Breath work, or pranayama, is an essential component of yoga. However, you can extract the methods behind yoga breathing and incorporate them into your everday living to achieve the benefits deep, systematic breathing has to offer you.
What can regular deep, focused, breathing do for you? Astonishingly, a lot. Reprogramming the way we breathe can increase cardiovascular strength and improve the nervous system. Of course, altering the way we breathe takes practice. Here are some exercises to make sure you are reaping the benefits yoga breathing has to offer.
Deep, yoga breathing requires filling both the abdomen and the chest with air, and then completely releasing the breath. Usually, people take in short, shallow breaths that only fill up some of the abdomen and chest. These short breaths actually deprive the many organs of much needed oxygen! The yoga definition of pranayama is life-force. If we are not tapping into our most accessible resource of energy, is it any wonder we feel lethargic and sluggish throughout the day?
To learn yoga breathing, inhale, filling the abdomen full of air before you fill the chest. Once the abdomen is full of oxygen, fill your chest to capacity. When the lungs are completely full, you have taken in the maximum amount of energy that can be taken in. Slowly release the air, emptying the chest and then the abdomen. Continue this pattern at least twenty times at different times of the day. Breathing should be relaxed, not forced. Your shoulders should not hold any tension, and you should feel the air smoothly entering your body, as smooth as a current of water, and just as smoothly exit the body. After continued practice, this way of yoga breathing will come naturally to you! You become especially aware if you suddenly revert to taking shallow, short, breaths.
You will soon note the many benefits of yoga breathing. You will gain increased lung capacity, which will help detoxify the body. You will notice an increased feeling of calmness and a release of tension in the muscles. The increase in this energy source will help you feel more energetic! Experience a new sense of vitality, simply by breathing the right way. That extra energy will help the various systems in your body more efficiently. The cardiovascular system, the endocrine system, the digestive system, and the nervous system will all benefit from yoga breathing.
Yoga breathing is perhaps the easiest way to promote health and wellness. Practice any time, anywhere, and eventually it will become a natural part of your life, taking in the maximum amount of oxygen you can to renew your mind and body.