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mountain sea and wind Tom Thomson

A blonde goes into the beauty and hair parlor with earphones of her iBop on her head.
"I need to take that earphones off your head," says the beauty specialist as she notices the blonde.
"You can't! I'll die!" retorts the blonde.
"I can't cut your hair with the earphones on your ears!" says the beauty specialist getting annoyed.
"I said you can't take it off, or I'll die!"
The beauty specialist, outraged and flustered, grabs the earphones and the iBop and throws it off the head of the blonde. Within seconds, the blonde dies. When the specialist picks up the iBop to listen, she hears it repeating "breath in, breath out, breath in".

The same thing happens all the time on the rock. Ever find yourself holding your breath while reaching for that next hold? And your companion yelling "remember to breathe!"? The control of breathing is not a mechanical thing, it is not forced. This is the first thing to understand when it comes to the art of breathing. In this blog you'll find a lot of content about breathing, you'll find articles on this topic grouped in this section dedicated to the art of breathing.

Benefits of correct breathing in rock climbing

The breathing has a beneficial effect on various levels, physical, mental and spiritual. These are 9 main benefits that you can get from a proper breathing:

1 . Feel your center of gravity on the rock

Try to follow your breath, visualize it and follow the air that goes in and out of your lungs. Put your attention when it comes to the belly . This is also your center of gravity. You'll see that a conscious breathing will help you become aware of your center of gravity. The center of gravity is where most of your weight is, and what can cause you to swing out uncontrollably if you are climbing not being aware of your balance. And you are going to waste a lot of energy to pull yourself back in order to regain the control over your balance. Breathing can help you to realize where your center of gravity is. While climbing you'll notice that when you are perfectly aware of your center of gravity you can easily prevent uncontrolled swing-outs. But this is just the first step. Being aware of your center of gravity can make your climbing much easier, without wasting your energy!

2 . The fluidity of the movements

While climbing try to find the correct rhythm of breathing, you will be surprised, your climbing immediately become smoother, more continuous. Your breathing can offer you a rhythm for your climbing, making it more smooth. A correct breathing will help you to increase muscle relaxation, making your movements more fluid.

3 . Coordinate the breathing with climbing movements

During climbing you will need to perform fast movements, sometimes you will need to move more slowly. If you'll master the science of breathing you'll have the ability to increase or decrease the speed of the breathing movements in function of climbing. This becomes natural with time, you do not need any effort, the essential thing is to be alert and aware during climbing of your breathing. This will take time. But you'll notice that the movements of compression will be coordinated with exhalation, while the movements of distension will be coordinated with the inhalation.

4 . Breathe to relax while climbing

In rock climbing the emotional situations can affect your progression in a negative way. Proper breathing can help you achieve greater psychological peace, you will relax just by breathing. Multiple factors can contribute to relaxation: the increased amount of oxygen that reaches the brain, the massage done by the action of breathing to the abdominal internal organs, the rhythm of air that enters and leaves the lungs.

5 . Breathing for a better eyesight

Correct breathing will bring the right amount of oxygen to the organs connected to the eye and your brain. Just with breathing you can increase your ability to see. Breathing is essential for a clear vision (have a look to the articles dedicated to the sight and observation)

6 . Breathing can improve your rock reading ability and decision making ability

Breathing will bring the right amount of oxygen to your brain making sharper senses and strengthening the entire nervous system. You can use the breath as a means of increasing awareness and decision making capacity.

7 . Breathe well to increase the efficiency of your muscles

A controlled breathing, slow and deep, helps to oxygenate the blood, nourish the muscles and reduce the lactic acid.

8 . Avoid injury with breathing

By breathing you can learn to become aware of contractions present in your body. With the breathing you learn to let go the forces that are not necessary, you learn to maintain in tension only the muscles that are needed to perform the action (see the article the secret of all the arts). If you learn to relax during the action, the muscles and also tendons will benefit from it.

9 . Spiritual growth through breathing

In Asia breathing techniques have helped millions of people in spiritual growth. Even the Buddha became a buddha, an enlightened one, thanks to a very simple breathing technique. He was usual saying to his disciples : "Be aware: when the breath is coming in, move with it, and when the breath is going out, move with it."