One might say the roar of power breathing from the small room on Saturday overcame the thundering rattle of weightlifters in the big room. When you have twenty some individuals throwing any concern for ‘sounding silly’ out the window, the true sound of oxygenation bellows throughout East Vancouver. They were committed to getting as much out of their breath as possible. I requested everyone to rise from the floor, They rose from the floor like time-lapse plant growth, ready to follow the light that had been shone upon them.
The procedure started with some light breathing variations that lead to a big round of deep expansive ‘power breaths’ inspired by the Wim Hof Method. My goal here was not to unlock inner peace, it was to actively get everyone to breathe with purpose and prepare them for the next 90 minutes. Through this purpose we can increase the stimulus to yield a change in our physiological state.
We could be increasing the alkalinity of the body and reducing inflammation for improved recovery. The body is always trying to maintain equilibrium at a pH of 7.365, which is slightly alkaline. If your body is in a very acidic state, it will seek balance, and may do so by drawing nutrients from the bones (No, not my bones!).
We’re likely releasing some happy hormones. Ones like Dopamine, that help regulate movement and emotional responses, and enable us not only to see rewards, but to take action to move toward them. Or something like Serotonin which has been implicated in practically every type of behavior, such as appetitive, emotional, motor, cognitive and autonomic.
If anything I was attempting to get into some deep(ish) meditative states as quickly as possible to prepare everyone for the remaining minutes of intense mobility training.
We may have practiced that breathing to bring us closer to something greater in the universe. We may have practiced that breathing to balance pH levels. We may have practiced that breathing for any number of reasons that could motivate an individual to mentally and physically commit to improving their mobility. Regardless of motivation, or lack thereof, we all benefited by just doing it.
Motivation can be garbage sometimes. Our bodies are wired to protect themselves, and keep us in comfortable states. We can find ourselves in purpose purgatory looking for a way forward. We have all shown each other the will by walking through those doors week in and week out. The struggle is real. Life and mobility are hard, and our bodies know this. We may not find the motivation we feel we need.
Motivation not required, just show up and we'll figure it out.