High Tech Breathing?

spireAs a part-time yoga instructor, I’m constantly reminding students to breathe. I’m not talking about the mindless inhalations and exhalations that most of us to take, but rather, really deep, diaphragmatic breath cycles.

Why is this important?

Whether you realize it or not, the simple act of conscious breathing has numerous health benefits. Not only does it supply the body and its various organs with oxygen, but it also helps eliminate waste products and toxins from the body. More importantly, the practice of deep breathing directly affects our state of mind by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which is responsible for activities that occur when our body is at rest. It functions in an opposite manner to the sympathetic nervous system, which stimulates activities associated with the fight-or-flight response. Essentially, it’s this type of breathing that keeps you calm and centered.

It’s fair to say that the majority of the population doesn’t understand how the simple act of breathing affects their mood, health, and the way they experience or move through life. Of all the automatic functions of the body — cardiovascular, digestive, hormonal, glandular, immune — only the breath can be easily controlled voluntarily.

So what does this have to do with technology?

Introducing, Spire, the wearable breath tracker that literally helps calm you down. Spire tracks both physical and psychological fitness to lower stress and increase productivity, and ultimately help you breathe into a healthier state of mind. It uses this information to provide you with insights about your daily activity and state of mind through the mobile app. The app also contains the ability to help boost your activity, relaxation, and focus.

I have to admit, I’m not a “gadgety” type of gal. Although I’m very fitness-oriented, I haven’t succumbed to the seduction of all the sexy activity trackers currently being advertised. I’ve been pretty monogamous to my heart rate monitor for the past five years and haven’t seen any reason to upgrade to something “better.” But Spire has definitely caught my attention. Not so much for its fitness tracking functionality, but more so for the real-time breath tracking. Personal experience has proven how powerful the breath can be, and I think this little device could actually be a worthwhile investment. And hey, the technology will likely come in handy once you see the price tag. Retailing at $119, you may need some help catching your breath.