Just breathe

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2 minute read

And breathe 🧘🏼

I’ve started using breathing techniques for relaxation and stress relief, and also for performance optimisation within my training.

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You may have heard of Wim Hof and the Wim Hof method of breathing techniques. Wim is also known as The Iceman and is an extreme athlete most known for his ability to withstand freezing temperatures.

He describes his methods as:

“scientific breathing techniques that improve your energy level, detox your body, reduce stress levels, rebalance the nervous system and strengthen your immune system.”

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I’ve tried his Cold Therapy methods a few times but prefer to stick to the breathing techniques, for now.

I’ve not built it into a habit and done it every day - I’m still a bit self-conscious and need privacy - but when I do get chance to spend 15-20 minutes alone, meditatively breathing, it does me some real good.

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Why breathe?

We breathe on average 12-16 times per minute or around 20,000 times per day. That’s mind-blowing. And we do it naturally, without thinking - even when we’re asleep.

We take it for granted, surely. But if we do think, do focus, we can use our breathing to optimise our minds and bodies.

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Relaxation and stress relief

The techniques relax my body and force my mind to focus. In a dark room with only my breathing to think about, I let all else go and focus on me.

Getting in tune with my body, thinking about what’s happening at the micro-level reminds me that my problems aren’t as important as they seem. If I can just breathe, nothing else matters in the moment.

Performance optimisation

Before a run I sometimes meditate and breathe, which leaves me feeling fresh and strong for the activity ahead.

During the activity, I remember to focus on my breathing and breathe deeper, into my full chest and diaphragm, with intent. I take in more oxygen and feel stronger, and have run faster as a tangible result.

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The technique

I won’t go into the details of the method itself - as well as it not being my method, and probably extremely copyrighted, there’s currently a Free Mini Class with which you can learn the basics in a free video course.

In the interest of diversity, there are other breathing techniques that I’ve heard of and tried, for example the 5-5-5 technique.

I now prefer Wim’s techniques because of the breath-holding after each round. My breath-holding has improved to over 2.5 minutes over a few sessions.

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Just breathe

I’ve recently said that air, or oxygen is my favourite element. My favourite thing. My life force, the thing I have so much appreciation for now.

You’re doing it 20,000 times a day anyway, so why not try it with meaning?

Thanks for reading! 👋🏻
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