I know that, you might think. Or I’m quite sure you never give a second thought about how to breathe, because it’s something you just do. Am I right? But do you really know how breathing works?
And yes, it is one of those things you do, or rather your body does on impulse, no need for any conscious action at all. However, if you want to breathe better, or in a way that could help you feel better, you will have to think on how your breathe and regulate your breathing to suit the needs of your body.
In yoga we call those techniques Pranamaya and it teaches us several ways of breathing that are better for us, not only during yoga practise but also in daily life.
Regularly practicing yoga breathing can:
- prevent stroke and heart disease (Yoga in Stroke Rehabilitation)
- stop breathlessness caused by anxiety
- alleviate hyperventilation (The Science of Breathing)
- decrease the effects of stress
- enhance the parasympathetic function and decreases the sympathetic nervous activity. The autonomous fight, flight, or freeze reaction to situations our body and mind perceive as dangerous and reacts to without thought. Practising Pranayama turns Rajasic (high energy/anxiety) into Satvic (calm), before it turns into Tamasic (no energy)
- can reduce chemotherapy side effects (Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology)
If you want to read more on this topic click here to visit the site where you can find several Pranayama excercises.