Why Are Deep Breathing Exercises So Beneficial?
In yoga, there is a word called pranayama which can also be called breathing exercises or deep breathing exercises.
According to the Hatha Yoga Paradpika written by Swatmarama, an Indian sage, pranayama is the control of breathing.
So, when a person performs pranayama, they are stabilizing the energy in the body which has several benefits such as an increase in blood circulation, the release of stress and anxiety,
Ancient records on yoga suggest that there are 8 types of pranayama to keep one’s body, soul, mind, and emotions healthy.
8 Beneficial Breathing Exercises:
This yoga asana can be called alternate nostril breathing. While performing this exercise, find a calm and peaceful place. Now sit in a Buddha asana or comfortably with your legs crossed over each other.
Put your left hand on your knee and use your right hand to perform the exercise. Press your right thumb on your right nostril and inhale with your left nostril.
Now, close the left nostril with your right index and middle finger, then, release your right nostril.
Now exhale through the right nostril.
Exhale properly. Then, switch this process to inhaling from the right nostril and exhaling from the left nostril.
Do this exercise for 3-5 minutes.
Surya Bhedana or the solar breath is just like Nadi Sodhan. In this, you inhale from the right nostril and exhale from the left.
While Chandra Bhedana or lunar breathing should be done by inhaling through the left nostril and exhaling from the right.
Also known as humming breath because you make a deep buzzing sound while doing this deep breathing exercise.
Close your eyes, and put your thumb on the tragus. Then put your index finger on your eye, middle finger on your nose, ring finger above the lip, and the little one just below it.
You must do it on both sides.
Now constrict your throat and take in a deep breath. Then, while you exhale, make a hum like the buzzing bee.
This pranayama affects the head and the hurt and releases stress, anger, or any mental constraints.
It should not be performed without supervision if you are an amateur in yoga.
Bhastrika or the bellows breathe is performed alternatively by the left and right nostrils, but it is tricker than you can imagine. This pranayama is performed to draw life sources into the body.
Sit in a comfortable position and close your right nostril with your right thumb. Now take on rapid 20 inhales through your left nostril.
You should breathe in and breathe out rapidly with force but not as such to hurt yourself.
Then close your left nostril and do the same with your right nostril.
If you are wholly new to this breathing style, then perform it only 10 times with each nostril and repeat it 3 times.
Ujjayi breathing style is also known as the ocean’s breath. This is because when you do this pranayama, you make a “haaah” sound like the humming of the ocean.
You don’t have to use any body part other than your nostril and throat to perform this pranayama.
Sit comfortably and let your hands rest on your knee.
Now you have to inhale and exhale normally, but you have to constrict your throat (the glottis).
You have to let the air pass through the constricted throat. Be clear and rhythmical of the air passing. Make it one unbroken and calm breath.
The friction of the constricted throat with the air will create that ocean breathes.
The Shitali Kumbhaka or the cooling breath should be performed while you fold your tongue and breathe in through the fold. Then hold your breath for 5 seconds and exhale through the nose.
Do this exercise 8 times.
Also known as hissing breath because when you exhale you make an “sssss” sound.
Close your mouth and inhale from the nose. Hold the breath for a count of 5. Then open your lips, clench your teeth and put the tongue on the teeth, and exhale while making the hissing sound.
Also Read: 5 Yoga Poses To Help You Sleep Like Baby
Benefits of deep breathing exercises
Deep Breathing Exercises Improve Functioning of Lungs
According to a 2019 study report, practicing pranayama helps people suffering from asthma, tuberculosis, or pneumonia to regain their health. Pranayama’s focus is to regulate breathing in the body and the route is from the lungs. Thus, the lung is the most affected area of the body.
Deep breathing exercises help to strengthen the lungs because of forced breathing.
Performing pranayama every day for 1 hour will help you to improve your lung function.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Performing Nadi Sodhan 5 minutes every day can help you reduce stress and anxiety to a great extent.
While performing Nadi Sodhan, your focus is on the path of breathing. You concentrate on how you exhale and inhale.
This exercise increases oxygen intake and stimulates the blood circulation that also flows to your brain making it calm and relaxed.
Doing Deep Breathing Exercises Improves the Quality of Sleep
Performing the Brahmari pranayama helps to regulate good quality sleep. This deep breathing exercise helps to slow down blood regulation, calm down the nerves, and slow down breathing.
This improves the quality of sleep and also decreases snoring or sluggishness throughout the day.
Beneficial For Skin
People who regularly do Yoga have shared that pranayama works wonders for the skin. If it is done correctly, then it can cure acne and curb aging signs as well.
Not only this, but it also heals skin from the effects of allergies and infection.
Pranayama like Nadi Sodhan and Bhastrika helps to increase the blood flow and regulate beauty sleep. This process has anti-inflammatory and anti-aging benefits. Thus, making the skin healthy and beautiful.
Regular Deep Breathing Exercises Improve Cognitive Function
According to some researches, performing deep breathing exercises helps to improve cognitive function. It improves concentration, fight or flight calculation, memory, reasoning skills, and understanding.
Since most of the pranayama concentrates to calm down the nerves and improve breathing, manages stress and flow of oxygen in the body, it really helps the brain to improve and perform better
Deep Breathing Exercises and Cardiovascular Health
Pranayama like ocean’s breath or Ujjayi helps to balance blood pressure. According to a PMC report, pranayama is capable of lowering high blood pressure.
When they researched in 2014, they found that people who performed deep breathing exercises experienced better results than those who were dependent on medicines for the same.
The bottom line
Deep breathing exercises help to regulate the flow of oxygen in the body and balance the energy.
This results in various health benefits such as mindfulness, de-stress, skin benefits, cardiovascular benefits, and much more.