Yoga works on the mind, body, and spirit and recognizes every aspect of your health. Yet many people still overlook the importance of breathing techniques and the health of their lungs. Practice these techniques regularly and improve your sense of inner peace, calmness, and relaxation.
Why Practice Breathing Techniques?
All too often, we breathe shallowly and use only a small percentage of our lungs. Shallow breathing occurs when you inhale, drawing air into the lungs by using the intercostal muscles when the diaphragm should be engaged. Shallow breathing can create hypoventilation. Many people shallow breathe and so it is important to breathe deeply and to exercise the lungs. Shallow breathing is synonymous with stress, panic attacks, anxiety disorder or asthma and so breathing deeply helps to offset stress and enables an improved response to stress.
The health of the lungs is really important. If you have ever had pneumonia or asthma, you will know the importance of being able to breathe fully, yet, we take this automated process for granted. Yoga breathing techniques are designed to improve the health of the lungs, and ideally, they should be practiced every day. If you suffer from respiratory problems, use these techniques regularly. You will feel the difference.
Alternate Nostril Breathing
This is a wonderful breathing technique which works on a psychological level. It clears space in the mind helping to reduce tension and stress. It’s excellent if you suffer from headaches. It also improves your response to a stressful situation and it increases your potential to think before you react.
Anxiety and stress are very common. But left unresolved, they have a detrimental effect on health and well-being. If you find it difficult to sleep at night, practice alternate nostril breathing technique as it will help you to relax. Repeat it in the morning and start your day in the right way. Place your thumb over one nostril and your little or ring finger ready for the other nostril. Place the middle fingers on your forehead.
With your thumb in position over the right nostril, inhale slowly through the left nostril. When your lungs are full, place the other finger on the left nostril and release the right nostril, exhale slowly. Now, inhale back through the left nostril and then, exhale through the right. This forms one round of the alternate nostril breathing technique.
This is an invigorating and rejuvenating breathing technique. Practice it each morning if possible. It helps wake you up and revitalizes your energy levels. Utilize it throughout the day if necessary. Raise your hands up towards the sky forming fists with your hands. If preferred, you can stretch your fingers out wide instead. Inhale through your mouth and on the exhalation, drop your elbows down to the sides of your body. Make a “hah” sound from the bottom of the diaphragm. Be as loud as you like as you do this as it helps release any inner frustration.