How to Make the Normal Cycles of Life Work For You

As you know from reading my blog, I’m a big proponent of using targeted,
effective breathing techniques and exercises as one of the cornerstones of
robust fitness and health.

This emphasis is due to one overriding phenomenon: the correct selection and
sequence of breathing exercises work.

I’ve experienced the benefits firsthand, in myself as well as others with whom I
have worked directly, or who have purchased and put to work the exercises in
my Secret Power of Dynamic Energy Exercise Course.

I’m always searching for new methods or techniques to add to my arsenal. I
think it’s important to have multiple tools, or variations of tools, to help you.

We all need some variation in our routine or training. This helps us avoid becoming
stale, and is important to ensure additional progress.

In my research, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see that breath training is being
used more and more in athletic training.

For example, many coaches now train their athletes in the proper use of
breathing to help enhance performance, focus better mentally, and recover
more quickly and fully from their training or competitive exertions.

Seems what’s old is new, and what’s new is old.

I’ve realized that each person’s experience with breath training to improve
their fitness or health follows along the same type of paradigm as does physical

In athletic training, athletes and coaches follow the practice of periodization.
This means they emphasize different things in training as the athlete cycles
through general training, to sport-specific training, to the competitive, or
“in-season” phase.

Within the periodization paradigm, cycles of improvement and assimilation
are always included — at least in a rational program.

What this means is that training science and application have proved what
we all intuitively know: that any development, whether physical, mental,
emotional — or even spiritual, for that matter — follows natural cycles of
progression and regression.

In training, as in any kind of self-improvement or health enhancement program,
you will make progress for awhile. Then you will experience a period of
little or no progress. Or you may even feel like you are regressing a bit.

This is natural and to be expected. It is so natural and powerful that
training programs of all types take this into consideration. They actually
build in these periods of assimilation or regression.

While this can be frustrating, it’s also magical. If you recognize and embrace
the periods of regression you are experiencing for what they are, you can 
emerge from them capable of making even more dramatic strides and

This is because, during the slow or stagnant period, your body and mind are
still developing. It’s happening beneath the surface, beyond your conscious

Your systems are busy assimilating the gains in training, or knowledge, or
self-awareness you have achieved during the growth phase. This prepares
them for additional growth and development.

The key for you is to recognize these cycles for what they are.

For example, even with breathing exercises that are extremely effective, you
may experience periods in which your body has adapted to them.

To counter this, you can try performing the exercises in a different order. Or
you can stop performing certain exercises for awhile, and introduce others
into your routine.

This is one reason why I will continue to come out with additional programs
that use dynamic breathing as a means to health and fitness. They add
variety, sustain interest and enthusiasm — and they work.

Occasionally, I even stop doing my regular exercises completely, for as long
as a week or two. This is a way for me to test their effectiveness and see
whether they really make a difference.

I can tell you this: within a week or so of not doing them, I feel the difference.
And I’m always very enthusiastic about returning to them.

You Can Do It!

P.S. Introducing breathing exercises into your daily routine is not complicated.
Try doing some deep breathing as soon as you wake up each morning. Perform
at least 8 cycles of full inhalations and exhalations, with an emphasis on the
exhalation. You’ll be amazed at how energetic you feel as you move into your day.
Copyright 2010 Karen Van Ness

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