The majority of the world takes breathing for granted. It’s something that each person does naturally, and thus it tends to get overlooked as a focal point, misguidedly so.
However, being more conscious and present with your breathing will help you hone techniques that drastically improve your overall well-being. More specifically, experts cite breath rate as having links with physical and mental health.
Moreover, given that each person breathes every few seconds, it’s an act that requires much attention. This blog takes the previous sentence to heart, as it will explore important aspects of breathing:
The Importance of Mindfulness and Breathing
Breath control, or pranayama, is the fourth of the eight limbs of yoga.
While breathing just “happens” for humans, making crucial adjustments will help you get the most from this physiological function.
When it comes to breathing, less is more (as long as you’re not holding your breath or failing to breathe). With that said, the average 14 to 20 breaths per minute that most people inhale and exhale is shockingly high.
Taking 6 breaths per minute is associated with the most optimal results, such as pain management and cardiovascular health.
Breathing and Emotions
There are many techniques suggested to breathing technique practitioners. Each one offers tons of mental health benefits.
Below is a list of eight highly recommended breathing techniques that you can read about more in-depth here:
- Abdomen breathing
- Lengthened exhale
- Focused breath
- Equal breathing
- Resonant breathing
- Yogic breathing
- Lion’s breath
- Alternate Nostril breathing
- Guided meditation
As suggested previously, these methods all bring with them physical benefits. But a healthy body means a healthy mind, and vice versa.
Think about it like this: people’s breaths get shallow and rapid when panicked and anxious. Consciously taking the time to slow down your inhales and exhales, changing your breath rate. This will alter autonomic function and mood state. Thus, it can change your response to various emotions.
A Scientific Explanation of why Controlled Breathing is so Beneficial:
Your respiratory system holds a nearly endless amount of sensory receptors (in the millions, in fact). These all send signals to the brainstem from the vagus nerve.
By breathing fast, you activate the sympathetic nervous system because the brain is overworked. This leads to an increase in the following adverse reactions:
- Stress hormones
- Heart rate
- Blood pressure
- Muscle tension
Slowed breathing induces the parasympathetic response, reducing all the above symptoms while boosting relaxation, calm, and mental clarity.
Breathing is at the Core of Align Wellness Studio
Align’s entire existence is centered around the mind-body connection–which is also at the crux of breathing.
As this blog highlights, mindful breathing techniques positively impact the body and mind. This is why your breath is such a critical focus of our Yoga and Pilates classes.
With enhanced breathing and a better connection between your body and mind, you’ll live life on a whole new plane. One that’s rooted in balance, calm, and being present in every moment, so you can get the most out of your experiences.
Contact us today to inquire about our classes and take one more step toward improved wellness!