#MaverickRestDay- Last week we shared with you different practices you can start to incorporate on your days off from training to help with your recovery. Starting this week we’re going to delve a little deeper into each of these practices and explore some of the finer aspects involved.
Deep Diaphragmatic Breathing
All breathing requires the movement of our diaphragm, which is a parachute like structure in your torso that expands and contracts as you inhale and exhale, however Deep Diaphragmatic Breathing involves an exaggeration of this movement.
Steps to practice:
1.) Find a comfortable position preferably lying down. Feel free to place a pillow under your head and knees. Close your eyes, start to breathe through your nostrils letting your inhale and exhale come naturally, avoid trying to control your breathing. Continue for the next 1-2mins.
2.) With your next inhalation, breathe in to the count of 6, feel the expansion your chest, your ribs and abdomen. You may even feel the pelvic floor muscles expand as your reach the top of your inhalation.
3.) Slowly, controlling the breath, begin to exhale, feel the abdomen drop, the ribs contract, and the chest drop, and eventually the navel pulling back towards the spine. You may even feel the pelvis floor pull up and contract. Exhale until there is no air left.
4.) Continue steps 1 & 2 for the next 5-10 mins. Avoid clenching the jaw or tightening the face. Let your whole body be relaxed.
Deep Diaphragmatic Breathing has numerous benefits; it balances the nervous system by stimulating the relaxation response. It reduces symptoms of stress and anxiety, it provides your cells with freshly oxygenated blood, nourishes the vagus nerve which can reduce symptoms of depression and increase our emotional resilience and it also stretches and massages the diaphragm along with all of the musculature that attaches to it, keeping these tissues supple and soft, ultimately improving the function of this muscle.
Summary of deep breathing: Improves rest, digestion, recovery and helps to regulate stress. Be sure to add it to your recovery day routine!
We’d love to hear from you, share you experience of Deep belly breath below!