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Breathing in skiing - Page 2

post #31 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
A slightly different take.

Today I went for a long walk with a (moderately heavy) book bag. While walking up a hill at a very brisk pace. I noticed my breathing. It reminded me of a somewhat meditative state I used to get into when skiing longer runs. The rythm set up differs from the discussion above in that one breath spands a few turns. In my walk it was 4 steps per inhalation. I don't remember how many turns per breath it was way back when (runs are too short out hear). On my walk, it was interesting to note how each step was different, depending on which phase of breathing I was on. The relationship between breath and the work done by the legs was fascinating. I used to get into a rythm when running (not something I do a lot of), taking deep breaths and holding for a very brief period (too brief according to some theologians , but good for me) then exhaling with controled force, the steps affecting the breath and the breath affecting the steps, in a symphony a flute player could understand.

Doing the same thing skiing on a long black or upper blue run with small bumps, I used to set up a rhythm, much like the same one when running, or swimming. The fun thing was getting the number of turns to match the speed and frequency of bumps to my breathing. The breathing would just get me into a moment that could last the entire run.

Once you are in control, there are infinate possibilities in directing chi while breathing. At first there may seem to be only one correct "way", but really there are many.

Thinking of this has made me reconsider getting some music to ski with, maybe some old Grand Funk Railroad....
Very good observation! In swimming and rowing breathing is easy to coordinate to the physical activity and the rhythm but in skiing we need to separtate breathing from turning and find a good compromize. In SL for example you need to hold your breath sometimes as the gates comes crashing against your face 3 per second.
post #32 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
A slightly different take.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost

Today I went for a long walk with a (moderately heavy) book bag. While walking up a hill at a very brisk pace. I noticed my breathing. It reminded me of a somewhat meditative state I used to get into when skiing longer runs. The rythm set up differs from the discussion above in that one breath spands a few turns. In my walk it was 4 steps per inhalation. I don't remember how many turns per breath it was way back when (runs are too short out hear). On my walk, it was interesting to note how each step was different, depending on which phase of breathing I was on. The relationship between breath and the work done by the legs was fascinating. I used to get into a rythm when running (not something I do a lot of), taking deep breaths and holding for a very brief period (too brief according to some theologians , but good for me) then exhaling with controled force, the steps affecting the breath and the breath affecting the steps, in a symphony a flute player could understand.


Sounds complicated, how long do you need to walk/run/ski (warm up) before you can "set up" the breathing rhythm with each one of them? How do you reconcile the different tempos between "walking" and "running" and adjust the rhythm in the middle of "change" from walking to running and vice versa? Will your mind be taking the charge to match the breathing rhythm (breathing) and the activities, and what happens when your mind wants to go/do but your body doesn't, or vice versa? Do you need to develop a breathing pattern for each different sport? The breathing pattern between "running" and "swimming" would be definitely different, and you cannot take a deep inhale in swimming as you're running.

Quote:
Doing the same thing skiing on a long black or upper blue run with small bumps, I used to set up a rhythm, much like the same one when running, or swimming. The fun thing was getting the number of turns to match the speed and frequency of bumps to my breathing. The breathing would just get me into a moment that could last the entire run.


To keep things simple, the following breathing is practiced in Shen style Tai Chi, as well as in Tai Chi Skiing:

1.) Slow walk, two steps one breathing, and breathing on the "beat" (when the foot hit the ground); that is, four steps one breathing cycle.

2.) Fast walk, one step one breathing; that is, alternate breathing on each step.

3.) Jogging/running, two inhales and one exhale, (that is, inhale, inhale, and exhale,) and one step on inhale and two steps on exhale. It is still four steps per breathing cycle.

If you can run with such a breathing, you can do any sport with it (the breathing). And for you aspired skiers want to keep in shape in the summer for winter sports, try mountain running with such breathing, fun stuff.

'later,
IS
post #33 of 45
When I ride my bicycle, I like to inhale for four pedal strokes and exhale three strokes. Or inhale three strokes, exhale two strokes for more vigorous efforts. Inhale two strokes, exhale one when I'm red-lining climbing out of the saddle.

I like an odd number of pedal strokes per breathing cycle, so the breathing starts on alternate side each time. I think I can ski three bumps on one breath cycle, two inhaling, one exhaling. I'm gonna try that flatboarding the bumps this winter, I'll be flowing like water.
post #34 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15
When I ride my bicycle, I like to inhale for four pedal strokes and exhale three strokes. Or inhale three strokes, exhale two strokes for more vigorous efforts. Inhale two strokes, exhale one when I'm red-lining climbing out of the saddle.
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15


You also inhale long and exhale short, which is opposite from how I breathe. I do two inhales and one exhale on the down strokes, just like my running, when I ride on the flat.

