Systema Breathing – You Have Been Breathing Wrong
Breathing is the hidden part of every exercise. In earlier articles, we discussed Yoga Pranayama Breathing. But Yoga is not the only system which deeply works with breathing. We will talk about breathing from lots of aspects. We will talk about breathing in different exercising systems. But this article is kind special.
More about Systema
First time I met Systema, I was fascinated by everything. Different movements, a different approach to nearly everything what matters to your body and mind. Systema is Russian martial art. History is quite hidden. They say it all begun somewhere in the twelve century. Others say it is not true and there was not a history of Systema. I am not going into this discussion. I know, that Mr. Ryabko in the 80’s of 20th century founded Systema with his friends. And another truth is much much important. Results of exercises are visible immediately. Maybe a little bit different than everybody are used to. Systema is the martial art – that is true. But Mr. Ryabko himself said it is more healthy exercise. The martial art is just “by effect”. I can confirm. Exercising Systema improves more my health, psychic, my body becomes more elastic. We also work with our tension, my mental power is higher and last but not least I know how to work with my breath. And breath is the part I am discussing on this website. If you are interested in Systema here are some books:
Strikes: Soul meets body – Book was written by one of the founders Mr. Vasiliev. This book is more about Systema as a martial art but all the approaches are in there:
The Systema Warrior Guidebook: A Systema Guide to Life – another author Vladimir Vasiliev was his teacher
Systema Health: 25 Practises For A Lifetime Of Health, Fitness and Wellbeing – the proof Systema is more about the health
Let Every Breath… Secrets of the Russian Breath Masters – And finally more about breathing. Vladimir Vasiliev is the co-author.
When I started to dive into Systema more than beginner I discovered part of the secret. Systema as an exercising system has several differences to other similar systems. This is especially true for the modern-western ones, like bodybuilding, MMA and so on. These differences make Systema unique. All in Systema is connected to relaxation. Systema is working with relaxation much differently than others. You should be relaxed as much as possible. Even in the fight. When you are going to hit someone, your fist should be tight (not too tight, but tight). But all your body should be relaxed. Then your punches can look like this:
Or another example. We make an exercise in which one lies down on the floor. Five another men lie on him. The first moment is: “Oh my god I can not survive this.” Here the breathing is coming to help. You do not have space for full breathing. You need to find a little space in your lungs to make some inhales. Then several times you breathe in and breathe out. Try to calm your mind. And then, your mind can start to concentrate on your body. You find part of your body can move to one side. Maybe not much, but it can. Here you can also move part of your body somewhere. Step by step you move and finally you are out. You can not imagine how is it to realize you can overcome something that you think cannot be done.
May be it sounds funny, but when we train punch, we do it by push-ups. Fist as described earlier. Slightly put your fist on the ground. Start to make push-ups. But the breathing is coming here again. You breathe not as usually – up breathe out down breathe in. But here the breath is different. Up and down – breath in. Up and down – breath out. Later you can prolong the breathing. Three times up and down – breath in. Three times up and down – breath out.
As you can see, with breathing is connected more than you can expect with your body. In next articles will be described exercises taken from Systema.