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Breath control for the win!

Breath control for the win!

Breath control for the win!

Comments Off on Breath control for the win!

Every day — about 23,000 times, in fact — we breathe in and out. But how conscious are you of your breathing? Do you put your lungs on autopilot and just let them do their thing? If so, you’re missing out! 

Breath control is something musicians, singers, yogis, and others have practiced for centuries. It can lower your blood pressure, reduce stress, help you sleep, help you focus, and so many other cool things. 

And here’s where this blog post comes in: simply learning to control your breathing can even make you a better, stronger dancer. 
Here’s an introductory breath control exercise to help you learn how your body feels when you inhale and exhale fully and deeply: 
  1. Pretend the air you’re breathing into your body is verrrrrry heavy. 
  2. Breathe in slowly through your nose and let the air drop low into your body as you inhale. Feel your abdomen, back, and lungs expand. Feels good, right? Exhale normally.
  3. Now breathe in a little more quickly, and allow the air to fill in so you’re ready to use it at a moment’s notice. Again, exhale normally.
  4. Inhale again. Try to control where your breath goes when you inhale fully. See if you can push the breath down into your diaphragm first. Then try to completely fill your lungs. You can take a much bigger breath this way, right? Your whole torso feels like it’s filled with usable air!
  5. Now exhale through your mouth, slowly and with purpose. Push the air from your diaphragm first, then your lungs. Sustain the “out” breath for at least as long as it took to get a whole “in” breath. Push all the air out! You should feel like you need to breathe in again right away. This exercise may make you yawn … and it’s great for those nights when you’re having trouble getting to sleep! 

*Note: it’s possible to make yourself dizzy when doing breath control exercises. Your body may not be used to them. So take it easy and work your way up!

Try a little breath control when you go into your next spin on the pole. Breathe in as you prepare for the spin, and breathe out (in a controlled exhale, please!) as you spin. Your core will automatically engage, and your spin should feel floatier and easier to control.  

In posts to come: more breathing exercises and how they can help you with everything from floorwork to climbing to inverted poses. Yay! 
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