The breath is one of the most important things in Yoga. Breathing regulates your state of mind, your emotions, your concentration, etc.
Breathing affects our emotional state, concentration, stress level and sleeping patterns. Learning to breathe the right way will help us be healthier, calmer and able to handle more stressful life situations. Plus is makes you even feel better!!! Breathing affects our emotional state, concentration, stress level and sleeping patterns. Learning to breathe the right way will help us be healthier, calmer and able to handle more stressful life situations. Plus is makes you even feel better!!!
The right way to breath is pushing the abdomen out while inhaling, and let it come back in while exhaling.
The diaphragm it’s the membrane that separates the lungs from the stomach. When we breathe in our lungs get fill up with air pushing the diaphragm down which makes the abdomen come out. In the exhalation the abdomen comes back in unconsciously. It doesn’t have any other way to go.
To be sure you breathe correctly; you must divide the breath in three parts; lower abdomen, middle abdomen, and chest.
When inhaling, first fill up with air the lower abdomen, then the middle abdomen, and last the chest. When exhaling, the air in the chest goes out first, then the air in the middle abdomen, and last the air in the lower abdomen. Physically pushing the abdomen out when inhaling, and in when exhaling, although when done correctly there is no need to push the abdomen in. It’s done without effort. It doesn’t have any other way to go but in.
It’s the same way when we fill up a glass of water (inhaling). The first thing to be fill up is the bottom of the glass (lower abdomen), then the middle part of the glass (the middle abdomen), and the last thing will be the top of the glass (chest). When drinking the glass of water (exhaling). First we drink the water in the top (chest), and second, the middle part of the glass (the middle abdomen), and last the water in the bottom (lower abdomen).
For most of the people, due to society pressures, it’s just the exactly opposite way. The studies show that around 40% of the people breathe incorrectly. Breathing this way for long periods of time will develop in future different illness.
Just consciously breathing forcing the abdomen out in the inhalation for around tree times it be naturally picking up by your body.
The brain follows the breath. If you are able to breathe from 1 to 4 times per minute it’s said you’ll experience what is called the meditative state. Inhale and exhale its one. It’s not about holding the breath in or out. It’s about to breath long and deep. Very slowly, using the full capacity of the lungs, and exhaling completely.
The best way to do it its built it up little by little. The lungs capacity starts to expand, and as a consequence your mind gets calmer, more balance, can concentrate better and take better decisions.
The magic starts when you master the exhalation. It seems that during the inhalation the mind it’s calmer and one can hold the breath longer without struggles, but during the exhalation there is a natural urge to expel the breath out to inhale again the sooner the better. When this natural tendency is calm down, and the person it’s able to peace itself, the person can access to hire states of consciousness.
A yogi should master the ability to hold the breath in and out. Holding the breath in it seems always easier than hold the breath out.
The reason to this is because the brain will react when the carbon dioxide, CO2, levels are to high, but it doesn’t react when the levels of oxygen, O2, go high or low.
Base on this fact, you will be able to hold the breath in or out for longer periods of time, by taken several inhales, or exhales. Blowing a little bite of air out, or in will create a change in the levels of the carbon dioxide, CO2.
The correct way to hold the breath is relaxing the muscles of the diaphragm, ribs, and abdomen, suspending the breath.
To hold the breath in:
Breathe in, by pushing the lower abdomen out, then the middle abdomen, and finally the chest. Hold the breath in. And bring the chin in without creating tension in the neck or shoulders.
To hold the breath out
Exhale, by releasing the air in the chest first, then the middle abdomen, and finally the lower abdomen. Hold the breath out. Lift the chest. Pull the chin in. Relax.
Stay as long as is comfortable, if you feel dizzy stop immediately! This can be built up with time be patience.
Expansion of the lungs capacity.
Helps to deal better in stressful situations.
Builds up more efficiency.
It seems both nostrils are always working while breathing through the nose. But there is always one more predominant than the other one and every 2 ½ hr switches unconsciously to the other one.
The science of nostrils is called Swara Yoga. It teaches that when a nostril is predominant the opposite side of the brain it is dominant.
The right nostril it’s directly related with the sympathetic part of the brain, the known “fight and flight” mechanism. In the other side, the left nostril it’s directly related with the parasympathetic part of the brain, the “rest and repair” mechanism.
According to this, breathing to the right nostril will make you tap into a more energetic state of mind, and breathing through the left nostril will make you relax, and calm down.
In today’s way of living there is a tendency to use more the “fight and flight” mechanism. This unbalances our state of mind to creating more stress, and lowering our immunologic defenses.
Fortunately, there are different basic breathing sets, Pranayamas, will help you to regain balance again, and even will allow the yogi to tap into elevated states of being.
You should be able to switch nostrils by concentrating on it. The left side it’s directly related with calmness, and the right nostril with energy. So if can’t feel sleep at night lie down on the right side, and with the pillow apply slight pressure on the right nostril, and breathe through the left.
Yogi Bhajan used to teach us when having an argument that you want to win, to be wise and wait 2 ½ hr. Then bring the subject back. The whole mental state has been altering to the other side.
Breathing through the left nostril is calming, and breathing through the right nostril has an energizing effect. To learn more about how the nostrils work (very interesting) Click here.
How to do it
- Sit down in easy pose, or rock pose. Keep the spine straight, and shoulders down. Like a yogi.
- Close with the right thumb the right nostril. The rest of the fingers are pointing up to the sky.
- Inhale through the left nostril. Close the left nostril with the right pinky, and exhale through the through the right side.
- Inhale through the right nostril (always inhale through the nostril that you just have exhaled). Close with the right thumb. Exhale through the left nostril. Inhale through the left nostril and continue for 2 o 3 min. minimum. Repeat the same starting in the left side.
- Balance both hemispheres of the brain.
- Bring effectiveness and calmness.
- Alter mental states.
- Excellent before having an important conversation or meeting that makes you nervous.
- Good as a daily practice when experiencing anxiety.
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