Reflecting on life it is always interesting how you can trace roots of what you do now back to earlier in your youth. At the time you had no idea certain interests would come back around later. This happened to me recently while thinking about my obsession over breathing.
What kicked off my recent study and exploration of breath work was hearing Wim Hof discuss his methods in 2015. His love for the breath and his accomplishments through it spoke to something deep within me. I began practicing his method right away. But looking back what it spoke to was there all along.
I now remember afternoons as a kid where I sat in front of our desktop computer running Windows 95 using the timer to measure my breath holds. Repeatedly I would try to push my limits and break my previous records. I have no idea why I ever began doing that, but I holding my breath fascinated me.
This transitioned into breath holds in the pool. (I don’t condone doing this now 😟) Any time I was in a pool I tested how far I could swim on one breath. I completed rounds of this striving to get further each set. During this time I would also play with exhaling just enough air to sink below the surface and become weightless. I became as still as possible in the silence under the water. Then again I ran timers seeing how long I could hold out. before bursting to the surface. These silent breath holds were a form meditation before I even knew what that was. They also taught me how much the slightest effort or even thought uses oxygen and shortens your breath hold. These habits eventually fell away, but the second I used Wim Hof’s method breath work captured me again.
At first studying, researching, and taking courses on the breath was for personal growth and to feed my obsession. The more I learned and applied what I learned to my own life though, the more I realized I had to begin teaching others. I felt obligated (and still do) to push them out of their comfort zones and fix their breathing. Since then I have seen physical, mental, and emotional improvement in those who focus on their breathing and incorporate practices into their lives. If your breathing is off it affects not just your fitness, but your overall happiness as well.
In a nutshell, focusing on my breath has enhanced the quality of my own life so greatly I can’t help but to share it with you.