How Yoga Helps You Breathe Better by Relieving Stress and Anxiety16 Mar, 2023
Yoga not only helps build strength and balance energy, but also helps in controlling your mind through breathing exercises. Read to know more.
Yoga Breathing Exercises and Techniques to Calm your Nerves
The ancient practice of yoga is an incredibly powerful and transformative practice. It offers an array of physical, mental, and spiritual benefits. This practice of connecting breath with movement helps build core strength, balance, flexibility, and concentration.
Through mindful breathing, we can find relief from anxious thoughts and worries. This practice helps to clear the mind, allowing for more clarity and focus on the present moment. Yoga can also be used to address underlying patterns in our lives that are contributing to stress.
Quick Read Section
- Yoga is a very potent and transformative ancient practice that has numerous physical, psychological, and spiritual advantages.
- Pranayama in yoga is a controlled breathing practice that aims to balance the mind, body, and breath.
- Practicing breathing exercises at least thrice a week is observed to be effective in lowering the blood pressure of overweight, middle-aged people who have hypertension.
- Yoga has numerous scientifically confirmed health advantages for the body, including the ability to lessen the signs of respiratory illnesses, enhance mental health, and encourage weight loss.
Yogic breathing has been practiced for thousands of years. It is a mindful technique that corresponds with postures but can also be practiced without movement. Simple and safe techniques can be tried at home, but ideally, require guidance from a trained teacher.
Is yoga breathing good for you?
Yogic breathing, or pranayama in Sanskrit, is a controlled breathing technique used in yoga. The practice focuses on working with the mind, body, and breath to calm mental fluctuations. Pranayama, the control of breath is a key element of yoga. Its basis is the Yoga Sutras, which are ancient Sanskrit texts describing yoga's underlying philosophy. The breath aspect of yoga is known as pranayama in Sanskrit, meaning "extension of life force through breathing".
Yogic breathing helps you focus on one thing at a time as you move your body into different physical postures.
Can yoga breathing lower blood pressure?
The answer is yes! Studies have found that yoga breathing exercises can significantly reduce blood pressure. Practicing relaxation exercises in yoga at least three times a week is observed to be effective in lowering the blood pressure levels of overweight, middle-aged adults who suffer from hypertension. This is because deep breathing exercises help stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system which leads to heart rate drop and blood vessel dilation. As a result, the overall blood pressure level of the body lowers to its optimal level.
It is recommended to practice yogic breathing exercises for an hour every day to reduce the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.
These are the yoga asanas or positions you can practice daily to naturally lower your blood pressure:
1. Feet-Up the wall pose or Viparita Karani
2. Bridge Pose or Setu Bandhasana
3. Dog Pose or Adho mukha svanasana
4. Stand forward and bend pose or Uttanasana
5. Sit Forward and bend pose or Pashchimottanasana
Benefits of yoga and breathing techniques
These are the benefits of yogic breathing to our body:
1. Reduces symptoms of respiratory illnesses
Pranayama or breath regulation in yoga is an ancient practice that has been followed for centuries in India. This yogic breathing technique involves controlling the breath for numerous lengths in various styles. Pranayama has many proven health benefits for the body, especially for those suffering from breathing problems and respiratory illnesses. Practicing yoga breathing is effective in lowering the symptoms of Chronic Pulmonary disease (COPD) and is good for people with asthma.
2. Good for mental wellbeing
The breathing relaxation techniques followed in yoga help lower anxiety and stress in people. Pranayama has been found to impact the portion of the brain that helps you focus and be attentive. Practicing Bhastrika Pranayama daily which is a yogic breathing technique that helps you cleanse your thoughts and declutter your mind as you meditate. Pranayama helps reduce signs of depression and trauma. It also helps improve productivity by strengthening awareness and concentration.
Does yoga breathing burn calories?
Breathing exercises can be used to promote weight loss and decrease body fat. In addition, breathing exercises may reduce feelings of hunger, which may help decrease food intake and promote weight loss. Researchers have found that participants who practiced breathing exercises for 45 minutes daily 3 times per week experienced a significant reduction in BMI and belly fat but also increased levels of leptin, which is the hormone responsible for stimulating feelings of fullness.
Yoga breathing poses to fight anxiety
Here are some breathing exercises you can try to reduce stress and keep negativity at bay.
Simhasana/ Lion’s breath technique
To practice Simhasana breath,
1. Kneel on the floor or sit on a chair cross-legged and place your hands on your knees.
2. Breathe deeply through the nose and then exhale through the mouth by pointing down towards the chin.
3. Then inhale and exhale by focusing on the part between the eyebrows.
4. Finally repeat the same activity by focusing on the tip of the nose.
Dirga Pranayama/ Three-part breath exercise
The three-part breath, also known as a full yogic breath, makes use of the nose, chest, and belly to breath in and out.
To practice Dirga Pranayama,
1. Seat yourself on a chair or on the floor in a cross-legged position.
2. Take deep breaths by inhaling and exhaling through the nose.
3. Then repeat inhaling and exhaling through the nose but this time by expanding and contracting the belly.
4. Repeat the same exercise by breathing through the chest as well.
Nadi Shodhana/ Alternate nostril breathing
To practice Nadi Shodhana,
1. Take deep breaths by inhaling and exhaling through the nose.
2. Once the mind is calm, curl your fist into your palm and place them on your nose gently.
3. Then gently press down on your right nostril by placing your thumb and inhale deeply through the left nostril.
4. Now repeat the same by pressing down on your left nostril and breathing through the right nostril.
5. Repeat this sequence several times.
Ujjayi/ Ocean Breath exercise
Ujjayi breathing is a technique that practitioners of yoga use to focus the mind, calm the body, and ground themselves during a yoga practice. To begin, breathe deeply through your nose, then constrict the back of your throat while exhaling. This makes a sound like waves rolling on the ocean. Once a person has mastered the Ujjayi breath, they can aim to keep the same constriction of the glottis during inhalation. The full cycle then becomes like the continuous flow of ocean waves.
Yoga breathing is the secret to living a healthy and harmonious life. Make effort to spend some time each day to relax by practicing breathing exercises. It will help calm your mind, regain your equilibrium, and bring awareness of your breath and thoughts. Practice abdominal breathing, full yogic breath, or any other type of deep-breathing exercise several times daily. You'll definitely feel calm and relaxed within minutes.
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