Have you ever wondered why yoga instructors focus so much on breathing? In this month’s blog post, we are going to uncover way breathing and yoga are like peas and carrots…why they simply work well together.
Breathing is so important in yoga is because it regulates the body. It brings everything from your mind, emotions, concentration, heart rate, you name it, into a state of calm. Experiencing calm and practicing calm allows you and your body to deal with stress effectively. But…there is something more you should know. There is a technique you should practice and certain tips you should follow when participating in breathing for yoga.
Holding Your Breath…
One of the first things you will want to learn about when breathing while practicing yoga is how to properly hold your breath and how to push your breath out. Believe it or not, pushing your breath out and holding it out is much more difficult that keeping your breath in. On a daily basis, we tend to take shallow breaths, meaning that we tend to breathe high up in our chests rather than our abdomens. When practicing yoga, your instructor will teach you to take deep breaths by filling your abdomen.
- Breathe in by pushing the lower abdomen out and filling it to capacity, then the middle abdomen, and finally the chest.
- Hold your breath in
- Bring the chin in without creating tension in the neck or shoulders
- Let the breath out slowly and controlled by reversing the process – deliberately let the breath out of your chest first, then your middle abdomen and finally your lower abdomen
Benefits you can expect from this type of breathing process are:
- Improved lung capacity
- Helps you manage stress better
- More efficient breathing
Another form of breathing you may practice is long deep breathing. This type of controlled breathing has many benefits like:
- Healing. With an increased flow and amount of oxygen, the body tends to heal better and faster
- Expels toxins from the lungs
- Fighting off depression through the production of endorphins (the brain’s happy chemical)
- Increases lung capacity which helps with concentration, stress management, and flexibility. This also increases the secretion of the pituitary gland which develops intuition
- Cleanses and oxygenates the blood
Now that you have some insight to the type of breathing you can expect to participate in during yoga class and its benefits, you may want to consider practicing breathing on your own, in between yoga classes.
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