According to Harvard Health (and Dylan Howley), stress management can be enhanced through mindful breathing. One of the many ways Dylan combats stress is through guided meditation. Although he uses multiple tools, a major part of his mental strength during this past year is from regular breathing exercises. When you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. The brain then forwards this message to your body. Those things that happen when you are stressed, such as increased heart rate, fast breathing, and high blood pressure, all decrease as you breathe deeply to relax. Breathing exercises are easy to learn and you can do them whenever you want, and you don't need any special tools or equipment to do them. Want to try? All you need is eleven minutes and an open mind.
Last year while Dylan was training for the Ironman Triathlon, he wanted to improve upon his stamina using a new approach. Through a connection with a longtime acquaintance of Southeastern CT, Johnny Longinidis, Dylan began training in a different way. Johnny is certified in many areas of fitness and mindfulness such as breathwork, yoga, meditation and ayurveda and his skills helped Dylan optimize his performance and recovery during long hours of training. That initial connection with Johnny sparked a new interest in Dylan, which has led to a productive year, focused on a spiritual journey. With the guidance and mentorship of Longinidis, Dylan has observed a breakthrough in his mental stability and has a new sense of clarity and wants to share these positive experiences with others. (visit Johnny’s instagram: Pranayama Studio)
Wim Hof is a new name to me but to millions of people, he is known for his extraordinary journey of becoming a global health leader. Using 'cold, hard nature' as his teacher, his extensive training has enabled him to learn to control his breathing, heart rate, and blood circulation and to withstand extreme temperatures. Dylan sent me the link to “Guided Wim Hof Method Breathing” and I tried it out. Everyone will have a different experience, but I was able to slow my brain down and prioritize a few tasks that have been difficult to focus on. Thirty-six million other people have also watched this video and its results are constantly being studied by scientists across the world.
Have you heard of the pain cave? That's the creative name for Dylan’s home office. The founder and CEO of The Lefty Cycles Project, Inc. does not have a typical office space. This “pain cave” is equipped with a spin bike, a bicycle hooked up to the stationary trainer, a giant desk, a leather recliner, yoga mat, wall of accomplishments and last but not least, a chest freezer. The latest addition to the pain cave is for ice baths which is a new technique Dylan is using for physical and mental strength training. Also called cold water immersion, ice baths are a form of cryotherapy that call for sitting in chilly water, ideally up to your chest, for 10 to 15 minutes. Ice baths reduce inflammation and improve recovery by changing the way blood and other fluids flow through your body.
We have a few weeks left of 2021 and the Lefty Cycles team is focused on remaining mindful and meeting our goal of donating over 100 bikes in the first year of operation as a CT based nonprofit. The goal is within reach and the most important part of our work is remaining balanced and building our network. The biggest contribution someone can make is by visiting the website: https://www.theleftycyclesproject.org/ and signing up for our mailing list. Donations, likes, shares, feedback and overall support is what will help us continue to grow. Breathe in and breathe out!