Yoga Breathing – Pranayama is an ancient breathing technique practiced during yoga. Pranayama helps you control your breathing, the duration, timing, and frequency of every breath you take. It originates from India and has recently gained popularity due to its numerous health benefits.
The aim of practicing pranayama is to connect your mind and body. By doing this, you supply your body with sufficient oxygen while extracting the toxins. There are different types of pranayama, and with each one comes a host of various benefits. Let us look at how practicing pranayama is beneficial to you.
Reduces high Blood Pressure
You can use pranayama to relieve high blood pressure and hypertension. The breathing technique works by relaxing your body and calming your heart rate, which regulates your pressure.
Stress is also a significant trigger of high blood pressure. Pranayama can help you calm your mind and reduce stress which in turn alleviates hypertension.
Improves your Sleep Quality
Since pranayama may help relieve stress and anxiety, doing it consistently throughout the day or before bed may help you sleep better.
Being mindful of your inhalation and exhalation and learning how to control your breathing using pranayama helps slow down your heart rate and calm your body down, enabling you to sleep.
When your practice belly breathing and pranayama, you activate your diaphragm, the dome-shaped muscle found under your lungs and above your internal and digestive organs. The diaphragm is an essential muscle that aids in digestion.
Two techniques influence the digestive process;
First, the parasympathetic nervous system is triggered by abdominal breathing. Second, the movement of the diaphragm is activated by breathing that massages the surrounding organs and improves their function, therefore, eliminating sluggish bowel movements and irritable bowel syndrome.
Boosts your Immunity
The same way it activates the diaphragm to improve digestion is the same way it will help boost immunity. Activating your diaphragm with controlled breathing helps stimulate the movement of lymphatic fluids in your body, containing white blood cells.
White blood cells are an integral part of your immune system. They help protect your body against infections. The lymphatic fluids circulate white blood cells throughout your bloodstream to eliminate threats of illnesses and unknown organisms that may enter the body.
Improves Lung Function
Pranayama is a breathing technique, and every time you practice it, you are actually working out your lungs. The slow practiced breathing of pranayama over a prolonged period strengthens your lungs.
A study conducted in 2019 showed that pranayama practiced over six weeks for an hour each day had a major effect on lung function. If your lungs are not functioning as they should, you may have trouble breathing and oxygen distribution in your body.
Pranayama strengthens the muscles of the lungs, which then eases the process of breathing in and out. This helps eliminate toxic carbon dioxide from your system.
Pranayama may also help you recover faster from respiratory conditions such as Covid-19, pneumonia, or even tuberculosis.
For years Indian culture has regarded breathing as a powerful source of wellbeing, healing and mental awareness. Yoga is not just a workout but a lifestyle. When you do yoga and pranayama, you will improve your health and overall wellbeing.