Inflammation Reduced By Yogic Breathing
20 minutes of yogic breathing per day can reduce symptoms of inflammation and reduce symptoms of stress, according to new research. Specifically, pranayamic breathing can have positive health benefits. Prana is the term for breath, or the breath of life. Pranayama work is made up of different breathing techniques to use the breath in different ways. For example, there is fire breath and ice breath meant to heat the body up and cool the body down.
Using samples of saliva, researchers split subjects into two groups, one who read and one who practiced pranayama. After a twenty minute interval, subjects who practiced yogic breathing had a demonstrably reduced indication of stress.
What is Pranayama?
Yoga expert Esther Ekhart describes how our breathing patterns reflect how we are feeling emotionally. She writes, “we will breathe in a different way when we are angry, when we are excited, tired, or when we are nervous.” Changing our breath helps us to calm down when we are anxious or give ourselves some extra energy when we are depressed.
Pranayama works by utilizing different areas of the breath (lungs) through varying patterns of inhale, exhale, and retention, or, holding, of the breath. Ekhart explains that regular practice of pranayama stimulates the parasympathetic system. The parasympathetic nervous system interacts with the heart rate and gland activities. Fight or flight, the natural response to stress, is dictated by the production of cortisol and adrenaline. Pranayama helps the body cope with hyperstimulation and overstimulation from stress and fear.
Why is Breath So Important?
Breath, prana, is the vital source of life. When we stop breathing, our hearts stops beating, our brain stops working, and we die. The breath is vital to our existence. Throughout the day, we often forget we are breathing or that we need to breathe. We’ll suddenly take a deep long inhale and instantly feel better. It would be difficult to spend a whole day mindfully breathing and putting our focus on taking deep breath. However, for those that practice pranayama or other methods for yogic breathing throughout the day, the benefits are felt.
Refuge Recovery uses breath work, mindfulness, and meditation as part of their holistic program for healing from addiction, alcoholism, and other afflictions. Open to men and women, our programs are highly customizable to meet the individual needs of each client. For more information, call or text us at 323-207-0276.