The benefits of breath work is being talked about a lot these days. And rightfully so, it is known for addressing stress and the nervous system. However, all breath work is not created equal. Every genre has its own benefits.
But today is not going to be about ALL the breath work options out there. Instead we are going to focus on styles specific to recovery from training.
The key to improving your bodies recovery is to SLOW EVERYTHING DOWN. This may be intuitive (or maybe not so much) to balancing your training, (where you are speeding everything up and working hard), however, intuitive does not mean easy. If you are athletic and active then you know that slowing down is one of the hardest things to do because you LOVE to go hard! So let’s take a look at the benefits of slow and steady breath work and how it enhances our training.
BENEFITS OF BREATHING TO ENHANCE TRAINING
- IMPROVES VAGAL TONE: this is the health and functioning of the parasympathetic nervous system. Rest and Digest.
- BALANCES YOUR ENERGY LEVELS by improving sleep, focus, and self awareness.
- REGULATES YOUR SYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM: this is not only the fight or flight, it is also the part that gets you out of bed and motivates you to accomplish your goals.
- INCREASES HRV (the variability between heart beats, higher variability is better), if you are an athlete this is incredibly important. It in an indicator of your ability to switch gears, adapt and recover.
- REDUCES RISK OF INJURY as your body awareness improves and you create an internal environment that can address everyday stress with out wasting energy. The more imbalances you have, the harder that your body works to balance things out. This is a negative stress.
- BULLETPROOF MINDSET: No one can take anything from you when you know your own self worth. Regular breathing practices work to balance the branches of the nervous system and make you comfortable with the uncomfortable.
The obvious things to address in our training are strength, endurance, mobility, and nutrition. Breath is rarely considered even though it is what powers us through everything we do on a daily basis.
If you are experiencing fatigue, restless sleep, lower endurance, slow performance gains, poor digestion, stress, anxiety and problems focusing I encourage you to give SLOW breathing a try. It will give your body exactly what it needs to recover!