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Breathing exercise for the boys

The lads took part in a breathing exercise class led by Lopen Nidup Dorji, a lecturer at Sangchokor Buddhist University, Paro.

“The breathing exercise and the football are very much related. This is because football is an exercise in itself requiring lots of running. If we do not know how to breath in the field it causes dehydration, fatigue and tiredness.” said Lopen Nidup Dorji. Scientifically, Dr. Mitch Lomax of the University of Portsmouth’s Department of Sport and Exercise Science discovered that while both inspiratory muscle training and inspiratory warm-up activities increase performance, when done together, they can increase a sportsperson’s performance much more.

Breathing exercise is also a technique to keep away conceptual thoughts from arising. Returning from injury, fear of success and failure, and post game analysis are some of the causes of sports anxiety. “In football you have lots of such thoughts even from the beginning to think of win and loss. So it helps in keeping mind focused on game without conceptual thoughts to disturb.”

Lopen also believes that the practise has never been more vital than it is now. “With the world battling against Covid-19, Bhutan, like every other country, has been subjected to regular lockdowns.” Extended period of confinement can distress people and potentially develop anxiety. He mentioned that this is because people are not accustomed to staying at home before. Deep breathing is one of the most effective methods for reducing stress in the body. This is due to the fact that deep breathing sends a signal to your brain telling it to relax and quiet down.