When you learn to “Breathe Yoga” and adapt it to your lifestyle, not only do you become and stay healthy, but you will find yourself in a constant state of peaceful relaxation mixed with heightened alertness. Kind of like a ninja, always at peace and ready for any challenge.
Plus, it’s been proven that only after a few minutes of breathing like this, your body actually goes into “self-healing” mode. In other words, these breathing techniques actually make you and your immune system stronger, helping you live longer and more resilient to health complications.
In this article we will discuss:
- How to breathe yoga: Yogic Breathing
- What happens in our body when we breathe this way (Scientific facts)
- Where to find the best training available to master these skills fast
Correct Your Breathing
First of, let’s make sure we got the basics covered:
- Sit with the spine straight
- Place your left hand on your belly and the right hand on your chest
- Take a deep breathe in through the nostrils
- Which hand went up first?
If the right hand went up first, it means you’re breathing from your chest. This is shallow breathing and isn’t ideal. If you imagine someone breathing fast, hyperventilating and having a panic attack, for example, you will notice they are breathing from the chest. This can cause stress and anxiety.
If the Left hand went up first then congratulations, you’re breathing properly. When you breathe from your belly, you’re activating receptors meant to relax you and calm you down (more on this later) plus you will be able to fill up your whole lung capacity. This is the first step to breathe yoga.
So let’s try this again.
How To Breathe Yoga – Yogic Breaths
- Sit with your spine straight
- Through your nostrils, take a very long and smooth breath in
- Make sure you’re breathing through your belly first. After it fills up, let the chest fill up too
- Exhale through your mouth, very slow and smooth (make your lips as if blowing through a straw)
- Repeat a few times until you can fill up your whole lung capacity on each breath in. Make sure you’re not moving your shoulders much.
- Make the exhales also very long, smooth and controlled
- Breathe like this forever, as much as you can for the rest of your life
***When breathing like this, you might notice yourself getting tired. If that’s the case, it means you actually need some rest and probably haven’t noticed. It might actually be a sign that your lifestyle could use some changes. If breathing like this makes you sleepy, keep going until you fall asleep. You need it.
What Happens In Our body When We Breathe Yoga
Always breathe in through the nose
Although is ok to breathe from the mouth every now and then (and there are techniques for this too), our nostrils are designed to regulate the temperature of the air and filter out tons and tons of impurities. Breathing through the mouth actually skips that step. Then, there’s a second filter which is the windpipe. Once the air has been “cleaned up”, it reaches the lungs.
Our nostrils also produce Nitric Oxide (NO) which is sent to our lungs on each inhale. NO is a key ingredient for solid blood circulation, muscle endurance and protection against virus, bacteria and anything that can cause an infection. NO deficiency, created by aging, smoking and poor diet can lead to low levels of energy and even can affect your sexual life (among other problems).
Some people actually take NO supplements to increase energy and build muscle, however once you learn that the simple act of inhaling through the nose generates free NO, it makes sense that taking in longer inhales will supply you with extra energy, strengthen your immune system and increase your over all well being and vitality.
No need for coffee, energy drinks nor artificial supplements. Simply eat lots of veggies, drink lots of water and do long inhales. Extra energy guaranteed.
Always breathe in through the belly first and THEN the chest
Figuring out how to properly breathe yoga will show you the beauty of filling up your full lung capacity. Most people only use like 20% of their lungs and this causes many issues that we somehow came to believe were normal.
Why it’s important to AVOID chest, shallow breathing
If you’re only breathing from your chest, you’re constantly stimulating the Sympathetic Nervous System. That means you’re constantly on a state of adrenaline and “survival” mode which makes it literally impossible to relax. This actually creates stress, anxiety etc.
When that happens, people tend to look for relief in drugs, pharmaceuticals, etc and oftentimes we get sick and depressed not even knowing why. Stress is actually considered one of the number one killers of our time since most health issues can be traced back to a stressful lifestyle. However, once we realize that shallow, chest breathing, is a source of constant stress, well it’s actually quite an easy fix.
Belly Breathing – The Answer You Were Looking For
Stimulating the Sympathetic Nervous System, through chest breathing, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The problem is when we ONLY stimulate it. To balance things out, we have to ALSO stimulate the Parasympathetic Nervous System.
Well, the belly has a huge concentration of Parasympathetic receptors. This means that belly breathing will stimulate relaxation, digestion and rest. Too much of this might also not be ideal because then we would only sit down and do nothing all day.
Most of the oxygen O2 in the body is actually absorbed on the exhales. Doing long extended exhalations will make sure you’re getting enough oxygen plus it’s also stimulating the Parasympathetic system, relaxing you even further. This is why we purse our lips, like blowing through a straw. It makes it easier to extend the exhale.
When you breathe in through the belly, you’re staying relaxed. Once the belly is full, you can go ahead and fill up your chest. By filling up the belly and the chest you are using your full lung capacity. This allows you to fill up as much energy (NO) and (O2) as you can take on each inhale. Then, when you extend the exhalation, you’re relaxing fully, while absorbing all the energy you just accumulated in the inhale.
Flow – Breathe in Beats
The balance between the Symphathetic System and the Parasympathetic System is where you find the sweet spot. This is where Rhythmic Breathing comes in. We call it Breathe in Beats.
When your inhale is as long as your exhale, meaning they’re both the same length of time, you’re purposely keeping an equilibrium between Boosting Energy and Full Relaxation. This is the optimum human state to be, the Ninja like peace and power.
Benefits of Yogic Breathing
Science says when you breathe yoga for only a few minutes, this will create a cascade of effects in the body that will last up to six hours. Doing long inhales, through the belly, filling up full lung capacity and then extending the exhales will give your body the signal that it can relax and take the time to heal.
As a result, this actually regulates your heart beat and puts you in a state of Heart Coherence. This coherence is when all the systems in our body are working in full beautiful harmony, so we can live our lives at the maximum of our physical and mental capacities. The more you live like this, the less stressed you’ll be. You will literally live longer. Your body will also become more efficient at “burning fuel” so you will have much more energy. You will also experience a better sense of clarity and focus.
After some time, when you get used to these feelings, each inhale will give you an amazing euphoric feeling and each exhale will relax you tremendously.
The best training available in this field of knowledge
The idea of making a living “teaching people how to breathe properly” sounds funny, however SOMA Instructors are building careers doing exactly that.
Every Sunday, SOMA offers a free webinar where they make sure you’re using these techniques properly so that you too can achieve your maximum potential, raise the quality of your live and move towards your dreams. All the while staying fully relaxed and fully alert. Register for the next free event here.
Orlando – Renegade Team