The typical respiratory rate is between 15 to 20 breaths per minutes while resting. You can train your breath to be five breaths per minute with some of the breathing technique I am going to mention.
I am excited to share this post with you!
Have you been nervous on stage when giving a presentation or to pitch an idea to a broad audience? Your hands are sweating, and your heart is beating fast. You tell yourself to take a deep breath, and everything will be all right.
I want to hear your side of the story! What do you know about breathing and how many techniques have you learned to improve the quality of breathing? Comment down below to share your experience. :)
If you are interested in reading my breathing journey, then keep reading, or you can jump to the Breathing Techniques section. :)
I had much difficulty in breathing, especially when I was doing any cardio related exercises such as running, cycle, hiking, etc. Many times, it stopped me from being physically active because I couldn’t keep up with my breaths. I would feel exhausted and fatigued when I was at mile 0.25. I was always the last one in the group. Really. That’s me.
When there is a running or swimming event on the weekend with the family, I always felt discouraged going with them. I would pretend I hate running and swimming, and eventually, I get excluded because I show no interest. At one point, I felt that I couldn’t possibly do any related physical activities because my body did not respond well and I didn’t know where to start to improve it.
I don’t quite get the breathing rhythm. I thought the only way to get better at my breathing is by running or hiking more often. I believe it does, however, it is my weakest sport and the most intimidating sport. So, I would not even attempt on improving.
Until early spring this year, I learned a couple of breathing techniques in my yoga teacher training and took some of my favorite yoga class where they emphasize and introduce breathing technique.
I learned a lot from the teacher training, and I have adopted many yoga philosophies and incorporating into my strength training, physical activities, and I did see much improvement when I tried to run again!
Last but not least, keep in mind, you need to start slow, and implement these techniques in your life. You can start with your favorite physical activities or meditation.
I believe having general knowledge in breathing, and its technique is adding value to the quality of life. Coming from yoga and weightlifting background, I want to share some my methods with you.
In the 8 Limbs of Yoga, the 4th limb is the pranayama. Prana means breath control or the life force restraint. Forget about all the poses you see doing yoga, you might not know practice pranayama is also part of practicing yoga, and it is the most prominent part in shaping a yogi! For each movement, the breath connects with each poses, and you are in control of your breathing and movement.
Five Qualities of Breathing:
Think of your belly like a balloon when practicing diaphragmatic breathing. I know it is not an attractive description, but it works! When you inhale, make the balloon as big as possible (expand), in contrast, when you exhale, make the balloon as small as possible (contract).
Diaphragmatic Breathing Method
- When you inhale, count slowly 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, hold full at the top;
- Then exhale, and count slowly 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, hold empty at the bottom.
- Now apply the above two steps, inhale, and exhale.
- First, expand the lowest area of the belly.
- Second, expand the ribcage (your middle chest).
- Third, extend the clavicular region and to the top of your head.
- Repeat and exhale in reverse action.
- Can you make each breath deep?
- Can you make each breath smooth?
- Can you make each breath continuous without a pause?
- Can you make them quiet?
- Continue with couple more breath on your own pace.
Before taking the teacher training, I took Becky (my instructor) yoga class at Infinity Yoga (now YogaWorks in Atlanta area) because I am curious about yoga. I want to learn how to execute the poses and incorporate with my weightlifting training. That day, I learned a different way to breathe. I used to have short and chopping breathing that I only filled up to my upper chest. Because of my curiosity, I learn more about other breathing technique and improve my breathing quality overall.
Everyone has different goals. Some of the students who took the teacher training are to become a yoga instructor. For me, it is my curiosity. If something sparks curious in you, take action, and you might be surprised what new things you might learn along the way.
There are many other breathing techniques such as Nadi Shodhana, Bhramari, Kapalabhati, etc. and each has different method and benefits. Moving Inward is a great resource if you are interested in the journey to meditation. I read it during my yoga teacher training. This book explains and illustrates very well and go in depth on the diaphragmatic breathing and breath awareness and how it applies in meditation.
In strength training, I like to apply the 70/30 breathing method, if you are interested in this topic and would like me to share my experience in Pick Up Strength, please let me know in the comment down below! :)
- Yoga & Meditation
- Strength Training
- Physical Sports
- Child Labor & Pregnancy
- Stress Management
- Self Care
- Quality of Sleep
- De-escalate Aggressive Behavior in Psychiatric Patients
- Calm a Person
Consult with A Health Professional
I highly recommend consulting with your physician or a health professional, that way you’ve just got your basis covers.
If you are interested in improving your breathing and apply to your daily routine or physical activities, many professional coaches will teach you the fundamental technique. The next time you are in your group fitness class or running with your friends, ask them for advice on developing your breathing technique. If you know how to breathe underwater, please let me know! I am still struggling and especially afraid of scuba and snorkeling without letting go the boat.
I hope you learn something new today by reading this far! Imagine the next time you are on a flight and your neighbor is terrifying on the turbulence, you will be able to calm him/her with the breathing method, and it might spark an interesting conversation!
Be a humble hummingbird. Seek help and don’t be discouraged like the way I used to.
Share with love,