posted on: December 23, 2018
author: Brian Lomax
Breathing. It’s kind of basic. So basic that most of the time you are completely unaware that you are even doing it. But obviously it’s critical to survival as a human being, and beyond that, taking conscious control of it can have some profound effects on our well-being. There are many different exercises that one could do, but I want to focus on one – consciously controlling the rhythm of your breath, also known as rhythmic breathing.
As breathing exercises go, rhythmic breathing isn’t particularly difficult. Your goal is to simply establish a rhythm with your breath. For example, inhale for 4 seconds and exhale for 4 seconds all through the nose. You can add a pause in between the inhales and exhales, if you wish. Do this for 2 to 3 minutes and you may start to notice some differences/benefits:
Those sound like some pretty good benefits for athletes, and that’s why rhythmic breathing is something that I teach all of my private students in our very first session together. It’s that critical to top level performance. While it’s easy to do this on your own, you could also use a free app like Breathe2Relax (Android, Apple iOS).
I like this app because it gives you a visual progress bar that you can use to time your inhales and exhales. The app also allows you to configure the lengths of the inhale and the exhale. Use this once a day to help manage your stress levels, and try it as part of your pre-competition routine. I think you’ll find that it helps your mind be calm and focused before your event. When stress arises, as it inevitably will, you’ll respond better to it.
Brian Lomax founded PerformanceXtra™ in 2009 with a mission of helping athletes achieve their goals and their top performances more consistently through a progression of mental skills that enables them to focus on what is truly important.
Learn more about the author: https://performancextra.com/brian-lomax/