A Short Note on the Importance of the Breath

As you probably know, yoga is widely recognised health wise in reducing stress, anxiety and depression and in lowering blood pressure. How so? It’s the breath. While there are many different styles of yoga today, they all have one thing in common. The breath or Pranayama. Pranayama means “to control the breath” or “mastering the life force”.

Pranayama leads to 10-15% higher oxidation of the blood, much more than breathing through your mouth. It also triggers a physiological response in the sinuses forming Nitric Oxide, which is involved in the function of the nervous system. It also helps maintain, repair and defend every cell in the body. microsoft server Other benefits include: Blood Circulation, Pain reduction, Weight Loss, Increase in Energy, Reduction of inflammation, Improved digestion, Improved immune system, Aids in cancer prevention and Helps the brain.

These benefits of nasal breathing (nitric oxide) cannot happen when breathing through the mouth, It cannot happen even when hooked up to a respirator because nasal breathing is not part of the breathing process, and it cannot happen even when Nitric Oxide is added to a gas bottle to breath through the mouth. It only happens when inhaled through the nasal passages.

Yoga without Pranayama is just like any other form of exercise, but when you incorporate this nasal breathing into each movement, you achieve many amazing health benefits.

So remember, the mouth is for eating and the nose is for breathing.

by Karina
Teacher Trainee 2011

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