Yoga Techniques For Breathing

(February 26, 2009)

Why is it important for one to inhale through the nose and exhale through the nose? I find it easier to exhale through the mouth.


Your  breath is one of your most most vital functions, by which you live. For this reason, breathing is considered one of the most important functions in Yoga. It is regulated through the practice of Pranayama (breathing techniques). It affects one’s state of mind, emotions, your concentration and focus.

Breathing influences and even helps alter your concentration and stress levels, emotional state, and sleep patterns.  This is why Yoga lays so much importance on right breath. Only if you learn to breathe the right way will you be healthy, calm and capable of handling and coping with the more stressful situations in life.  Besides, right breathing also makes you feel better.

How to breathe properly
The best way to breath is by expanding your abdomen during inhalations and letting it contract during exhalation. Your diaphragm is a muscular structure below the lungs; it is the membrane which separates your lungs from your stomach. Whenever you inhale your lungs get filled up with air. This action drives your diaphragm downwards and makes your abdomen come out. During exhalation your abdomen returns unconsciously, since has no any other way to go.

To ensure that you are breathing properly, you should divide your breath into 3 parts; your lower abdomen, middle abdomen, and chest. As you inhale, you should first try and fill up your lower abdomen with air, following that your middle abdomen, and finally your chest. During exhalations, the air in your chest exits first, followed by the air in your middle abdomen, and finally the air your lower abdomen.

How to breathe nasally


The science of Yogic breathing is called Swara Yoga and teaches us that when one of our nostrils is predominant the other side of our brain it is dominant. Our left nostril is directly related to the parasympathetic part of our brains. This is responsible for the ‘rest and repair’ mechanism On the other hand, our right nostril is directly related to the sympathetic part of our brain. This is responsible for ‘fight and flight’ mechanism. When we breathe nasally, we are activating the brain, sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. This does not happen and can never happen when breathing orally.

Secondly, the nostrils have a protective mucus membrane and thousands of tiny hairs that impede the inflow of dust dirt and other unwanted particles. Orally, you will be ingesting them all, thus causing undue harm to your system.

More importantly, according to Swara Yoga (the science of Yogic breathing), using the right nostril will helps the person tap into a more reserves of energy, resulting in a more energetic state of mind. On the other hand, breathing through the left nostril will makes the person more relaxed and calmer. All said and done, your brain follows your breathing pattern. If you can breathe 1 – 4 times a minute Yoga says you’re experiencing what they call a meditative state. But all this can happen only if and when breathes nasally.

Submitted by A on February 26, 2009 at 04:43

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