Exercise and the Breath
With spring fast approaching many of you will now be focusing on your fitness. Whilst the slimline physique and muscular definition are viewed as indicators of fitness, the breath is of underlying importance. The rise of the Breathing Exercise Classes that are now taking hold in America is a reminder of the key role that awareness of the breath plays during exercise. There are many online articles that describe how the breath is best managed when performing diverse types of exercise such as running or weight lifting. It is wonderful that altering the way we breath during exercise can enable us to prolong our running or lift greater weights, but what about when we are not exercising? Can attention to the breath serve us?
The practice of Qigong reminds us just how important attention to the breath is in everyday life.The series of slow repeated movements provide us with an opportunity to nurture a breathing pattern that is slow, steady and even. With one movement per breath and a mindful approach to each movement the synchronised nature of breath and movement become a natural rhythm that encourages the breath to slow and deepen inviting more oxygen to be made available to the whole body. Moreover, this more relaxed way of breathing can translate into our everyday lives and bring a refreshing ease to the breath in our daily activities.