Updated: Nov 3, 2022
“Breath is The Great Communicator within the body. Awareness is the product of electrical potentiation within the nervous system. From this awareness, all functions of the body are carried out. Oxygen fans the neurological flame of awareness. The imagery of breaths moving through the body resembles waves crashing on the beach. Wave by wave, they slowly create the landscape of the body, accurate in terms of time but also intensities of awareness and how they can be carefully deployed to change the body's structure. Something so simple, commonplace and fundamental, yet complex demands experienced and concise instruction for development.”
Principle #1 – Nose and Mouth
Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. It’s a natural barometer. If you can’t do something without resorting to panic mouth inhalations, you need to slow it down. Breathing through your nose is calming and can help you regulate yourself in a stressful situation.
Principle #2 – Leading
“Systema Breathing teaches us to begin any exercise motion or cycle with a breath action (inhalation or exhalation) – before the physical option starts.” The movement comes along for the ride. Every exercise is a breathing exercise. It’s a useful way to think about it.
Principle #3 – Sufficiency
Try to inhale only the amount of air you need and no more. Pay attention to the amount of air your body needs and develop this awareness.
Principle #4 – Continuity
Don’t hold your breath unless you have a specific training purpose. If you’ve ever caught yourself at your desk suddenly taking a huge gulp of air, you have likely been holding your breath and violating this principle. This is a common occurrence when concentrating or stressed. Pay attention to your breathing and keep it flowing.
Principle #5 – Pendulum
The change between inhalation and exhalation should not be abrupt, just as the change of the motion of a pendulum is not abrupt. It should be a flowing and smooth transition.
Principle #6 – Independence
Your physical motions should not be tied to any particular breathing pattern. This is also a great way to develop breath and body control. Think of an exercise you do and reverse the breathing pattern.
Principle #7 – No Tension
Even when performing the hardest of work, your body should be as relaxed as possible. This isn't easy if you’re lifting heavy weights, but you can achieve a calm face while lifting heavier weights. This is a degree of mind and body control.