The Importance of Breathing: Yoga and Pranayama

Yoga and Pranayama

This week I wanted to talk to you about breathing as it is one of the fundamental points in the practice of yoga. As I said in the first post a correct and conscious breathing will help us perform the asanas by improving our performance and focus our attention both in practice and listening to our body. It will also help us calm down, concentrate, and even reduce the fever. But for this, the first thing is to learn to breathe again.

How should we breathe?

Breathing healthy means breathing through the nose, as it has a series of filters that retain many particles harmful to our health and also regulates the temperature and humidity of the air we inhale (this does not cause any damage to the internal respiratory organs).

It also means having diaphragmatic or abdominal breathing, like babies, thinks of how your abdomen swells and deflates, and you will have an idea of how you should breathe.

And it is that in the complete breathing both the inhalation and the exhalation are realized in three parts. First, we have to fill the lower abdomen with oxygen (50% of the air we breathe in), then the middle abdomen (40% here) and finally the chest (this is the area with the lowest capacity, so only 10% goes in.) The exhalation must be done in the reverse direction, that is, leaving the carbon dioxide first from the clavicular part, later from the costal area and finally from the abdominal area. It is very important that you take out all the air that you empty completely so that all the toxins are eliminated and can enter the maximum oxygen in the next inhalation (and is that we tend to expel the air and inhale again as quickly as possible).

By performing a thorough breathing we are not only taking advantage of our lung capacity, we also train ourselves to control the process of breathing and therefore of the mind.

Breathing and encouragement

The passage of the years, our way of life, the accumulation of tensions, etc. are molding our body (shoulders forward, hunched back, …) and our way of breathing. From the abdominal breathing of the babies we pass to a thoracic breathing (since the diaphragm begins to block) and in cases of stress or anxiety to a higher or clavicular breath, which considerably reduces our lung capacity and therefore our energy level, Making us feel more tired and change our mood. And it is that the breathing influences in our spirit and our spirit in the breathing. Come on, the whiting that bites its tail! That is why it is so important that we begin to control it.

Pranayama

In yoga classes not only teach you to breathe correctly also teach you techniques (pranayamas) whose goal is the control of the breath and mind, controlling the rhythm and depth of breathing will control our mental state.

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In addition to three-step breathing (or complete breathing) from which I spoke to you at the beginning, there are more techniques that will be useful in your day-to-day life, today I have focused on those that will help you calm down on days of great tension, but Another post I’ll tell you about the rest (purifying, balancing, energizing, etc.).

Bhramari or breathing of the bee.

This technique has a very relaxing effect when focusing your attention on the internal listening. To do this sit-down, close your eyes and cover your ears, then inhale deeply through the nose and exhale gently through it as you emit a sound similar to that of a bee hum. The sound is performed with the mouth closed and the jaw relaxed. Repeat it a couple of times and get lost in the vibration of the sound. Once finished, keep quiet @ for a few minutes.

Nadi Shodhana or alternate breathing.

This simple technique is perfect for times when you are feeling nervous or stressed. To do it, you just have to alternate your breathing between the two nostrils, starting by closing your right nostril. Perform it sitting and repeating it about 20 times with each pit, in just a few minutes you will notice the results.

Another day we can talk about Pranayama Ujjayi.

It is convenient to perform these techniques in class and with the help of the teacher before doing them alone at home. Also remember not to force yourself, as in performing the asanas you need to remember this maxim during the performance of breathing exercises and if you feel any discomfort simply start to breathe normally. At first, you will probably find it difficult, but little by little you will control them and the benefits will be numerous. Many people say that controlling the breath you control your life.

Good start to the week!

 

Author: Johnny

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