Part Six of the Support Elements series.
In the theater of war, there a countless scenarios in which the army with a strong air force was able to dominate the battlefield. Having air support provides a great breadth of perspective and depth of control. Simply put, air supremacy determines Victory!
In a previous post, I covered the barriers to breath – tightness in the throat and shallow, rapid breathing.
The habitual behavior of over-breathing develops a lower tolerance to carbon dioxide and as your sensitivity rises, your breathing volume will increase – leading to a chronic sympathetic state.
Using the analogy of a savings account, think of your breath as the account balance. You always want there to be some money in the account, say, for emergencies. In those situations, you can freely make a withdrawal to resolve unexpected costs.
The same is true with breath – we can make a withdrawal and utilize greater breath when we require more oxygen to perform demanding tasks. But we don’t want to make withdrawals all day long, because when we have an emergency, we are out of money.
“Noses are for Breathing, Mouths are for Eating”
This is the title of chapter 3 in Patrick McKeown’s The Oxygen Advantage. I have used this book for much of my research into breathwork and optimal breathing.
On the subject of eating, our diets (radically different than our ancestors’) actually promote opening the mouth wider and more often, which simulates breathing. Acidic foods don’t help.
It was only when our ancient ancestors were in dangerous situations that they utilized mouth-breathing in order to take in great amounts of air. Likewise, we can voluntarily control our breath to achieve different states.
Charles Darwin noted the adaptation of humans, which were dissimilar to other animals, that the paths for both food and air ran parallel to one another. Certainly, if there was not a good reason for this, Mother Nature would have corrected it. Instead, we experienced the evolution of a complicated swallowing mechanism, which allows great risk for food going down the wrong way.
Alas, we evolved to maintain voluntary control over our breathing, and for good reason!
Watch this video about the Body Oxygen Level Test (BOLT) score, and how to perform the test.
I encourage you to learn more about how to govern your breathing, and how to utilize different breathing exercises in order to achieve more work.