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Movement & mobility: breath

Icon of calendar08/06/2022

Thom van der Meer, neuroscientist and movement professional, giving three simple yet effective tips on how mobility and movement will improve your overall fitness and performance. Let's start with the first one: breath.

How are you positioned right now?

Are you sitting.. standing.. laying down.. moving.. ?

Freedom of movement, and the ability to move with strength, precision and agility has become one of the most overlooked gifts we carry around in our day to day.

That this quality is perhaps more overlooked than thousands of years ago, is not a surprise necessarily. Many technological have advanced and enriched our society, many automations have drastically increased ways of living together. 

But today I am writing to you with the intention of drawing your attention to the most sophisticated tool you have; your body.

I’ll be sharing three ways to approach your next training sessions in a (perhaps) different manner, three ways to easily integrate new ways of using your body and its unlimited potential. All of the following techniques have been thoroughly researched, tested and tried by millions of individuals across all walks of life.

So let’s get into it!


Breath

Here we are. Ground zero, and our starting place for everything.

The movement pattern of all movement patterns. 

Your breath.

An autonomic operation of your nervous system; each individual breathing pattern unconsciously regulated in the eleven major nuclei, called the hypothalamus.

Ehh.. I mean: all of us having received the gift of a body knowing how to effortlessly draw the next breath.

Isn’t that efficiently organised? 

While this mechanism works of its own — today — I am pleading to make a case for your breath to receive your full attention before the next time you move.

Instruction

Before your next training session, please start by laying on the ground. You can put your legs on a chair/box in a 90 degree fold. From there, I am asking you to consciously breathe with your eyes closed for 5-10 minutes straight. 

Meaning, your attention goes to taking long, deep, slow and conscious breaths for a few undisturbed minutes in a row.

Why?

For you to feel into your body, and to feel how your body feels, before you move. 

For you to learn to recognise if your body feels tired, energised, absent, scared, in love, or any other state that might prevail. And to move from that awareness before doing any specific lift or practise.

And for you to allow yourself to change your training goal for that day if your body needs that. Upping the intensity when well rested— taking it more easy for that day if not.

You deserve it.

While I need to say, that if there is one injury-prevention strategy that I always use, no matter the person, (professional) background or training goal at hand, it would be this.

Enter the body, enter the breath.