- Updated on August 3, 2019
By Dr. Artour Rakhimov, Alternative Health Educator and Author
In this YouTube video, Dr. Artour interviewed Volker Schmitz, Yoga and Tai Chi Trainer about breathing-stretching benefits.
Modern people commonly have 15 – 20 seconds for the body-oxygen test, because of over breathing, which is present in more than 95% of them (please refer to studies on the homepage of this site). That invariably makes them have less energy with reduced desire to do physical exercise and even stretching exercises. In addition because of hyperventilation people sleep for a longer time and suffer from numerous chronic diseases. Poor concentration and low focus are routinely present in those who over breathe.
If a person slows down his or her breathing and achieves 50 – 60 seconds for body oxygenation test, then physical exercise and stretching become easy and pleasant. Chronic disease is absent, sleep duration is shortened to 4 – 4.5 hours. Concentration and focus are improved greatly because brain cells absorb a greater amount of oxygen.
People who perform stretching exercises as part of their relative discipline or sport will notice greater flexibility with improved range and endurance of stretches. This is simply because the muscles of those who breathe more efficiently absorb a greater level of oxygen. In addition, if a person breathes less the musculoskeletal system will be in a greater state of relaxation. Hyperventilation causes the fight or flight response to be activated, which tenses muscles. If a person habitually over breathes, even at a latent level, the body’s muscles will be in a state of permanent mild tension.
Conversely, we can consider great benefits of stretching for those who have begun breathing retraining to correct their breathing to the most efficient pattern. Those individuals who begin with a time of fewer than 20 seconds Control Pause for the body-oxygen Test will greatly benefit from adopting daily stretch routines. Stretching for these people will enable them to release long-held muscular tension, that can even be retained in the inner muscles of the body, such as the psoas muscle.
Should I hold my breath while stretching and how to breathe while stretching?
Yes, it is very beneficial for most people to hold their breath while performing stretches. Ideally, it is best to practice the reduced breathing exercise while stretching. Some very difficult stretches can be done only while holding one’s breath after exhalation
Should the stretching of muscles coincide with inhalation or exhalation?
The stretching of muscles is best performed following usual exhalation for maximum relaxation of all body muscles. If it is safe, one can hold their breath during individual stretches.
Can I do deep breathing while stretching?
You can breathe deeply using the diaphragm or abdominal muscles during stretches, but this breathing should be very slow so that you accumulate carbon dioxide in your lungs.