Next time you’re on the bus, look at how people breathe. You might notice that most of us are chest breathers: we only take shallow breaths into the chest, rarely getting air into the bottom two-thirds of our lungs.
Now check out how babies breathe. See those bellies hard at work? We were all belly breathers when were kids, and then, because of stress and conditioning, we turned into chest breathers. We can regain our ability to breath in a slow, deep, and healthy manner through pranayama – breathing from below the belly button on up.
This posture will teach you to use 90% of the lungs that is usually sedentary.
Headaches, ribcage cramps during class are ofter due to poor breath control.
- Increases circulation to the whole body
- Wakes you up and helps you to focus and concentrate
- The deep inhale sends fresh air to the deeper parts of your lungs, giving the body a tremendous supply of oxygen and helping your lungs to work more efficiently.
- Holding the deep breath in for a moment raises your internal temperature, warming up the body of from the inside out as your cells absorb fresh oxygen from the bloodstream.
- When you exhale using your diaphragm and contracting the intercostal muscles, you force carbon dioxide and other toxins out of the lungs. If you’ve ever been a smoker, this is a great way to help heal your lungs.
- The entire breathing exercise strengthens abdominal muscles, loosens the neck and shoulders, and helps reduce stress. We spend a great deal of our day actually holding our breath – it’s a natural reaction to stress. Learning to consciously focus on deep breathing relaxes the body and calms the mind, and keeps the oxygen flowing, improving our health!
- It can decrease irritability, nervousness and improve chronic shortness of breath
We had the honour to have Aaron here in our Guelph studio a while back. Here is a nice video from his Australian Bonfire Bikram studio. Enjoy and learn everything you need to know about Pranayama