Recently, the Standford Med Laboratory published a study in @cellpress testing brief (5 min daily) practices for reducing stress, improving sleep and heart rate variability, and mood.

Researchers compared five minutes daily of either mindfulness meditation, or breath work. They also compared different breathwork practices to each other:

1) Box Breathing (equal timing for inhale-hold-exhale-hold).

2) Cyclic Physiological Sighing (two nasal inhales to lungs full, followed by a full exhale to lungs empty, via the mouth).

3) Cyclic Hyperventilation (deep nasal inhale and mouth exhales for 25 cycles, followed by 15-30 sec breath holds with lungs empty; then repeat).

The results–five minutes a day of cyclic sighing was the most effective practice for improving mood and various aspects of physiological arousal around the clock (not just during the breathing practice), it assists sleep and heart rate variability, and more.

If you’re interested in potent stress reduction practices, these zero cost methods can help a lot!

How does this apply to grappling??? Consider the psychology and physiological stress of combat sports, and how these methods can benefit pre- and post-training. Note, too, from this clip that Rickson Gracie would also use forced exhalations to control his breath, mind, and body in the midst of combat.

Trust in the science, and be inspired by one of our generation’s most revered grapplers!

The paper can be found here if you’d like to read it in full:

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