COVID-19 and breathing techniques

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@Tiger, we can say with certainty is that breathing is better than not breathing. Other than that, the subject of breathing for health has had much written about it, including a lot of contradictory advice from different sources.

1. Personally, I am a fan of the work of Konstantin Buteyko, and am a Master Instructor in a school started by my teacher who has a direct line back to the professor. I can tell you that Buteyko breathing has had life-changing benefits for me, but I cannot tell you that it will help you or me during "this storm."

2. The link below uses Google to search this web site: breathing site:strongfirst.com. You'll find plenty to read.


3. You'll find a list of our most recent articles at the bottom of this and most other pages on strongfirst.com. As of this writing, the latest article addresses your concern directly. You may read it here: Minimalist Breathing to Maximize Protection | StrongFirst

4. If you're serious about learning about breathing techniques, attend this:


A thorough description is one click away so please follow the link and have a look. I attended once, and as is the case with so many StrongFirst Special Events, so much information was presented that I will likely attend again in the future to deepen my own understanding. The word "health" is mentioned 6 times in the link above - enough said, but the seminar covers so much more than just that.

-S-
 

ali

Level 6 Valued Member
The best breathing practice in these times of covid-19?
Do it alone.

Whilst many things contribute to a resilient immune system, the one thing that will be absolutely protective is not to breathe the air someone has breathed into.
 

Mike Torres

Level 6 Valued Member
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
If you want to explore a little further, I would recommend reading The Oxygen Advantage by Patrick McKeown, Just Breathe by Dan Brule, and Breathing for Warriors by Belisa Vranich. Belisa's book references Pavel's contributions, specifically around hardstyle breathing.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
Please share your breath wisdom, that we may weather this storm.
In through the nose, out through the mouth works best with my masks and bandanas.
When improvising with bandana I have a small piece of 12 gauge wire I wrap into the fold and bend to fit so I get a good seal around my nose/cheekbones.
 

Tiger

Level 5 Valued Member
Thanks, all. It seems most people will catch this at some point, and it's a decent chance of respiratory difficulty breathing. The more we can help our bodies, the better.
 

mikhael

Level 7 Valued Member
@Steve Freides I would have a question reagarding Buteyko and liked the Strelnikowa Breathing Method. Are those two fits and could I practice both? My current CP is between 32-35 second, which I check it early in the morning. I aslo breath through nose for a while, especially during exercises and I feel really good. Would be appreciate for recommendation.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@Steve Freides I would have a question reagarding Buteyko and liked the Strelnikowa Breathing Method. Are those two fits and could I practice both? My current CP is between 32-35 second, which I check it early in the morning. I aslo breath through nose for a while, especially during exercises and I feel really good. Would be appreciate for recommendation.
@mikhael, from what I read in the Strelnikova article, my answer would be, "No," but please read on.

I had not heard of the Strelnikova breathing method before I read the article so I know only what I read there, plus a little subsequent reading of things on the Internet. You ask if these two are a good fit - I would answer that they fit together like strength training and marathon training: possible to do together but with different foci, and therefore my answer would be the same as with strength and marathon training - do one, achieve a certain level of mastery, then explore the other.

But we are all different and it might work for you. The central practice of the Buteyko method, as I learned it, might best be described as "sit down, exhale, hold your breath, and meditate." The article on our web site here says, "Strelnikova’s method energizes the body" while Buteyko's focus is to calm and relax the body and the mind - quite different approaches.

My own model of how to combine different modalities of _anything_ comes from what I see martial arts masters do, which as I have come to understand it, is to first achieve a high level in their primary art with a laser-like focus on that one thing. And at some point later, they may begin to study another art, but they would not try to learn both at the same time.

One other observation, again from martial arts: I have observed two basic kinds of martial arts, what we might call "hard" and "soft" styles. The hard style starts with tension and adds relaxation; the soft style starts with relaxation and adds tension. Masters of either are masters of both tension and relaxation. At the risk of repeating myself, I think it's best to achieve a certain level of one before trying to achieve mastery of the other, in my opinion.

I mentioned that the central practice of Buteyko is seated - I rarely practice Buteyko seated nowadays because I have achieved a high enough level at it that I can practice it while walking and even running. (Yes, I exhale then run with my mouth closed and holding my nose pinched closed with one hand.) But this is an advanced Buteyko practice, in my opinion, and not for a beginner. Advanced practices in one discipline often add the very qualities they avoided at the beginning, practices with which other disciplines may choose to start.

However, we must also observe that certain kinds of these seeming-opposites can effectively be combined, e.g., working on strength and working on flexibility make an excellent pairing.

Just my opinions, and the above is a short response to you about several subjects that are worthy of books by themselves - indeed, worthy of life-long study, and no short response will do the subject justice. But I hope I have given you some food for thought as you make a decision about how to proceed with your breath training.

-S-
 
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