Life’s Breath

You may have seen many top pros are now using breathing exercise to improve health, wellbeing and performance. If you practise yoga (as many surfers do) you may know a lot about this already. If not then you may find this useful.

Andrew Cotton runs us through his routines he uses to reduce stress and help him survive wipeouts at Nazare.

Breathing is pretty important really but it’s surprising how so many of us do it wrong, over the past few years I’ve done a few courses and learnt a lot about my breath all in the hope of giving me that extra edge in the sea but also on land.
The body is an amazing machine and capable of so much more than we can think is possible we just have to use it correctly . First we need to breath properly, deep belly breaths so your using all the lungs. Try lying on your back one hand on your stomach the other on your chest as you breath in you only want your hand on your belly rising then you know you’ve got it.
So the next exercise is how I prepare for big days but also come to learn it also helps me with stress, anxiety and to relax.

Breathing pattern: Lie on the floor and start to belly breath. 3 seconds in , inflating the belly then the chest, 10 seconds out, slowing down the exhalation with tongue and mouth . This doesn’t need to be exact, as long as you breathing out longer than breathing in your oxygenating your body .

No learn the dump breath:  this is exhaling everything you have in your lungs completely then re filling from the bottom up. Almost visualising filling your lungs with oxygen right from the belly , into the chest then finally the shoulders throat and head.

Now the exercise :
Get into your breathing pattern , totally relaxed lying on the floor. 3 seconds in through nose 10 seconds out through mouth .

2 mins.
• Dump breath then hold for 30 seconds
• The straight into breathing pattern for 2 mins
• Dump breath then hold for 1 min
• Straight into breathing pattern for 2 mins
• Dump breath then hold for 1.30 mins
• Straight into breathing pattern for 2 mins
• Dump breath then hold for as long as you can
• Never breath train in the water, bath or swimming pool .

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