I did a 2,500 miles bike trip in 1979, from Long Beach, California to Banff National Park, Canada. With fully loaded camping equipments, foods, and supplies, my packs weight about sixty pounds, and on climbing a mountain pass, I got 4 to 5 mph, I can hardly do anything but hanged on to the two points where the wheels met the road, inch forward on one breathing one pedal. On a typical western mountain pass, which is running average about eighty miles to cross, I'd climb about eight hours to the top, (mostly nonstop, because once you get down the bike, you may not get back up again,) and down in 30 minutes. (That's my reward for climbing the mountain pass, I just love going downhill, any downhill, ) And that's how I made my eighty miles day.

Quote:
I like an odd number of pedal strokes per breathing cycle, so the breathing starts on alternate side each time. I think I can ski three bumps on one breath cycle, two inhaling, one exhaling.


I don't mind the odd numbers, however, the disadvantage is that the mind may soon lose the track of it in repetitions, and you'll have to direct your attention (spend energy) to figure out which pedal you are on and what breathing you need to do, which would interrupt your breathing and/or the flow of the movements; the breathing mentioned on the previous post would have eliminated that.


Quote:
I'm gonna try that flatboarding the bumps this winter, I'll be flowing like water.


Sure thing, however, inhale short and strong on the top/crest of a bump, and exhale long and smooth on the backside of the bump remains a simple, thus better, breathing pattern.

Where do you usually ski? If by chance you coming this way, South Lake Tahoe, CA, look me up, I'll give you a free lesson, on flatboarding, yah, you'll be flowing like water.

'later,
IS
post #35 of 45
Inhale fast and exhale slow. Ok, I'll try that.

I think I like that my breathing technique requires attention. It distracts me from the pain in my legs and lungs when cycling. Making an odd number of ski turns per breath in bumps maybe too complicated but it might distract me from thinking about the skiing. Then the turns will just happen. I might not get enough oxygen though if I take three turns per breath. Just an idea that I may try when I get a chance. Your breathing in the bumps is backwards from what I have been doing, but I'll try that too.

That bike tour you did sounds "Epic"! You must be a strong man.

I'm on the east coast, doubt I'll make it to Tahoe this year, but maybe. I would like to take a lesson from you. Barking Bears say your students are in danger, that flat boarding is unsafe. I'd be willing to risk it but probably it's too far to travel. I never got past the Rockies, made it that far west a handful of times.
post #36 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15
Inhale fast and exhale slow. Ok, I'll try that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15


Moreover, inhale fast and strong, i.e. a quick draw, through the nostrils; and exhale slow and smooth, through the month, don't "blow" the air out but let the hot moist air caress the throat out like a smooth running stream runs over a rock and leaves no turbulence at the end of its path, i.e. let the air out smoothly.

Quote:
I think I like that my breathing technique requires attention. It distracts me from the pain in my legs and lungs when cycling. Making an odd number of ski turns per breath in bumps maybe too complicated but it might distract me from thinking about the skiing. Then the turns will just happen. I might not get enough oxygen though if I take three turns per breath. Just an idea that I may try when I get a chance. Your breathing in the bumps is backwards from what I have been doing, but I'll try that too.


The idea/purpose of breathing on the beats is to reduce the load of mind's control or influence, so that the intuitive perception and the body automation (body knowledge) may be developed. On the other hand, counting turns per breathing may keep mind occupied so much that it loses the touch of skiing and its environment--the thrills of speed, winds in ears, beautiful scenery, serenity of the mountain wilderness, and the pleasure of skiing, etc.

Quote:
That bike tour you did sounds "Epic"! You must be a strong man.


Yah, that was the time when the baby boomers just came to age (mature) and started to venture out into the wilderness in a movement called "self-propel" sports, like telemarking back-country, snow camping, wilderness portage (canoeing), and long distance bicycle touring, etc. Yes, we (my wife and I) had done quite a few of them.

And no, I'm not particular strong but an average medium built Chinese; I think it's my [adventurous] spirit (wanting to know everything to the end of world), and the breathing technique that carried me that far. It is the breathing that ultimately leads me to break down the physical dualism (mind and body) into the Unism, an existence where what is mind is the body and what is the body is mind.

