Yoga focuses heavily on different breathing techniques, and one of the main components of yoga is pranayama, the practice of breath regulation. Besides this there are a host of different breathing techniques in yoga where you mindfully inhale, hold and then exhale in a controlled manner. These breathing exercises in yoga have a host of benefits and to know more about them, read more.
- Reduction in stress: Yogic breathing exercises will help to control and alleviate stress. They calm the nervous system and improve your response to stress. This is because of the increased oxygen levels in the body which is vital for your nerves as well as your brain.
- Improvement in quality of sleep: Breathing exercises in yoga, having stress relieving properties will help you to sleep better and more efficiently. The breathing and heart rate get slowed down and calm your body before sleep. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, practice of yogic breathing exercises will improve your sleep quality. It will also decrease snoring, daytime sleepiness and improve rest quality.
- Increase in mindfulness: for the majority of people, breathing is an automatic function and we do not pay much attention to it. In contrast, during yoga, you have to be aware of your breathing and how it permeates your body. Alongside, you have to focus on the moment, not on the past or the future. This practice is known as mindfulness, and will give you higher levels of emotion regulation. Your focus and concentration will also improve.
- Reduction of high blood pressure: High blood pressure is responsible for many things, including strokes and heart disease. The main reason behind this is stress, and breathing exercises in yoga will help you to decrease stress by promoting relaxation. Concentrating on your breathing pattern will help to calm the nervous system and reduces the stress response as well as risks of hypertension.
- Lung function improvement: Yogic breathing, which has a focus on slow and purposeful breathing, will strengthen the lungs of the practitioner. It is a very useful aid for different lung conditions like allergic bronchitis, asthma and for recovery from tuberculosis and pneumonia.
- Cognitive performance increases: Besides improvement in lung function, yogic breathing techniques will help to enhance the performance of the brain. Around 12 weeks of practice improves executive function like cognitive flexibility, memory and skills of reasoning. Studies have proven that yogic breathing, also known as pranayama, improves the perceived stress levels and also your reaction time. Improved auditory memory as well as sensory motor performance is also a result of yogic breathing techniques.
- Reduction in cigarette craving: Research suggests that regular practice of yoga and breathing techniques will reduce the cravings you have for cigarettes. As little as 10 minutes of yogic breathing will result in a short term reduction of cigarette cravings. Also, if you are trying to give up cigarettes, yogic breathing will help you a lot.
If you have not practiced yogic breathing before, join a class to avail of these fantastic benefits associated with yoga and breathing exercises.