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The benefits of Yogic Breathing

May 17, 2011

Breathing is a crucial element in a yoga class. Breathing has abundant benefits that encompass the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of yoga practice. In addition to developing understanding and mastery of yoga poses (asanas), it is highly recommended that you also take time and energy to become aware of and master your breath.

Through breath control, a strong sense of connection, enlargement and rejuvenation is achieved. Often, when people are under pain, discomfort, feeling stressed, or mentally loaded, they unknowingly breathe only from the upper chambers of the lungs (called apical breathing). This localized breathing in the ribs is very limited and does not take full advantage of the capacity of the lungs to receive fresh oxygen and eliminate carbon dioxide (a waste product of cellular metabolism).

The most common indicators of Limited Apical Breathing are tiredness, negative moods, lack of vigilance and poor posture. These factors can be easily remedied by simply taking a few deep breaths through the diaphragm, thanks to which the body receives a rush of oxygen and improves energy circulation.
With each contraction of the diaphragm, the digestive organs receive a nourishing massage. This massage provides improved blood flow and brings vital nutrients to the cells while removing toxins from the organs. For its part, the generated muscle waves contribute to the movement of food through the gastrointestinal tract, which leads to better digestion.

Along with improving the circulation of energy, yogic breathing has a meditative quality that promotes a more united mental practice with the physical. With each contraction of the diaphragm, concentration is developed and there is a greater connection with the present. Thanks to the practice of breathing and focus, this bridge for spiritual practices is created. Through the ability to control the breath and tune in to the sensations flowing through the mind and body, one moves from the self-evident nature of the position (asana) to a place of wonder and self-exploration.

According to yogic philosophy, with each breath the vital force or prana is obtained, which is the vital energy that makes Everything and Everyone. Proper yogic breathing imbues the body with this life energy, improving health, perception, and connection with oneself.

Start today to observe your breathing and improve your quality of life!

Namaste,
Nina

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