Nasal Breathing (Pranayama) vs. Mouth Breathing; Moving from Stress & Anxiety to a State of Calm & Relaxation
At the beginning of every yoga class, I impress upon my students the importance of yogic breathing during practice. It is so important that the poses are secondary to breathing; a student can consider their practice perfect, if all they do during class is yogic breathing, while adding few or no poses.
The ancient Indian system of yoga identified prana as the universal life force or energy which distinguishes the living from the dead. Start by finding a slow, deep, rhythmic breath, in through the nose and out through the nose.
Then, find a ratio of inhale to exhale wherein the exhale is a little longer than the inhale; the exhale is as powerful at the end as it is in the beginning. On the initial inhale, soften the belly allowing the diaphragm to move downwards and fill up the lungs. On the exhale, drawn the navel in and up, expressing all the air out the lungs. These simple steps will: calm the mind, reduce worries and anxieties; improve focus and attention; increase energy, bringing enthusiasm and positivity; boost the immune system; rejuvenate the body and mind; and, may even slow down the aging process.
Take a moment now to become aware of your breath. Is it deep or shallow, smooth or choppy? Most of us breathe from the chest. Shallow breathing sends a signal to the brain that all is not well and we are stressed. Alternatively, breathing from the abdomen boosts respiration, ensures a rich supply of oxygen to the brain and signals that all is well. If you watch new born babies, you will see that their stomachs rise and fall as they breathe in and out. This type of breathing calms the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) our body’s fight, flight, freeze reaction and switches on the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) producing a feeling of calm and relaxation.
If we breathe a lower volume of air by breathing in a slow controlled fashion through the nose, we increase the amount of carbon dioxide, and can deliver more oxygen to our muscles and organs including the heart and brain. Breathing in and out more air than necessary results in hypocapnia, a state of reduced carbon dioxide in the blood. You inhale and exhale too much when breathing in and out the mouth. This reduces oxygen to the brain and body tissues. Nasal breathing increases the levels of nitric oxide. A key signaling molecule used throughout the body. It regulates air flow and helps prevent over-breathing.
More professional athletes are now using the ancient wisdom of pranayama breathwork to excel at their sport. Ultra-marathoner Scott Jurek, seven-time consecutive winner of the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, states that slowing down his breath rate and breathing from his belly through his nose, is essential to his athletic success.
Pay attention to your breath. Breathing in and out of the mouth signals the nervous system that something is wrong. Mouth breathing means difficult breathing and this, in turn, means deficient oxygenation of the tissues with the result of lowered vital organ and brain activity. To move from the SNS into the PNS, find an everyday situation and train your brain to start automatically breathing yogic breath. One suggestion is when driving, each time you come to a stop light, soften your belly and inhale then exhale slowly always through the nose. Over time you will naturally begin to exist in a state of calm and relaxation, instead of in a state of constant stress and anxiety.
#actwellwithoutattachment #courage #dedication #commitment #integrity #compassion @yogakulaproject
Today we start our 30 Day Yoga & Meditation Challenge. Chris McLaws, dietary coach & supplement specialist, will be our first guest speaker and she has a yummy surprise.
The turn out for this event is more than I every imagined! Good luck to all of our participants. I am here for you whenever you need. See you tonight @ 4:30.
It is thought of by many scholars to be the oldest form of health care in the world. Originating over 3000 years ago, it was used to heal, maintain a high quality of life and to increase the longevity of the individual. It is an art of daily living that has evolved from practical, philosophical and spiritual insight.
In Sanskrit, Ayurveda means the “Science of Life.” Life is the integration of body, mind and consciousness. Ayurveda places great emphasis on prevention and encourages the maintenance of health through diet, lifestyle, yoga and meditation practice. As well as the use of foods, herbs, oils and rejuvenating therapies.
If you would like an Ayurvedic consultation, contact Trudee @ 435 659 6950.
Transform your body, mind and spirit through awareness of movement Kula translates to a “union of community.” The purpose of creating this new community is from our joint desire to enrich the image and appeal of Westgate Resort & Spa, to both local residents and guests of other top tier resorts in the Park City/Deer Valley area. We Strive to create an environment where all people can come and practice yoga in a supportive, safe and encouraging atmosphere. Everyone is welcome regardless of ability.