Human life relies on the process of breathing. Breathing is the basic living process on which life depends. It is important to understand the significance of the process of breathing. With breathing, we inhale air and that is circulated throughout the body so it matters, what are we breathing and how are we breathing. Yet with time and lifestyle, people have forgotten how to breathe properly.
If breathing is taken seriously and done with utter care and consciousness it can benefit the body and can increase the efficiency of everyday life and process. Breathing is a workout in itself for the body.
The right way to breathe
Before even thinking about breathing exercises we need to learn the proper way to breathe. Breathing is not an independent process it happens with other processes and also affects them.
First, it is important to evaluate your posture. It is necessary to have a straight sitting posture rather than slouchy which does not allow proper space for breathing. Straight posture will allow the air to enter, circulate, and pass out of the system without any restriction. Breathing is paid so much attention that hardly any notice is given to exhaling. Maximum people do not exhale completely leaving carbon dioxide in the lungs. Try to push all the air out of the system which will make your lungs more efficient in their job.
What are the breathing exercises?
Breathing exercises are just breathing but with added conditions to enhance the breathing experience and improve your breathing organs.
Some breathing exercises you can practice are;-
- Pursed Lip Breathing
- Diaphragmatic breathing
- Breath focus technique
- Lion’s breath
- Alternate nostril breathing
- Resonant breathing
- Sitali breath
- Humming bee breath
Benefits of breathing exercises
- Improves immunity
Breathing exercises increase the amount of oxygen in the body and increases the release of toxins with carbon-di-oxide. Increased oxygen in the cells and tissues makes them healthier and help them perform better. Healthier and proper functioning organs improve the immune system of the body as well. Clean blood full of oxygen fights better against infectious bacteria and viruses. Improved breathing will also help in better absorption of vitamins and minerals in the body.
- Clams down anxiety
Psychologists swear by deep breathing exercise to tackle anxiety attacks and also as a long term treatment practice. Deep breathing helps in bringing heart rate to normal and increase oxygen levels. This helps in giving the brain the signal to unwind. Regular deep breathing will help in balancing the hormones releasing endorphins in the body.
- Increases sleep quality
A deep breathing exercise that entails complete exhalation of the air out provides better sleep. Breathing detoxifies the body and signals to calm down. A deep breathing exercise before bed can help even insomnia suffering people.
- Decreases toxicity of the body
Stress, eating habits, and shallow exhalation turns the body acidic, and with deep breathing, all the toxins are released turning the body to alkaline. It detoxifies the body. Deep breathing also helps in releasing the lymph around the body and removes strain from the body.
- Improves digestive system
Deep breathing increases oxygen in the digestive organ and they perform better relieving from any gastrointestinal issues, constipation, indigestion, etc. proper digestion keeps the body energetic and healthy.
- Good for cardiovascular health
Breathing exercises will help strengthen the cardiovascular muscles and improve blood pressure. Regular deep breathing also decreases the chances of stroke. Deep breathing stimulates the vagus nerve which reduces the ‘fight or flight’ response.
- Improve concentration and cognitive properties
Regular breathing exercises can improve focus and concentration. It also improves memory and cognitive properties and brain functioning.
- Gives healthy and glowing skin.
Breathing exercises increase the oxygen concentration in cells giving skin healthy and inner glow. It makes your skin healthy. Breathing exercises burn fat and help in balance hormones which results in less stress and clear skin.
- Reduces inflammation in the body
Sheetali pranayama is one such breathing exercise which helps in cooling the body down. It triggers a powerful evaporating cooling effect which brings down inflamed agitated emotions and decreases inflammation in the digestive system which stresses the whole body.
- Helps sinusitis
Yogic breathing practices can help in sinusitis as the vibrations produced in this exercise dislodge all mucous and drain sinusitis from the body.
- Makes the body and joints strong
Breathing exercises increase the oxygen level in the cells and it affects joints in a good way. It makes joints and muscles strong. It helps in reducing the strain of physical exercise and the chances of wearing the muscles down. Body’s ability to handle intense physical movement increases.
- Strengthen lungs
Lifestyle habits have greatly affected the lungs and their lungs. Breathing exercise helps in increasing the air build up in the lungs and diaphragm. It increases the lung elasticity which gives more breathing space.