This year we have officially combined two of our core training styles to create one of our most powerful courses to date – BET for Business.
Our original Breath Enhancement Training (BET) course was built for surfers. From our backgrounds in free-diving, martial arts, human movement studies and with our passion for surfing, we started teaching surfers how to deal with the huge stresses of being pinned down under the weight of some pretty mean amounts of water for extended periods, so that they could continue to surf and even perform better when under this kind of pressure. Fast forward 10 years and through this course we are highly sought after by the world’s absolute best athletes and surfers, including 3 x world champion Mick Fanning and 6 x world champion Steph Gilmore keen to learn the techniques of breath and mind control that can make all the difference between winning and losing, whilst for big wave legends like Mark Matthews & Ryan Hipwood it’s about being prepared, confidence and survival!
How do I cope and continue to function at the level required of me under this immense pressure?
We saw an immediate need to couple our already popular corporate training elements with the skills and techniques used for our big wave surfers, and so BET for Business was born.
We teach those in the corporate world to take themselves to the next level, using the power of the breath to control their bodies, emotions, minds and behaviours for measurable, successful outcomes. Read on here for a bird’s eye view of how BET for Business could take you and your team to the next level!
Did you know that every breath you take affects your heart beat? And did you know that every time your heart beats it affects your brain. It affects the way you feel and the way in which your nervous system (the system that allows you to get into a stressed or remain in a calm state) behaves. Every time you breathe in and out you are influencing all of those very important areas in your body, and so the better you know how to breathe, the better you can control the way in which you feel, perform, behave and even experience life.
Every time you breathe in and out you are regulating your blood chemistry, chemistry that needs to be at a certain pH or acidity level to allow oxygen (O2) to be released from your blood cells and used throughout the body.
If you happen to be a regular mouth breather, or even if you sometimes breathe in and out with the mouth when it’s not entirely necessary, i.e. when your heart rate is low, it’s likely you are breathing out too much carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is ‘acid forming’, when you release too much your blood becomes too alkaline, then the release of oxygen from haemoglobin cells within the blood becomes really difficult and you will begin to slowly starve other cells in your body of oxygen & energy. I bet you didn’t realize!
Sometimes mouth breathing is a necessity, for example when you are participating in an activity and have a high heart rate you will need to breathe with the mouth to be able to get enough oxygen in and to get rid of excess carbon dioxide via the out-breath, but at rest you should be completely capable of breathing in and out through the nose only.
With that little eye opener out of the way, here are some other little facts you may not realize about your breath!
How does mouth-breathing affect you on a mental & physical level?
Your brain has the greatest need of, and places the greatest demand on your oxygen supplies; it uses up to 30% of your available oxygen at any given time. So if you are breathing in and out through your mouth, blood chemistry (alkalinity & acidity) is out of balance, which doesn’t allow oxygen to be as easily released from cells for the brain to use. Therefore you may find yourself experiencing regular brain fog, feeling tired easily and yawning a lot!
What if you are a nose breather but you are not making full use of your breath and lungs?
The depth to which you draw the breath into the lungs is definitely important, as different parts of the lungs allow different levels of oxygen (O2) absorption. If you are efficient and able to breathe to the lower 13% of your lung area, you can get around 60ml of O2 per minute going into your bloodstream; whereas, if you haven’t been shown how to breathe properly, the breath might only be reaching the top 7% of your lungs. You are known as a ‘chest breather’ and only 4ml of oxygen is travelling into your bloodstream per minute, that’s 15 times less than your potential!!
The in-breath requires depth and good use of the diaphragm muscle to draw the O2 into the lower part of the lung. You should then still draw the air in to the mid and upper part of the chest, as you then create pressure in the lungs and this ‘air pressure’ helps to push the O2 in to the bloodstream.
When you learn about the breath, you discover just how much the out-breath helps the body to relax. There is also a ‘tone’ that goes with the out-breath, it’s known as a ‘parasympathetic’ or relaxed tone, it’s a stress free tone that emanates throughout the entire body and signals the heart and brain that you are relaxed. This tone is most apparent in the last half of the out-breath; the more you consciously focus on that, the more relaxed you become.
Why would a program originally for big wave surfers suit the corporate environment?
Whilst running our other corporate programs we see that people in the corporate environment are under just as much stress as a big wave rider wiping out; corporate stress just accumulates over a more prolonged period of time.
Those in the corporate world are working long, demanding hours, in an often stressful environment, and yet not many people are offering interesting education & tools on effective breath techniques which can be applied immediately to reduce stress and anxiety.
When people are constantly working in high pressure situations they become ‘wired’ to stress and without realising it, stress is becoming their norm. However, they become more and more susceptible to the effects of stress and to their associations to stress i.e. the phone ringing, endless emails etc. The more that these stressful events and associations occur in their day to day experience, and the more that time goes by without counterbalancing the effects of the stress, the more difficult it becomes to make change.
BUT if you have the right education and tools that can easily be used in that environment then change is also easy. Breathing is a very easy tool to access and use, it’s right under our noses!!
Participants in BET for Business are obviously not expected to do the same activities as a big wave rider! What’s different in the new program?
The theory that we share with both audiences about the stress response and how to combat stress is the same, because what goes on in the mind and body of a surfer wiping out in huge surf or a corporate person feeling completely overwhelmed by their workload is basically the same. We have just made changes to the activities to suit the audience. They experience how calm and relaxed and composed you can get by using the breath, and it’s no different to what the big wave riders are doing before they go charging down 50-60 foot wave faces.
What have people said about the BET for Business Program?
Well there was this one guy who said it was better than ‘you know what!’ but the majority say it’s the best training session they’ve ever done before! That they have never felt so relaxed. Because this type of training is not mainstream, they often begin as complete sceptics and until participating in the session never knew they could feel so relaxed in such a short space of time. Participants always say what a difference the information & tools have made to their every day life.
Three things complete breathing amateurs should know about breathing:
1. Firstly, learn the importance of the diaphragm muscle, the breathing muscle which sits between the chest cavity & stomach cavity. Understand how it’s meant to be used and how to perform the exercises to strengthen both the muscle itself and the brain to muscle connection. This will instantly change the depth and rhythm of your breathing, which will completely alter how you feel and your adaptation to stress.
2. Understand that you can learn how to ‘switch off’ after a busy day just by using the breath and focusing on the 6 specific areas which unlock the relaxation response within the body.
3. Know that you can use the breath in a more deliberate manner when exercising or going through something stressful to regulate the stress response and remain more in control of your experiences.
The more you learn about the many ways in which your body & mind is directly affected by stress, the more motivated you will be, and the easier it becomes to apply the techniques and tools to be able to control or influence how you feel and behave when you are under stress.
Your control in the face of stress can have a tremendous influence on others around you and changes one of the most important things in life – which is the quality of your relationships with others. Whether in the workplace, your home, or even just with yourself, by increasing the quality of your relationships you will feel more satisfied, more relaxed and ultimately, perform better in all avenues.
Our BET for Business program is available now and is highly recommended! Contact us for more details and to see how we can help take you to the next level.