First time I ever heard the terms breath awareness and breath work was in November 2016. Dan Brule’ who’s outstanding book, Just Breath, is considered a foundational cornerstone in the arena of breath work. Dan defines breath work as the breath awareness and conscious breathing for healing and growth, personal awakening and transformation in spirt, mind and body. Who would want more of that as an athlete!
Being mindful of your breath; how you breath (through your mouth or nose), breathing in vertically or horizonal along with the number of breaths you take per minute are paramount to get your body to perform at your full potential. Check in with your breath often during the day. An example of this is you are driving and come to a stop light. Take this time to focus on your breath, take a deep slow breath in through your nose and feel your lower ribs expand out horizontally and feel your breath energize you. “Breathing light is breathing right.” Slowing down your breath will have a direct effect on your HRV and your heart rate
In his book, Body Mind and Sport, John Douillard indicates that in the listen phase of our training/workout, your breath is speaking to your body, communicating down to the cellular level. Slow down or speed up to match your swim stroke to your breath or your running cadence. What does the natural rhythm and flow feel like? Inhale/exhale and bring your attention to your breath. It is calling out to you.