"The mind is king of the senses, but the breath is the king of the mind." - Hathaway Yoga Pradipika
Brian Mackenzie, breathing expert and endurance coach provides insight on nasal breathing and how it can reduce stress and improve athletic performance.
Excerpts from interviews with Mackenzie:
1. Most of us are chronic over-breathers (hyperventilation) when stressed, breathing shallowly in and out of our mouths.
That hyperventilation can cause and be caused by acute stress or anxiety. Just by simply switching to nasal breathing, you can mitigate those anxiety-provoking responses and help your body adapt to the stress. Just like anything, with practice, this can become a subconscious and productive reaction to stress.
2. For athletes, nasal breathing will help develop aerobic capacity and can also keep us in check with our technical or mechanical limitations. We can always get away with going faster or harder with breathing predominantly through our mouths. But, breathing through your nose forces you to focus on efficiency and inevitably forces you into a biomechanically optimal position to access your diaphragm and a full breath.
Nasal breathing can also keep you in tune with your metabolic shifts. Nose in/nose out breathing is highly aerobic. Nose in/mouth out bumps you up to your lactate threshold. Mouth in/mouth out breathing is totally anaerobic.
3. Tips for managing stress:
a. Focus on what you enjoy in stressful situations.
b. Be in the moment. The past is depression, the future is anxiety, so be present and experience the moment.
c. Downregulate at the end of the day. Refer to the third link below to Mackenzie’s video on handling stress and his breathing routine.
For more information go to the links below: