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Training upon Systema in the banya.

(Alexander Stepanov- Head instructor SystemaTalanov Estonia)

In “Systema” the breath in different temperature environment is being used as a variant of training of the cardiovascular system. For such training the bath and the pool (the barrel) with cool or ice water (less then +8 degrees) are usually used. This combination of hot and cool environment is practically ideally suitable for the stimulation of the blood circulation, the improvement of the activity of the cardiovascular system, the intensification of the activity of the capillaries, the increase of the metabolism, besides it trains the nerve system and increases the stress resistance. As a result of the regular training the elasticity of the blood-vessels increases, it means that they can easily expend and shrink, the passability of the capillaries is being increased and good interaction of all systems of the organism — immune, nerve, cardiovascular, muscular and lymphatic — is reached. So the common state of the organism is being improved and the immune protection of it is being strengthened.

High ambient temperature is significantly activates the cardiovascular system. Staying in the steamroom causes positive changes in the activity of the heart. Also it increases blood supply to the brain blood vessels, increases blood circulation features.

The rapid breathing appears under the impact of high ambient temperatures. Rapid breathing mechanism as follows: under the influence of hot air occurs a reflex contraction of the lung vessels as a protective reaction of the organism against overheating organism. In this regard, to increase the heat transfer breathing becomed more frequent.
The central nervous system regulates frequency and depth of breating at a high temperatures. It mostly dependents on the type of bath and the composition of the inhaled air. Depth of breathing and lung capacity is being slightly increased upon entering the bath. Furthermore, sweating is being increased. The respiratory activity of the skin increases twice.
After the steam muscle tone decreases. Thermal effects also reduce the tension in the muscles, soften connective tissue and makes muscles more flexible. The energy metabolism in the body is being increased due to the heat exposure.
Spasm of capillaries and peripheral vessels of the body occurs in ice water. Blood flow to the internal organs, on the contrary, is being increased, providing them with additional portions of oxygen and nutrients. Blood rushes to the heart and brain, stimulating the work of these bodies. Thus heat retention in the human body occurs. This is called vessels "training". In "extreme" conditions tremendous amount of energy emission also occurs.

When exposure of the icy cold water ends, the body begins to warm and the blood vessels expand. The person experiences a pleasant feeling of warmth on the skin. His physical activity is increased, there is cheerfulness and joy of the done. We can say that this is similar to gymnastics of the cardiovascular system as a whole, due to which the efficiency of metabolic processes in the body increases.
Ice water increases the respiratory activity - breathing becomes deeper and more light.

Unfortunately, there are some contraindications:
• cardiovascular diseases;
• hypertension;
kidney inflammation;
• chronic kidney disease
• urinary tract disease;
• thyroid dysfunction;
• respiratory diseases;
• epilepsy;
circulatory disorders of the brain;
• propensity to seizures;
• various infections and colds.

Training in the banya and cold water should be correlated with your health state. The goal is not to set the record for the duration of stay in the steam room or in cold water, but to increase your training level, gradually training the entire body.

Start training with cold water or steam room.

1. It is desirable to stay in the steam room in a comfortable, relaxed position, such as sitting with a straight back, legs crossed in front of you (in a pose of "lotus"), arms and shoulders relaxed. Breathing is not difficult when the back is straight. The blood flow in the legs passes better when you sit with crossed legs.

Breathing should be calm, breathe in through your nose, exhale - through the mouth. At the same time, it is possible when inhalation is shorter than the exhalation, so this will help the overall relaxation of the body and not so rapid body heat.

2. Excited conversations and disputes are undesirable, as they excite the nervous system and prevent a good body heat. Try to focus on your body. The Finns have a saying, "Steam dissipates in the anger." Try to relax.

3. When you feel sufficiently warmed up, you can go into a cold pool. Begin actively breathe: inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth before dipping into the pool. Dive slowly and gradually. Otherwise, vasospasm can lead to disruption of the heart. It is believed that immersion has to start with the left foot. It is associated with large and small circulation. Starting with the left foot causes smooth vasoconstriction. Blood flow to the heart is being increased.

Ice water strongly loads the nervous system. It causes spasm in muscles of the whole body and chest. There is an effect that a person inhales spasmodically and exhales with great difficulty or can not breathe at all. Concentrate on breathing sinking into the water!

Then immerse yourself with head under the water for 2 seconds - it will help to equalize the pressure in the head and prevent the head from possible pain caused by increased blood flow to the head.

4. Emerging and breathe until you feel that breathing became calm and nervous system returned to normal (test can be, then you can talk calmly and without stress). While in the water, make sure that water hid your shoulders. Then inhale, exhale, hold your breath on exhalation and dive into the water with your head.

Holding your breath as you exhale lower blood pressure, facilitating the circulation of the blood. The delay depends on your health state. During the delay relax and try to feel tension in the body. If possible, it is desirable to extend your body under the water. It makes less pinch vessels. Take the most comfortable position.

5. For the first time, only one delay will be enough. It may be several delays in the future. Restore after a delay with frequent breathing. Inhale through the nose - exhale through your mouth, go out quietly out of the water and go to the steam room. The following immersion in cold water can be done when you are sufficiently warmed up. The number of repetitions depends on your wishes and well-being.

6. When you learn to stay under water for a long time and relax, it will be necessary to control your health state. You will be constantly feel that you can further relax certain parts of the body.

You must also control your pulse. First, the heart will be pounding often. Your heart begins to beat more slowly when the body and the mind begin to be calm and begins body cooling. Initially, you will only feel the pulse of the heart, but as relaxation, can feel it in all parts of the body.

It is very important to keep concentration during prolonged breath-holding under water. Because you can immerse yourself in euphoria - this condition may be followed by loss of consciousness. To avoid this, you can, for example, count the pulse. Then you will not lose in time orientation, and you will be able to control immersion process.
When you feel that the body is already got a cold, it will be necessary to go to the steam room and warm up.

7. You must finish the exercise well warmed up, but do not overheat. If you want to cheer up after a bath, you can complete the procedure with dip in the water just for a second. Such a short-term stay in the icy water will not let you freeze and it will give the body vitality.
As already mentioned, this training is very important to feel yourself, your body. Do not forget about the breathing in the bath or in cool water!

Proper training in the bath will give you an unforgettable experience, a feeling of relaxation and inner peace!

Good training to you.

(text and photos: “Systema Talanov Estonia”)

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