It sounds simple enough and you might say “I’m alive, I am breathing, what does this have to do with playing better golf”? There is a way to breathe that actually helps your body to relax and your mind to focus better and think more clearly. These are belly breaths. Most adults have become used to short, shallow breaths that only use our chest area. If we couple these short, shallow breaths with some stress, the breaths get even shorter and at times we actually hold our breath when we are faced with stressful situations. In order for our bodies to release excess muscular tension, and for our minds to get enough oxygen to remain sharp, we must breathe!
Here is the proper way to learn to “belly breathe”:
- Lie flat on the floor.
- Place a book on your belly button
- Make the book rise to a count of 6 when taking an “in” breath.
- Hold for a count of 6
- Exhale to a count of 6
If you are a typical adult you will notice that this feels very different than the way in which you normally breathe. The amount of oxygen that enters our bodies in belly breathing is significantly higher and immediately begins to calm the body and mind. If you refer to my blog article “The Pros Do It…You Should Too!!!” on Pre-Shot Routines you will see that I have included breaths in that routine. It is important to practice these breaths off the course, and then practice them in your Pre-Shot Routine so that the whole process becomes natural and automatic…you will be amazed at the results!