Click ‘Read More + Comment’ to view videos. For the past week I have started a daily ritual of running in Central Park not only for a healthier lifestyle but to relieve some much needed STRESS. Though, I have to admit even in the past running has not been my favorite pastime, I have always been more of fan of…well something that involved more than just running, which may explain why I have not done it in years, but since I have started to take it up again, all I can say is WHOA…but not in a good way! My body quickly supported the fact of inactivity of this sport and I soon realized not only how strenuous, but to properly run without the risk of injury involves so much more than just picking up your feet and JUST running.
As I delve deeper into running I decided to begin an ongoing series as a beginner runner, and expose not only my results but non-traditional beneficial concepts, natural hair related issues and styles, health regarding the best techniques & food and affordable top-notch gear/accessories, ensuring you will get the upmost from your run. Of course starting with specific basics, from what to consume beforehand, how to position your arms, form of the hands, posture, the length of your stride, placement of the feet, stretching, eye focus to proper breath control. I know this may sound exactly that…basic but if done incorrectly it will drag your running experience literally into the ground.
When it comes to mastering anything in life it takes time, patience and determination. Mastering proper form will not only decrease chances of injury but fatigue as well and speaking of fatigue, I decided to start my running journey and research with one of the biggest ways to control fatigue, the simple act of breathing.
Yes, I know breathing has been discussed a million times over but after reading article after article and book after book I stumbled across Lisa Ingalls, Owner of Inner State coaching and Founder of ‘Pranayama Running’. Ingalls introduces a mindful, holistic and meditative practice into your running or workout routine with a whole new concept of running called Pranayama. Pranayama, meaning “breath control” are practices in yoga specifically focusing on breathing in deep diaphragmatic breaths by only inhaling and exhaling exclusively through the nasal which goes against the favored and traditional technique of inhaling through the nose and exhaling out the mouth for all sports and workout related activities.
Now naturally I only breathe and exhale through my nose while walking, but I like many others believed in the traditional concept of “breath control” during sports and workout related activities… but with more research I begin to see only nasal breathing as not so much as a strange concept, but one that made complete sense.
Your diaphragm is a muscle and like any other muscle if you want it to be stronger you have to work it out consistently to reap the best results. Ingalls states that many of us have weak diaphragms from improper breathing techniques and that “You would not go to the gym and use a 100 pound weight for bicep curls if you couldn’t even lift 10 pounds. Then the same goes for your diaphragm, why would you try to run 6-10 miles only nasal breathing when you haven’t strengthened that muscle.”
Below is a video interview with Lisa Ingalls discussing Pranayama Running and how to gradually introduce this technique into any sport or workout routine. Also additional videos with Ingalls going more in depth in why are noses are meant for breathing through the science behind nasal breathing only and the tremendous benefits you will gain, ultimately transforming your workout.
Your Nose Is Made For Breathing
Interview with Lisa Ingalls, Founder of Pranayama Running
Also additional information on the science behind nose breathing from livestrong.com, where George M. Dallam and Steven Jonas authors of “Championship Triathlon Training” state “breathing through your nose forces you to take deeper, slower abdominal breaths. Initially you might feel as if you’re not getting enough oxygen, but your body is in fact able to take in more oxygen this way. The difference you feel is that you are not expelling carbon dioxide as quickly, which your body interprets as breathlessness. However, your body adjusts as it becomes accustomed to the slower breaths and you benefit by getting more oxygen” Read the rest of the article here
*Next week I will talk about the concept of “barefoot running”, the correct foot placement as well as affordable and proper running “minimalist” shoe gear.