary stress to our bodies and lives. Proper breathwork is the easiest tool that we all have access to & can do at ANY TIME in our day. We can work on our breathwork in the car in the crazy Houston traffic, in the morning before we get out of the bed, while we are at work, in meetings, before bed and the list goes on & on.
What I will be teaching in my performance breathwork playshops will be some introduction techniques to proper belly breathing. We will talk about why 80% of the population is chest breathers. When we don’t breath with our entire body, we are not getting proper oxygen to our muscles to aid in recovery and relaxation. When we don’t use our bellies to breath, we typically breath in and out of our mouths. Breathing in the nose is where we get filtered, cleaner oxygen that distributes to our organs & muscles. When we learn how to belly breathe, it starts to affect our nervous system and muscles in a positive way. We start to feel better, more rested and better prepared for what the day throws at us. We are more prepared to act with purpose as opposed to react to situations as they arise.
In my performance breathwork playshops, we will explore the breath using different cadences. We will play around with small breath holds to increase lung capacity and exposure to long breath holds. We will play around with power breathing techniques used to create energy in the body. Most people say after they practice breathwork, that they have a feeling of euphoria. Most pranayama (breathwork in yogi terms) practitioners say you feel like you are floating on a cloud after practicing breathwork and often refer to it as “yoga stoned.” You will most likely feel refreshed & re-focused, relaxed & renewed.