Quote:
I'm on the east coast, doubt I'll make it to Tahoe this year, but maybe. I would like to take a lesson from you. Barking Bears say your students are in danger, that flat boarding is unsafe. I'd be willing to risk it but probably it's too far to travel. I never got past the Rockies, made it that far west a handful of times.


Skiing is an adventurous sport; the way I see it, if you have not gotten to a scary place/corner and scared the hell out of yourself and asked yourself what and why were you doing there, you haven't gotten the true spirit of skiing, yet. So, go for it, after you knock yourself (by the concussion of scary scene or fear) and survive, you may find the land of blessing (no more fears), and then you'd have entered the realm of "true" skiing.

Anyway, if you have any question regard flatboarding, just draw me a line/post, I'll find an answer for you. As Chinese say, "mountains don't turn, road turns," if we walk on the same path, we'll meet, eventually. Until then...

Happy flatboarding,
IS
post #37 of 45
It's like focussing your eyes; it's better to not think about it too much.

In swimming of course you can only inhale when your face isn't in the water, and the stroke pretty much dictates when you inhale. In the crawl for example, you can inhale every third arm stroke to change sides, or every 4 or 2 depending on oxygen need. In maximum stustained effort paddling a canoe with a big racing paddle you pretty much need to focus on the power and that sets the breathing.

In running, it is also possible to set up a count 1,2,3,4...droning away in the back of your mind and eventually pay it no mind, but for running or skiing I suggest another approach. You have two rhythms: the turn rhythm and the breathing rythm. Instead of forcing a rhythm, just concentrate on being constant. Let the pace of your breathing GRADUALLY change as you ski or run at a good clip..say 3/4 of the way to your redline so to speak. Just make sure your skiing or running rhythm is CONSTANT, and let your breathing find its own focus point. Just steady deep breathing and steady continuous Rhythmic effort, and you can fall into a nice pattern. Once the pattern is established you may be able to alter it, however it is easy at first to loose the moment if you do.
post #38 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
It's like focussing your eyes; it's better to not think about it too much.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost

In swimming of course you can only inhale when your face isn't in the water, and the stroke pretty much dictates when you inhale. In the crawl for example, you can inhale every third arm stroke to change sides, or every 4 or 2 depending on oxygen need. In maximum stustained effort paddling a canoe with a big racing paddle you pretty much need to focus on the power and that sets the breathing.


Inhale on "every third stroke, or every 4 or 2 depending on oxygen need"? That sounds random, doesn't it? How do you know the body needs more oxygen input, because the mind say so? How does mind to determine that the body needs more oxygen? Without any measurement, so it decides randomly? Are you not "thinking too much"?

Ok, you may "crawl" this way, but how do you do "free style," or any other more efficient style of swimming? Are you going to use a different breathing for each different style of swimming? Do you remember which one is for which? Yeah, that is the same old question.

Quote:
In running, it is also possible to set up a count 1,2,3,4...droning away in the back of your mind and eventually pay it no mind, but for running or skiing I suggest another approach. You have two rhythms: the turn rhythm and the breathing rythm. Instead of forcing a rhythm, just concentrate on being constant. Let the pace of your breathing GRADUALLY change as you ski or run at a good clip..say 3/4 of the way to your redline so to speak. Just make sure your skiing or running rhythm is CONSTANT, and let your breathing find its own focus point. Just steady deep breathing and steady continuous Rhythmic effort, and you can fall into a nice pattern. Once the pattern is established you may be able to alter it, however it is easy at first to loose the moment if you do.


Counting may be good for "sitting" meditation, but not while you are "moving," the monotonous of the counting may interfere the rhythm of the body movements.

The purpose of finding/using one pattern of breathing is to match/"harmonize" the rhythm of the skiing, so you can "drive" your turns with one rhythm of breathing.

And no, the rhythm of skiing is neither "GRADUAL" nor "CONSTANT," given the infinite different appearance of the ski terrain. Your "CONSTANT" way is to forcing a monotonous skiing rhythm, not that it is boring way to ski but also inefficient. No, I don't think you can ski this way even on a long blue run. That is to say that a "steady deep breathing" is just a bad pattern for skiing, or sports, any sport. It is unintuitive to vision and complicated to execute, I don't see the advantage on this breathing pattern.

'later,
IS
post #39 of 45
In swimming there are a number of recognized strokes: the crawl, the butterfly, the breaststroke and the backstroke. Though it is open to debate, the crawl is considered very efficient, as is the butterfly (Just ask Vicky Kieth). Indeed that is why most competitors choose to do the crawl for the free style portion of any race they enter.

