Since learning to slackline, I’ve never been more obsessed with controlling my breath: breathing in to the diaphragm deliberately, or the chest cavity, or both. It is phenomenal to feel in control of your breath, especially when it helps you get past some kind of fear or energy block within, or even heal an injury. But that’s another story.
Today I played with the idea of aggressive inhalation; breathing in with force, energy and intent, rather than channeling all of that into a strong exhalation. Often in the realms of sports, physical disciplines like martial arts or even pseudo-science areas like stress management, we are taught to channel energy, or attach a sense of ‘release’, to our out-breaths. It works. However, the only situation I’ve noticed where this method doesn’t work so well, is when you’re puffing out of your arse from exhaustion. Come and do one of the Hybrid Conditioning sessions down at Locker 27, and I guarantee your diaphragm will be a’flappin’! Struggling for air after these conditioning rounds led me to explore the idea of controlling one’s recovery speed.
Watch this video of legend Rickson Gracie below – look out for the clip where he runs stairs, then feels his pulse in his neck and times his recovery process. Pay attention to how he breathes: