The Importance of Breathing in Yoga
Is your yoga teacher also instruct you to inhale and exhale while performing asana or any other yoga practices ?
Breath…. Don’t hold your breath, my yoga guru says always to me. Why breathing is so important in yoga? Yes Breathing plays an important role in the practice of asana and for doing other yoga practices. For this reason it is linked with the life force. What are the benefits of daily breath-focused practice?
1. It relieves anxiety, stress and tension in the body.
2. It helps in detoxify the body by oxygenating the whole body .
3. It helps to optimally oxygenate the body and all its organs to allow us to heal at a faster rate .
4. It helps to find great inner peace, focused mind and thought control.
5. It boosts performance as it helps to control their physiological and psychological reactions to stress and breathing .
6. Using the diaphragm muscle to breathing helps in massage and move the inner organs and aids to digestion and detoxification.
7. It helps in controlling your anger and fear so you can react appropriately .
8.It lowers the release of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline in the bloodstream.
9.It helps in keeping your mind at ease.
10. It helps us in dealing with pain and breathe through it .
11. It strengthens your lungs.
12. Oxygenating your body through deep breathing allows you to also flex your muscles more intensely. In sport, this can help athelete to excel in his field.
There are many patterns and types of breathing ,you can use to improve your body responding to anger and fear .Some of them are described below:-
This breathing can be practiced while running or doing other exercises. You should breathe in through your nostrils for a count of four, then out through your mouth for a count of six – or eight if possible. Try to focus on this rhythm for two minutes or longer as you feel comfortable with.
In this breathing practice breathe in through the nostrils for a count of five, hold for five then breathe out for five and again hold for five before breathing in again.Try to focus on the breath and practice it for at least three minutes regularly throughout the day, if possible.
According to the sages physical health can be gained by controlling prana (life force ) shakti through the practices of Pranayama ,thus sustaining the body . Prana means life force and ayama signifies regulation or control. In order to practice Pranayama , it is important to follow certain rules . Some of them are :-
- Pranayama should be practiced during morning or evening but it gives best results during Brahmamuhurta (the two hours around dawn, between 4 and 6 am ).
- It should be practiced when the air is mild, slow and cool ,not too cold and not too hot , Pranayama should be practiced.
- Pranayama should not be practiced in a closed room . Keep the windows and doors open to ensure that pure air can enter.
- If the air is slightly cool or chilly ,cover the body with a shawl or warm wear . The body should not come into direct contact with cold air.
- The practice of Pranayama is also prohibited if there is sweating due to intense heat .
Pranayama remains beneficial as it has become part of the daily routine . Pranayama helps in balancing the body’s activity and temperature.In the present era ,when yoga has become quite common ,when the population is increasing and even pilgrimage places are polluted ,the place of practice should be selected with much consideration. If yogic practices are begun when the weather is right ,the body , environment and atmosphere are favorable ,one can feel the changes taking place in the body and mind.