As to "How do you know you need more oxygen?" Really. Come on. It is not random at all, but a function of how fast/hard you are swimming. Your body has carbon dioxide and oxygen sensors as part of its autonamic nervous system. You naturally breath harder when you need more oxygen and create more carbon dioxide. Start out breathing on your favourite side or on the leeward side if your swimming across a windy lake. If breathing every 4 breaths leaves you struggling, breath every three. It is not a random function at all. It is you who are using too much mind.

As to being constant when skiing, I did not say it was easy. If you look at a well skied ungroomed moderately steep run you will notice that there is a natural size and frequency in the pattern of bumps, just like antidunes on a stream bed, or beach slope (under the waves). You can indeed, once you have developed sufficient skill manage to affect turns in a constant rhythm. Keep practicing.

Edit: Ah I see! No. You misunderstand me. I do not impose a cast in stone "constant" rhythm on the hill, I take the natural rhythm of the hill and adjust my speed so that my turns around the bumps can vary gradually in frequency until that frequency haronizes with the rhythm of my breathing as determined by my need for oxygen which is dependant on how hard I am working.

As I said earlier on, there are many ways. Perhaps your way works best for you. My way requires the very little concious effort. You simply breath deeply, as you need to, with a steady rhythm and ski with a rhythm. That's it! Instead of forcing a rhythm, you naturally fall into a single harmonious rhythm. (for physicsman et. al. the rhythm is composed of the superposition of the two signals)
(edit: if I ever set this to music the supercrests will be high-g crescendos)
Maybe it is from playing soldier as a small child, with a marching count 1,2,3,4, but whatever the reason, counting to 4 repeatedly does inot detract from my running motion as I inhale. Neither did mentally repeating in my head step, up, out, in, down, reset while spending long hours doing sidekicks on a heavy bag, another form of meditation that left me high(why don't I have the time to do that any more?). If it bothers you, then don't do it.

Edit: disclaimer: this post has been affected by a couple of Warsteiners
post #40 of 45
Rhythm. As someone else once said. Skiing is a dance and the mountain leads.
post #41 of 45
Rhythm. As someone else once said, skiing is a dance and the mountain leads.
post #42 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
In swimming there are a number of recognized strokes: the crawl, the butterfly, the breaststroke and the backstroke. Though it is open to debate, the crawl is considered very efficient, as is the butterfly (Just ask Vicky Kieth). Indeed that is why most competitors choose to do the crawl for the free style portion of any race they enter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost


Not if you hold your head above the water, how do you do your "steady deep breathing" in the "crawl," again?

Quote:
As to "How do you know you need more oxygen?" Really. Come on. It is not random at all, but a function of how fast/hard you are swimming. Your body has carbon dioxide and oxygen sensors as part of its autonamic nervous system. You naturally breath harder when you need more oxygen and create more carbon dioxide. Start out breathing on your favourite side or on the leeward side if your swimming across a windy lake. If breathing every 4 breaths leaves you struggling, breath every three. It is not a random function at all. It is you who are using too much mind.


Breathing every 4 "breaths" or 4 "strokes"? Four strokes may be good, which means you have 4 strokes of time to exhale while your head is in the water, (which is easier and faster,) and one quick draw of the air when you surface, that's one stroke, the ratio is 4:1, so a quick inhale and a long exhale breathing pattern fits the crawl well too. Why not 3? You'd be swinging your head too much (for breathing), which leaves you more tiring. Maybe you don't use your mind enough?

Quote:
As to being constant when skiing, I did not say it was easy. If you look at a well skied ungroomed moderately steep run you will notice that there is a natural size and frequency in the pattern of bumps, just like antidunes on a stream bed, or beach slope (under the waves). You can indeed, once you have developed sufficient skill manage to affect turns in a constant rhythm. Keep practicing.

Edit: Ah I see! No. You misunderstand me. I do not impose a cast in stone "constant" rhythm on the hill, I take the natural rhythm of the hill and adjust my speed so that my turns around the bumps can vary gradually in frequency until that frequency haronizes with the rhythm of my breathing as determined by my need for oxygen which is dependant on how hard I am working.


The question here is not a matter of getting more oxygen, but how to utilize what you have/get. In Qi-Gong, or martial arts practice, we use not just the oxygen but the pressure, so-called "Qi," of the air as well. It is such a pressure/Qi that provides the extra energy beyond its appearance; that is, in Tai Chi, "Yi Qi Shi Li," use pressure to drive the force. A proper breathing delivers a maximum effect. So is Tai Chi Skiing.

