The best thing you can do for your physical and mental health is to change the way you breathe. Breathing is one of the most important functions of our body but also the most neglected as is involuntary, so we consider it self-evident.
Without food we can live up to 60 days and without water 5 days but without oxygen not even five minutes. That is the role and importance of breathing on our health.
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Why Breathing is Necessary?
- Firstly, it is the only way to provide oxygen to the body and our organs necessary for survival and secondly because Oxygen can eliminate toxins from the body. Hand and brain requires more oxygen to function than any other organ.
- Thus, the reduced amount of oxygen leads to mental sluggishness, negative thoughts and depression.
- Oxygen is necessary for the energy production but also to maintain our cells healthy.
What is Wrong with the Way we Breathe?
Because of stress, lack of exercise, and by staying indoors most of the day our breathing becomes superficial and frivolous. So we do not get enough oxygen or expel sufficient amounts of carbon dioxide, resulting in the accumulation of toxins, reduced vitality and greater susceptibility to diseases (viruses, colds) as the body’s defence is reduced.
How to “Retrain” our Body to Breathe Correctly?
The link connecting the body with the mind is the breath.
The secret to health and wellness is simple, called with full breath whereby
- The diaphragm or abdominal breathing (enlargement thoracic downwardly and promote belly outwardly).
- Lateral breathing (enlargement of the chest to the side and out).
- Chest (where the chest widens up and out as if we lift the shoulders).
Breathing Exercises that Make the Difference:
1. Full Breathing:
To stimulate the whole organism
- The training is the adoption of full breath, which includes all three types of breathing (diaphragmatic, side, chest).
- The benefits are; it improves circulation, relaxes the body and soul, since it eases the symptoms of stress, and facilitates the elimination of toxins.
- These are done by upright or lying relaxed in a supine position.
- Inhale as deeply as you can. Immediately after inhaling deeply through the nose (keeping stationary the chest and shoulders) you should exhale air as low as possible in order to descend the diaphragm to inflate the belly (diaphragmatic or abdominal breathing).
- Exhale and repeat for 6 breaths.
- Then breathe deeply as the abdomen as before, kept the air counting to 3 and without exhale, inhale a little more air, expanding the chest to the side and outside (lateral breathing).
- Count 4, 5 and 6 without exhale, inhale again, extending even further the chest and shrugging shoulders (thoracic).Count 7, 8, 9 and exhale in reverse, example first the abdomen then the chest and finally the shoulders.
- Repeat for 9 breaths.
2. Alternative Respiration:
For mental clarity and boosting of thinking power
- We can do by sit back, if possible in lotus posture (squatting).
- You bring your right hand to the face and place your index and middle between the eyebrows, the thumb on the right nostril and the ring finger and the little clasped in his left nostril.
- You close the right nostril with the thumb and inhale with left counting to 9.
- You close and the left nostril with the ring finger and hold the energy of breathing between the eyebrows, the so-called trikouti (or third eye), counting to 9.
- In then release the right nostril from which exhale counting again to 9.
- Make a pause count of 3 and repeat alternately, example inhale with right nostril and exhale with the left.Started by three repetitions and adding one round each week until you reach 9.
3. Cathartic Breath:
For Body Detoxification
- Kriya yoga, a yoga system that includes cleansing exercises for the body and spirit.
- The benefits are considered that cleanses and detoxifies the body.
- We can body standing freely inhale for 3-6 breaths.
- Then inhale and exhale sharply orally, by pushing the abdominal muscles, chest and diaphragm to discharge completely the air from the lungs.
- Hold that position for three times and repeat the exercise.
- You start with three breaths and gradually arrive nine.
Caution: Non skilled respiratory exercises may make you a slight dizziness while performing exercises, something perfectly normal. So start with a few breaths and increase gradually.
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