Techniques and Benefits of Slow Breathing

By Patricia | December 5, 2008
Breathing Tips To Improve Concentration

Breathing seems to be simplest activity in the world. When we inhale oxygen into the body, the oxygen carries important nutrients that fuel the entire system. While exhaling, carbon dioxide and toxins are purged from the body. But though we all breathe mechanically, we still do not use our lungs to the optimum, thus depriving the body of larger quantities of oxygen.

Pranayama: Prana means breath control and pranayama is the technique of controlling one’s breath. A form of slow and deep breathing, pranayama is used along with yoga to cleanse the body and mind as well as energize the body. Used while meditation, pranayama can help concentrate and focus the mind.

Here are some of the common forms of pranayama:

Ujjayi Pranayama(Ocean Sounding Breath):
This form of pranayama focuses the mind and builds internal heat.

Dirgha pranayama (Three-part breath):
In this breathing technique, you can fill up three chambers of the lungs with oxygen. It relaxes the mind as well as the body, enriches the blood with oxygen, dispels carbon dioxide from the lungs and helps in diaphragmatic breathing.
Nadi Shodhana (Sweet Breath): This alternate nostril breathing is a cleansing breathing technique that soothes the mind, relives stress, promotes clear thinking and balances the two hemispheres of the brain.
Benefits Of Slow, Deep Breathing: Here are some of the benefits of breathing slowly and deeply –

  • Slow breathing soothes and relaxes the nervous system.
  • It helps in the proper functioning of the pineal and the pituitary glands.
  • Slow, deep breathing flushes out toxins, digests food and helps in controlling weight.
  • Diaphragmatic breathing massages the organs in the abdomen area. Organs like the pancreas, liver and the heart get massaged and the circulation also improves.
  • Improves the texture of the skin.
  • It makes the heart healthier by decreasing the organ’s workload.
  • Increases the capacity of the lungs and oxygenates the tissues of the body.
  • Slow breathing improves concentration.

Increasing concentration with yoga: A person is born with a certain amount of intelligence, and yoga or any therapy cannot really make someone very intelligent or decrease someone’s level of intelligence. But you can do mind focused yoga and pranayama to increase your concentration and memory so that you can focus on whatever you’re doing and excel in that particular field.

Mind Focused Yoga: Raja yoga, mantra yoga and Bhakti yoga can improve your concentration and is akin to meditation.

Dharana (Practice Of Concentration): This is the sixth limb of yoga. It helps focus, concentrate and relax the mind. It clears up the mind and increases focus.

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