Yogic breathing and Yoga asanas

Most people don’t think twice about breathing. After all, we have been doing it since we were born. Usually, most of us breathe shallowly (i.e. quick inhalation and exhalation through the chest) and are almost always unaware of the condition. Unconsciously, breathing is controlled by specialized centers in the brainstem, which automatically regulate the rate and depth of breathing depending on the body’s needs at any time. Simply put, breathing is a process of inhaling oxygen and expelling carbon di oxide. Is there any way we can maximise the benefits of this seemingly simple activity in our everyday life? Yes, yogic breathing is the answer!
It is a good idea to take up Yogic breathing on a fairly regular basis. Yogic breathing can help us relax and clear our mind. Therefore, take a few minutes, several times a day and just sit and practice your Yogic breathing exercises. The true benefit of Yogic breathing is that it can be done anywhere, anytime!
When we do Yogic breathing, we should begin by filling our diaphragm with air slowly. Take in a deep breath through the nose. This helps to provide our body with the rich oxygen it requires. Then exhale slowly through the nose. A slower and more regulated exhalation leads to pushing out various toxins that must be eliminated from your body. It is even more beneficial to engage in ujayi breathing when doing this. During ujayi or ocean breathing, air first fills the throat, lungs and belly. When exhaling, air is released in reverse direction. The length and speed of the breath is controlled by the diaphragm. Yogic breathing consciously engages the diaphragm to control breathing and hence connects the conscious and unconscious mind.
We can compliment yogic breathing with simple yoga asanas in our daily life. As most of us already know, yoga has so many benefits like making us flexible and strong (try ashtanga vinyasa yoga if you don’t believe me!).  It also boosts immunity among other benefits. In order to achieve all this, it is of utmost importance to perform Yoga asanas in the correct technique and posture. More importantly, we need to relax in the posture which is through correct breathing and focus. 30 mins of yoga per day is all that is needed to make a commitment to living a mentally and physically healthy and active lifestyle.
Deepti Shetty
200 hrs
Jul-Aug batch

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