Respiratory Benefits of Practicing Hatha Yoga

By Patricia | April 30, 2009
Benefits Of Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga has innumerable benefits that, practitioners often claim, have created a complete reversal of their health conditions.  The benefits tend to vary, based on individual practices, the poses done, and the intensity (measured by alertness and responsiveness, not perspiration), the duration and frequency of practices.  The benefits of Hatha Yoga practices have been passed down for centuries via oral tradition and today, modern scientists are confirming the benefits, particularly where breathing is concerned. Yoga is an excellent regimen for overall health and well-being, as well as a therapy for a number of medical conditions, many of which are corrected just by altering breathing patterns.

Listed below are some of respiratory benefits Hatha Yoga.

  1. Increases the strength and elasticity of the lungs
  2. Greatly increases breathing capacity
  3. Studies reveal improvement in health conditions, particularly those relating to the Respiratory Tract
  4. The breathing techniques are simplest of all and most natural and so effortless
  5. Long, deep breaths help relieve stress and tension.
  6. Yogic breathing helps reduce toxic buildup in the lungs
  7. As a result of increased oxygen flow to the body, it cleanses and purifies the blood

Pranayama (Breathing Exercises)

We tend to take breathing for granted, simply because it is so intricate a part of our lives. However, the philosophers and Yogis of yore, through their advanced intellect and calmness perceived the powers of controlled breathing and evolved techniques to be in command of it. Every time we breathe in, we inhale oxygen that is converted into fuel to galvanize or charge our body and each time we breathe out, our body throws out toxic wastes by way of carbon dioxide.

Most of us use just a small little portion of our overall lung capacity while breathing. A lot of us tend to, unknowingly, put too much pressure on our bodies as well. We take quick shallow breaths and that results in oxygen starvation. This leads to fatigue, sleep disorders, a poor immune system, premature ageing and also certain health conditions, mainly respiratory.

Our whole breathing process should be slowed down, if we wish to increase our breathing capacity. Yoga teaches us to expand our abdomen and ribcage while inhaling and do just the reverse while exhaling. For this, we are taught to breathe abdominally, at all times: as you inhale, expand your abdomen and the ribcage automatically expands more; as you exhale, let your abdomen cave in. Only Yogic Pranayama (Breathing exercises) teaches you how to get the maximum out of your breathing. This, actually, extends far beyond the process of simple breathing we are so accustomed to.

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