This week's selection comes from Giulia Baldorilli, Reference Specialist.
Born in 1885 in a small town in the Free State province of South Africa, Tromp Van Diggelen had an unfortunate childhood. He suffered from various respiratory-related illnesses, such as pneumonia.
Supported by his teacher at school, Tromp started studying the functionality of human body which eventually led him to discover that simple circular breathing exercises would improve physical strength and build up body resistance.
Instead of investing in long days of training at the gym, he realised good breathing techniques could in fact help him add a few inches to his chest, thus building up physical endurance. He would later become known as 'The Man with the Perfect Chest'.
This focus on functional strength allowed him much more freedom to finally participate alongside other children in sport competitions.
He understood that muscle flexibility was improved by blood flow, and simple breathing exercises might improve the muscular tone, leaving us with a healthier and stronger appearance. This knowledge is at the core of 'A Lesson in Correct Breathing', released by Columbia.
In the recording you hear real intakes, while following Tromp’s clear instructions on how to expand the chest and then release the breath.
These talking demonstrations based on practical and simple advice are sequences that are easy to follow and repeat, accessible to anyone. Ultimately, they show us how much a correct breathing technique can improve the quality of our life as a whole.