A few weekends ago I had my first ever hockey tournament. Being a rookie rec player, I was nervous to say the least! During the first game, I was so scared that I was going to make costly mistakes. I was not as aggressive as I usually am and would smack the puck away without trying to make an actual play. During our short intermissions, our coach kept telling us to breathe and slow it down; we had time to look at the ice.
One of the most important actions our body does is breathe. We don’t really notice it as it is an involuntary action. If you have ever held your breath while watching a movie or TV show that has an underwater scene to see if you could last as long as the actor does, you know it can be difficult. (Imagine doing that during ‘Finding Nemo’!)
So how can you improve on something that you are not conscious of? I am going to provide you with five simple steps on how to do just that in a matter of five minutes, two times per day:
1. Find a quiet place to sit or lie down that is comfortable.
2. Place your arms comfortably by your side and feet slightly apart.
3. Inhale through your nose slowly, counting to four. When you inhale, you should feel as if air is expanding into your abdomen first, then up into your lungs.
4. Pause for a second and then slowly exhale through your mouth, again counting to four. Your abdomen should move inward.
5. As you begin to relax, clear your mind of any distractions by imagining a peaceful, healing environment.
You may repeat this process until you achieve a sense of deep relaxation.
– Samantha Loeppky – Certified Holistic Nutrition & Health Coach