Just take a deep breath.
Lengthen your exhale.
Slow your breath down.
If you’ve ever felt upset or anxious in the saddle, these are all instructions that will be familiar to you (or perhaps you’ve even told yourself).
Have you noticed, though, that taking a deep breath can sometimes make it worse? Or actually, seem impossible?
It might contradict popular opinion but focusing on the breath is not always the answer. If your body is frozen and tight, you simply don’t have the means to invite the breath in, and trying to do so can increase the concern.
Instead, think of mobilizing the body to make more room for the breath. Loosening the muscles around your torso. Gently softening the body so it can breathe itself.
Find a way to let your body breathe itself.