The Breathing Squat
I hope your weekend was as abundant and filled with joy as mine.
Today, I’d like to share The Breathing Squat with you.
Breathing squats are what I call a “zone exercise” in my book How To Eat, Move and Be Healthy! Zone exercises are exercises done at low enough intensity that the amount of life-force energy (chi) generated by the exercise exceeds the amount needed to do the exercise. Zone exercises are part of a class of exercises I call “Work-In” exercises because they are designed to cultivate energy within, and bring consciousness within for reflection, integration, in-visioning and centering oneself.
In my vlog today, I demonstrate how to perform the breathing squat method of working-in.
A key component of the exercise is the breathing. As you lower your body, you should exhale, and as you stand up, you should inhale.
Your arms can hang at your sides, you can hold them like you see me doing in the photo above, or you can reach for the sky in time with your squat movement so that the movements of the whole body are timed to the breath. I often start people with a 4-second exhale and 4-second inhalation cycle so they learn to pace themselves.
If you find your heart speeding up, or that your breathing speeds up, you are beginning to work-out. This means that you are activating the sympathetic (fight/flight) branch of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), which is the (yang/masculine) “energy spending” branch. We want to stay (yin/feminine) parasympathetic, which means to keep the branch of the ANS that stimulates growth, repair, digestion, elimination and right-brain activity dominant in its influence.
To balance yourself while doing the breathing squat and stay parasympathetic, simply decrease the depth or speed of the squats to make it easier. Be sure to time any changes in movement depth or speed (tempo) with your breathing so that exhalation ends at the end of the lowering phase, and inhalation is complete at the top of the squat.
I hope you enjoy my vlog on the breathing squat today! Here are some resources for those of you interested in more Zone Exercises:
In my next blog, I will share some highlights from last week. My Love-4-Mastery students came to see me for three days of intensive training to conclude their first level of advanced CHEK 4 Quadrant training and we all had an amazing time. I’m excited to share photos and some of the different processes we shared together.
I look forward to sharing more with you soon.
Love and chi,