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Breathing: A Lost Art?

Breathing: A Lost Art

If you haven’t had a chance to read James Nestor’s book “Breathing, the New Science of the Lost Art” let me sum it up for you: Breathing is super important.

Now most people will respond to this statement with “I’ve been breathing my whole life”, what’s there to practice? Let's dive in.

If you take nothing else from this image, I want you to remember the function of the diaphragm. When we take a breath in, the lungs expand & the diaphragm contracts. When we exhale, the opposite occurs. Makes sense why “inhale and trap the air down” is the common “bracing” strategy used for heavy lifts or maximum effort.

There are so many muscles in our body directly affected by breathing. With this understanding, it makes so much more sense why it's important to prioritize it before we dive into a bunch of drills. For example, how many times have you had to smash a foam roller into your mid back only for the tightness to return a few hours later? What if I told you that if you were able to expand the backside of your ribcage, you wouldn't have to keep repeating these “smashes” like it’s groundhog day.

Think of breathing like an internal CAR (controlled articular rotation) or an Organ CAR, if you will. Just like how CAR’s take our joints through their current available range of motion, breathing does the same for our guts. It not only helps with digestion, but countless things in our body. Being that it’s something we do 20,000 times a day, we can’t deny its importance.

There’s a saying I can’t get out of my head, and that is that “position dictates function, and respiration dictates position.”

If we think about this, it brings into perspective that our ribcage is a lot more than the stack of bones that protects our vital organs. It’s something that is a direct representation of our breathing and thus the function of our entire body.

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