The quality of our lives has a direct correlation with the quality of our breathe. Did you know that?
Or, as my mentor Cdr Mark Divine says during his yoga classes: "The quality of your experience will be determined by the quality of your breathe."
What does that mean? It means our breathing is the gateway to all things in life. If we're not breathing properly (the majority of people in the world don't breathe properly) our capacity, our flow state, performance, mood, everything about our physiology gets impacted.
People who are anxious, high strung, or simply just worked up in general, tend to breathe from the top of their lungs. Their breathing is often really short and shallow.
Very docile and mellow people, or men/women in a really relaxed state, tend to breathe really shallow from the bottom of their lungs. This restricts oxygen and blood flow as much as the prior example.
On average we take about 14 breathes per minute. For peak health and performance we should have that down to 6 breathes per minute. That's almost double the breathes (and not even high quality breaths) that we're supposed to be taking!
Box breathing is a great way to learn arousal control, which is an effective state management tool. It's energizing enough to unlock flow state before walking into your big sales call or executive meeting.
Through making it a daily practice, not only do we find more performance, untapped potential, and flow state, we're also teaching ourselves to breathe fully. A fully oxygenated and functioning system can work wonders to get us through the day (without the negative side effects of coffee and other caffeine derivatives).
We're going to do a brief 5 rounds of 5x5 box breathing, which is a great place to start for anyone whose not used to this type of work.
Please keep your eyes open and focused if you're driving or anything. If you're not in a place to quite settle and focus, just focus on your breath and nothing else, you can always revisit the podcast later to experiment with the full embodiment.