Breathing is a part of everything we do but is often overlooked when we think about our health, wellness, and performance. Breathing practices have increasingly become more popular as more resources are shared and discovered. Ranging from education, books, and podcasts with James Nestor, Andrew Huberman, Dr. Jack Feldman, Wim Hof, Brian Mackenzie, and Patrick McKeown.
Underlying Principles: Oxygen Advantage by Patrick McKeown.
Get Nasal: Ultimately our mouth is for speaking, eating, and emergency situations. The goal is getting our breath predominantly nasal.
Three Dimensions of Functional Breathing (Light, Slow, & Deep)
Breathe Light (Biochemistry): Reducing the volume of air you are taking in creating a tolerable air hunger. Think feather/mustache breathing, as the softening of the inhale should cause no turbulence or movement and the exhale feels as if it is falling out.
Breathe Slow (Cadence): Working off of a cadence of 4 seconds in and 6 seconds out, respiratory rate is slowed down to 6 breaths per minute
Breathe Deep (Biomechanics): Breathing in with fuller breaths looking to fill low and with lateral expansion. Placing hands on ribs to feel expansion out as they fill can provide simple feedback.
Light, slow, and deep are the basic frameworks for how we can be more efficient with nasal breathing. Improving function and how much we breath can help us reduce our overall cost within activity, at rest, and when we are asleep.
Swami Sivananda has said “yogi measures the span of life by the number of breaths, not by the number of years.” This quote can help us conceptualize how improving our breath can reduce our cost of living. For example, comparing the cost of living between 15 breaths per minute (roughly 22,000 per day) to a less efficient 25 breaths per minute (costing roughly 36,000 per day). By becoming more efficient in breathing we can reduce total cost and have the capacity to live at a higher level.