Breathing classes, bizarrely, are increasingly popular. Here’s why it should headline your agenda
Take a deep breath, because we’re about to introduce you to an early contender for 2018’s most out-there fitness trend: The Breathing Class. Currently sweeping across the US, classes in how to breathe right are inevitably on their way to the UK soon.
Founded by Dr Belisa Vranich, a clinical psychologist and author of a book by the same name, The Breathing Class’s mission is to help us learn to breathe correctly.
Think you’re doing it right already? Not so, says Dr Vranich. In fact, the vast majority of us are sucking in our O2 in an inefficient and potentially damaging way.
"Most of the time, people use their neck and shoulders, and those absolutely are not breathing muscles," she says. Instead, we should be breathing like animals do, with our lungs expanding and contracting in the middle of our chests.
So, gone is the traditional in through the nose, out through the mouth method. Put simply, we should be making proper use of our diaphragm, not our shoulders.
Vranich says that once you’ve mastered this technique you’ll see benefits not just in catching your breath but also when it comes to digestion, athletic performance, quality of sleep and energy levels.
Sounds promising? It should do. Vranich's technique harnesses breathing principles perfected by athletes who need a good lungful more than most- think MMA fighters, yogis and free divers.
Thankfully, if the idea of an hour-long class on how to breathe is more likely to leave you yawning, Vranich says that just five minutes a day, post-workout, is enough time to practice a breathing regimen that could unlock new levels of athletic performance.
In fact, according to a number of top level fitness professionals, breathing correctly can double to strength.