There is nothing more important than breathing. That should go without saying. Strangely though, we?ve all forgotten to breathe at some point, especially in the midst of strenuous athletic activity. This shows, more than anything, how breathing is something that needs to be practiced. It does not, it seems, come naturally.
I encourage the students in my classes to stay aware of their breathing no matter what the intensity of the exercise. If you become aware of the breathing at lower cadences and lower intensities, you practice the habit of rhythmic breathing and your body is more likely to hold this rhythm when stressed.
Like music, breathing should be independent of your cadence, and I recommend deep, slow, controlled breathes, no matter the pace of the legs. This can help you stay relaxed at higher cadences. Most important, is finding the rhythm that is most comfortable for you (we all have different lung capacities and fitness levels and this may lead you to a different breathing rhythm.) What matters is that you practice your rhythm, stick to it, and execute the same pattern throughout the class. Change takes energy, a consistent breathing pattern is preferred, as it well help you to conserve energy.
Talk about breathing, demonstrate good breathing, and keep your students aware. Practice good habits, and they?ll become good habits!
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