TRY IT: BELLOWS BREATH
It stimulates your internal fire, yogis say.
Every athlete knows that education is a crucial part of performance. Sport and exercise research, insight from top trainers, science, and technology help you to better understand your body so you can craft a healthier lifestyle, workouts, and recovery plan.
In our daily news series, experts address some of the latest fitness research, nutrition, style, and health stories.
The technique also makes you more alert. “The vagus nerve in the brain goes directly to the diaphragm, so this rapid breathing excites the sympathetic nervous system and puts you in an engaged mode,” says Sean Peters, spa coordinator and massage therapist at Equinox in Boston.
To do it, sit with a straight spine, and close your eyes and mouth. Take quick, shallow breaths in and out through the nose, almost like you’re panting. Bellows Breath is driven by the diaphragm, so with each exhale, draw the belly button in toward the spine and release it with each inhale.
If you’ve never done it before, start with one inhale and exhale per second and do 10 in a row, Gervais says. Work your way up to two inhale-exhale cycles per second for one minute.