Qi (aka Mindful) Breathing in Exercise - Blog - details

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Qi (aka Mindful) Breathing in Exercise

Jun 10, 2015

Kung Fu Panda and I love to go biking on the Towpath. Here he is at Beaver Marsh with some of his friends. He's such a ham!

Using this mindful breathing technique, with minimal effort we gained great rewards. Try it!

Kung Fu Panda and I love to go biking on the Towpath. Here he is at Beaver Marsh with some of his friends. He's such a ham!

We were using this mindful breathing technique just the other day. With minimal effort we gained great rewards. Give it a try and let us know how it feels to you.

In sync with your steps or spins, count as you inhale and exhale through your nose… keeping the same count on the in and out breath. In your mind it might sound like, "In, two, three, four; out, two, three, four." As the grade changes, so will your breath and count, either becoming quicker or slower in accordance with the effort needed.

Breathing to a count engages your brain. Breathing through your nose encourages the air to flow into the lower regions of the lungs for a more effective use of the oxygen. Nose breathing also activates the parasympathetic nervous system (our "rest and repose" mode) which helps us stay more relaxed. With this rhythmic breathing our movements become more fluid, requiring less effort to achieve our goals.

As an example, when biking uphill, I often will shift to a higher/harder gear, stand on my pedals to engage my whole body and consciously slow my breath. My riding companion tends to downshift and spin faster. We both get to the top of the hill, accomplishing that task, feeling great.

The difference? My breathing is more relaxed, my heart rate much slower. It's the difference between the aerobic conditioning of Tai Chi and that of a more typical, high-intensity workout.

For at least a portion of your next walk, ride or run, give it a try and let me know how it goes!

Good Qi,

Nancy G

"I love the workshops and rituals! Great opportunities to join with like-minded people.  Nacy gently leads us through practices and rituals that connect us to Source while honoring our own unique expressions of the Divine."

Suzanne Paouncic, Project Director