Breathing is the most constant and necessary activity we do. It is not only the fundamental act that provides us with oxygen, but the manner in which we breathe is linked with the well being of every body system. Many of us, breathe inefficiently, taking shallow breaths using our chest muscles rather than our diaphragm.
Deep slow breathing using our diaphragm has shown to have many beneficial effects. On average, when most people breathe in normally, they take in only about 350 ml of air into the lungs. When we breathe deeply, using our diaphragm, we can take up to 3500 ml of air. Regular use of Pranayama has shown to do the following:
Click here to learn about Saagara's Pranayama App
Breathing is a unique physiological function as it is both voluntary and automatic. By modifying one’s breathing, taking slower, deeper breaths one has the ability to help control the nervous system. Ultimately, breathing slowly can induce a state of relaxation, focus, and calmness.
When we breathe only using the chest, our breathing becomes rapid and shallow. This kind of chest breathing doesn’t fully expand the lungs and leaves static air in parts of the lungs. Expanding only parts of the lungs increases the likelihood of poor blood circulation, which impairs the functioning of the organs and can lead to infection or other health problems.Deep breathing stimulates and allows your lymph system to work better and thus, avoid circulatory problems. Pumped from the heart, blood circulates oxygen to the arteries and capillaries. Cells in our bodies take oxygen for their health and excrete toxins. Cells depend on the lymphatic as the only way to expel toxins. Cardiovascular BenefitsHow you breathe directly affects your cardiovascular system. Daily practice of deep, diaphragmatic breathing on a daily basis has been shown to have a positive effect on essential hypertension (high blood pressure of unknown cause). Other problems such as headaches and migraines, which can be caused by a lack of oxygen, will also benefit from deep breathing. Although breathing from your diaphragm is easy to do, the habit of doing it must be consciously cultivated before it can become automatic.
>> What's Next: An introduction to yoga