As a result of the gym closures caused by Covid-19 there was a general sense of panic since people were forced to give up their gym routines. It quickly became apparent that there was a demand and need for what I have to offer, and therefore, it became my top priority to develop and upload Corona Home Gym.
Then the ongoing stresses of Covid-19, followed by George Floyd’s death, the aftermath of daily news reports and global protests, literally took everyone’s breath away, in one form or another. Never before have we been so aware of the importance of breathing and how we do or do not breathe during our daily lives.
Overwhelmed and struggling to function I knew I had to shorten my still unfinished book for Corona Home Gym but I didn’t know where to start. Out of a sense of impending failure, I called for divine inspiration and two documentaries I happened upon that evening reflected the artistic struggles and blocked creativity of the subjects. Suddenly the perfect paragraph surfaced, encompassing everything about Ocean Breathing.
How fitting that in asking for inspiration, ironically the answer lay hidden in the word ‘inspire’, meaning ‘the drawing of air into the lungs’; and that the simple solution was to start by introducing Ocean Breathing and the hundreds of amazing breathing techniques that undeniably improve our physical health.
Since first learning Ocean Breathing in an Iyengar yoga class at the age of 22, a spark was ignited to evangelize this incredible breathing technique. Using Ocean Breathing in my daily life improved my body’s ability to function better despite dealing with weight and asthma issues. Ocean Breathing broke my breath-holding habits putting me in control of my breathing and I no longer, huffed and puffed, my way up hills and stairs.
I never imagined that these topics I’ve been writing and speaking about for the better half of my life would suddenly become so pertinent and relevant to share.
When I heard the anchorman Chris Cuomo talking about his experiences with the Covid-19 illness, he so perfectly opened the door to talk about my ‘cardio related breathing’ topics. He said, “I can’t ‘exercise’ but I walk while I am doing breathing exercises because I am petrified of getting pneumonia.”
Since Covid-19 began, it has been said that people with underlying conditions are the ones who suffer the most, especially if high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes are a factor. Most of us do not take a good breath in the best of times which can lead to stress and the physical problems caused by holding our breath. Since breathing is a blood-pressure regulator, those suffering from any of these conditions and who may be unable to exercise in a traditional sense, will experience greater challenges than ever.
To me this statement fundamentally spells out two things; that in order to prevent chronic lung infection, we need to work at improving and maintaining optimal lung function. Secondly this leads to my cardio premise that the priority should not only be on the quantity or level of exertion but more on the quality of our breathing. In other words, daily breath work is a good substitute for improving lung capacity should exercise not be possible, due to chronic conditions, obesity, and or injury. A huge benefit is that this cardio breath work can be done while in the comfort of your home.
In another interview, Chris Cuomo spoke about how the virus has its way with “passive patients lying in bed”, and why, to fight the virus, we must incorporate a persistent regime of breathing exercises.
The stresses and turmoil of 2o2o, and the interruptions to our daily lives, have been the cause of global breath holding, literally and figuratively.
Now, more than ever, it has become so urgent for me to sing the praises of ‘Ocean Breathing’ and its stress reducing health benefits upon the body, mind and ultimately the immune system.