You can literally get through anything in your life as long as you keep breathing. There are numerous benefits beyond basic survival though, which we can access through yoga.
Breathing practice in yoga is called Pranayama. There are various types of yoga breathing designed to calm, cleanse, energise and more. You can do Pranayama breathing anywhere so it is a great way to maintain your practice if you don’t have the time or space to do asanas (postures). Here are seven reasons to do Pranayama every day.
Increased lung capacity
Regular Pranayama practice increases your lung capacity by making your lungs more flexible and elastic. This can especially help respiratory problems like asthma.
Stress and toxins attack our immune system, and breathing is a tool to fight them both. When we practice Pranayama we expel stale air and toxins and make way for fresh, oxygenated air. Rhythmic breathing also reduces the effect of stress.
Pranayama invigorates the body by flushing out carbon dioxide and infusing the bloodstream with fresh oxygen. It is a fast pick-me-up no matter where you are.
Greater mind-body connection
Mindful deep breathing brings us into alignment with our bodies. We become more aware of the function of our lungs, heart, veins and muscles, and how everything works together.
Fewer repetitive thoughts
We can get caught up in mental feedback loops, brains chattering about things we want to do, or wish we hadn’t done. Pranayama grounds us and quiets repetitive thoughts.
Breathing is essential to good digestive function. It provides the oxygen needed to fuel cellular processes and creates a relaxed environment to ease digestion.
Pranayama breathing is a great way to keep or restore perspective and balance. When you are overwhelmed deep, regular breathing calms your nervous system and helps you maintain a level emotional state.
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