It seems that some of the most profound, divergent thinkers are often those that tinker with a craft for their own critical needs. This work often comes from extreme pain or hardship. Many masters of movement and rehabilitation methodologies, for example, learn game changing techniques informally to cure their own ailments.
This was specifically true for the teacher of our latest Breath & Exposure Seminar with Coach Harvey Martin. His own dysfunctional breathing patterns led him down a path that included being labeled a special needs student, it ended his professional baseball career, and it led to life altering anxiety. Luckily, he turned to learning about the breath in a way that has transformed his own life and now the lives of countless others.
One of the most remarkable takeaways from his presentation was a perspective I’d never heard articulated. As someone who has been blessed to learn aspects of breathwork in various contexts, Harvey’s insights were new and impactful.
To Harvey, the breath is the bridge between conscious action and the unconscious autonomic nervous system. This isn’t new. We’ve known for thousands of years that we will breath unconsciously and the fact that we can control our breath makes it uniquely powerful for mindfulness, performance, and beyond. What Harvey added was that the human mind is an evolved organism that includes an ancient reptilian brain that reacts to stimulus in a way that supports survival. Conversely, the front lobe portion of the brain is an evolved, logical, reasoning part of the brain that requires psychological safety to access.
Life will endlessly through us external stimuli that will trigger the older, reptilian part of our brain to react. This automatic, unconscious system kept us alive in an ancient world, but often is a mismatch in our modern world. Furthermore, if how you behave becomes unconscious it, by definition, is out of your control. There’s not much empowerment or agency in that. However, with the breath we can earn more space between stimulus (a stressful event, for example) and response. This space offers us choice and having choice is power.
If you want to be an empowered human who has dominion over your own reality, it’s the breath that will set you free. Thank you, Harvey.
DEUCE ATHLETICS GPP
Complete 5 rounds for quality of:
1 Back Squat
15 Tate Press
Then, complete the following for time:
40 Devil Presses (40/30)
Every Minute 30 Double Unders
DEUCE GARAGE GPP
Weighted Wide Grip Pull Ups
Then, complete 3 rounds for quality of:
10 Laying DB Pull Overs
12 Powell Raises (ea)
:45 Weighted Plank
8 Pull Ups
12 Push Ups