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4 WAYS TO USE YOUR LITHE BREATH 30 Nov 2016

Kasey

You know that breathing serves as the foundation of your practice in each Lithe workout, helping you power through all 30 reps. But have you considered applications for your Lithe Breath outside of the studio? As the holidays approach and the days become shorter, try to incorporate these tips into your daily routine.

1. Good Morning, Sunshine: It's dark when your alarm goes off. You just know the floorboards will be freezing beneath your toes. And staying in bed sounds better than pretty much anything else at that moment. Before throwing off your covers, try bringing your hands to your rib cage and inhale deeply through your nose expanding your ribs laterally, then exhale like you're breathing through a straw knitting your ribs back together. Aim for five to ten full breaths this way each morning to help start your day on a positive note.

2. Reduce Stress at Work: December brings a unique set of extracurricular activities: shopping for the perfect gift, Ugly Sweater parties, solo viewings of Love Actually. Try telling that to the boss who emails you three minutes before the end of your work day about an urgent project that has to be done, like, YESTERDAY. When an unexpected stressor pops up, your sympathetic nervous system naturally kicks into fight-or-flight mode, your cortisol levels spike, and your breathing naturally becomes shallower. Take one full minute to stand up from your desk, shake out your limbs (maybe a mini-crazy arm series?), and breathe with intention in order to activate your parasympathetic nervous system, reversing the natural stress response so you can tackle work with a calm approach. Colin Firth and Liam Neeson will wait.

3. A Stealthy Commute Workout: When traffic is at a standstill during your commute, it's time for a stealthy ab workout to pass the time. The guy in the next lane may look at your pursed lips strangely, but we all know he was just singing along to Justin Bieber so he really can't pass judgment. Put on your favorite song and try to execute perfect inhales and exhales for the entire song. Alternate working in neutral for 10 breaths, then imprint for the next 10 to really engage your abs. You'll be surprised how effective this is.
 
4. Childbirth! Ok so this one won't be part of your daily routine, but talk to any Lithe Mama and she'll tell you what's up. Breathing in a steady pattern during labor is helpful for pain management, keeping as calm as possible, providing a sense of control, and most importantly for pushing like crazy. Bonus: a strong pelvic floor helps reduce incontinence after birth too!
 
Have you used Lithe's breathing techniques in other areas of your life? Let us know in the comments!

Image of Lithe Instructor Kasey via Antrim + Spruce Photography

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