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In today’s blog we will look at the benefits of developing a morning routine; be it stretching, breathing or exercises in mindfulness.
Incorporating 30-45mins of diaphragmatic breathing with some gentle stretching before work is a great way to prepare yourself for the challenges of the day. Focusing on your breath, the stillness of the morning and allowing your mind to centre itself will allow you a few moments of peace, whilst at the same time strengthening your mind and body.
Here is a sample of the training routine I often use:
Spinal Rotations (Sufi Grinding)
Movement: Place your hands on your knees and rotate your chest; arching forwards as you breathe in and then continue the rotation breathing out as you start to round your back. Continue with these circles trying to keep the top of your head over the base of the spine as your rotate, drawing big circles with your chest. Letting the chest push forwards and open up with the shoulder back on the forward rotation and letting the shoulders come forward with the back rounded on the backward movement.
Breathing – inhale as you come forward, exhale as you go back.
Movement – Place your hands on your knees and arch your chest forwards letting the shoulders drop back, opening the chest as you breathe in, then let the shoulders come forward and arch your back the opposite direction, round the back as you exhale. Be gentle to start with to allow the spine to warm up.
Breathing – inhale as your come forwards, exhale as you go back
Movement – Place your hands on your shoulders thumbs facing backward. Twist to the left as you breathe in and to the right as you exhale. Repeat the movement, gently at first as you warm up and let the range of movement gradually increase. Let the head follow the shoulders around also.
Breathing – Inhale to the left and exhale to the right
Gently let your head drop forwards allowing the weight of your head to stretch out the back of the neck. Roll your head around to the left and let your ear drop towards your shoulder, then continue the roll until you are reaching your chin high (not compressing the back of your neck) and around to the other side again allowing the ear to drop towards the shoulder and finally back to the front. Continue this slowly for three times and change direction for another three times.
Breathe in full breath and hold. Lean your body to the left side using your left hand to steady or support yourself on the ground. Your right hand should be straight and reach over your head to the left side. Keep your seat planted on the ground, do not let your buttocks rise. Exhale as you release the stretch. Repeat this to the right side, complete this exercises twice on each side.
Allow yourself the time to complete these exercises each morning, your strength, comfort, and flexibility will slowly develop over time.
Freediving is about inward power, discipline, and control. If you’ve always wanted to enter the underwater world quietly, on your own terms, staying as long as your breath allows, then freediving is for you.