Quote:
As I said earlier on, there are many ways. Perhaps your way works best for you. My way requires the very little concious effort. You simply breath deeply, as you need to, with a steady rhythm and ski with a rhythm. That's it! Instead of forcing a rhythm, you naturally fall into a single harmonious rhythm. (for physicsman et. al. the rhythm is composed of the superposition of the two signals)

(edit: if I ever set this to music the supercrests will be high-g crescendos)

Maybe it is from playing soldier as a small child, with a marching count 1,2,3,4, but whatever the reason, counting to 4 repeatedly does inot detract from my running motion as I inhale. Neither did mentally repeating in my head step, up, out, in, down, reset while spending long hours doing sidekicks on a heavy bag, another form of meditation that left me high(why don't I have the time to do that any more?). If it bothers you, then don't do it.

Edit: disclaimer: this post has been affected by a couple of Warsteiners


The purpose of this thread is to open for discussion for finding a "best" way of breathing, or breathing pattern, that can be incorporated with skiing so that one can enjoy the full spectrum of skiing, before he or she is run of the breath. Thanks for the contribution.


IS
post #43 of 45
Sorry to hijack your thread with meditation aspect of breathing.

More in keeping with the topic of discussion:
I agree with most posters that a pressure such as experienced on exhaling, particularly felt in the lower abdomen is best used to accompany an exertion of force through the legs while skiing. In long slow turns, this downwards pressure is to me best done with a controlled exhalation in the crux of the turn, followed by an inhalation to fill up for the next turn as the edge is released.

Variations: When using several turns per breath, the rate of exhalation and force of air (not necessarily dependant on each other), can be varied with the force being nil between turns (almost not breathing, but lungs neither full nore empty yet) and greatest while g-forces are greatest (like doubling up on the jab). The exhalation can be almost stopped as a turn is released and continued in the new turn. Inhaling during exertion is a very difficult thing to do effectively, so difficult that I won't try to explain it. I'll just say if you can do something backwards your pretty good at it.

Something else to work on, for anyone who can read something into it (and to be ignored otherwise): In addition to directing the force of the chi down, balance with making youself lighter in the other direction.
post #44 of 45
post #45 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
Sorry to hijack your thread with meditation aspect of breathing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost


Not really, I was talking about meditation aspect of breathing. In ancient Chinese thinking, breathing plays a more important part to life than modern/Western/American medicine practice, which views that breathing is only a function of getting the oxygen into the body, the ancient Chinese see that breathing, is of life and life itself, is bigger than its bodily function. So the proper breathing lays the root of meditation. We use breathing to hold down our wondering/wandering mind.

Quote:
More in keeping with the topic of discussion:

I agree with most posters that a pressure such as experienced on exhaling, particularly felt in the lower abdomen is best used to accompany an exertion of force through the legs while skiing. In long slow turns, this downwards pressure is to me best done with a controlled exhalation in the crux of the turn, followed by an inhalation to fill up for the next turn as the edge is released.


Yup, that's terrain, the rhythm of skiing, and the breathing all come together, one breathing cycle one bump, what a nirvana way to skiing, however, before the knees go out on you, make it a breathing cycle a turn, you'll sure be "flowing" nicely.

Quote:
Variations: When using several turns per breath, the rate of exhalation and force of air (not necessarily dependant on each other), can be varied with the force being nil between turns (almost not breathing, but lungs neither full nore empty yet) and greatest while g-forces are greatest (like doubling up on the jab). The exhalation can be almost stopped as a turn is released and continued in the new turn. Inhaling during exertion is a very difficult thing to do effectively, so difficult that I won't try to explain it. I'll just say if you can do something backwards your pretty good at it.


It may be advantageous to hold your breath (stop breathing) when/while hunt for your turns, and continue the "regular" pattern after you resume turning; it may take some conscious effort to keep track of it, but the body may react better to the transition without the load of breathing.

Quote:
Something else to work on, for anyone who can read something into it (and to be ignored otherwise): In addition to directing the force of the chi down, balance with making youself lighter in the other direction.


So, Qi is pressure, but such a contents is in embedded in Chinese culture/language, may not be visible to the westerners. So just reading a translation of it, one may not fully understand the full concept of Qi. (Ancient Chinese have no concept of "oxgen.")

Qi is pressure, and pressure is a vector, has its direction, which may enhance or reduce the effect the way of body issuing force, so "Yin Ru Yang Chu,"--Yin, inward, [and] Yang, outward--depicts the direction for the maximum body efficiency.

Tai Chi is the way of ultimate Qi-Gong,
IS
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