Breathing Lessons

Do you need breathing lessons? This question might sound ridiculous, but if you want to skate long distances efficiently, you must be able to get all the oxygen your hard-working body needs.

Here is how to find out how you currently breathe: sit up straight, place your hands on your stomach below the belt line and take a very deep breath. Did your hands move in toward your spine? If yes, you have just filled only the top portion of your lungs. Your diaphragm stayed tight, blocking the path to a full intake of air. Inline skaters (and all humans)  need a rich intake of oxygen with every inhalation.

Because breathing habits are usually developed over a lifetime, re-learning proper breathing starts with awareness. Learning to watch and control your breathing offers other benefits, too. It takes your mind off worries, helps you feel more in control, and slows the hectic pace of both your mind and body, all very healthy side effects!

Meditating skater
Don’t try this at home, kids!

On the Mind-Body page of my Get Rolling Off-Skate Training section, I describe three breathing exercises for skaters to try:

A friend turned me on to  The Extraordinary Breath, a book by Donald and Lynne Rubbo. It is a great beginner’s guide for gaining all of the benefits from fully breathing. You can download and share this ebook freely with the authors’ blessing:
“We want to make this easy-to-learn, profound breathing system available to the entire world, and give people a time-proven way to be proactive in their own health and well-being, to make deep breathing and positive thoughts habitual and to allow the citizens of our world to live their lives with clarity of purpose, greater happiness and stronger connections to nature and to one another.”

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