Breathing exercises: Life is sustained by breathing, which is a basic and automatic process. Despite being a process that occurs naturally, with a little bit of attention, we can use it to improve our overall well-being and health. As breathing connects the mind and body, it serves as the cornerstone therapy in mind-body medicine, which is a pillar for wellness.

Breathing exercises have many psychological advantages as well. They offer tremendous benefits in terms of the body, mind, spirit, and emotions. Our ability to relax and reduce stress is greatly aided by breathing exercises. Our lungs function more effectively as a result of it.

The Sanskrit word 'Pranayama' refers to breath control.  It is a method that has its roots in ancient India and is frequently used in yoga. Controlled breathing is performed through the practice of pranayama, which involves breathing in and out in accordance with set rhythms and patterns. Several pranayama techniques to control breathing are described in traditional yoga texts.

Breathing exercises can take a number of forms, each with special advantages. In this article, we will explore some of the most popular and widely used breathing yoga asanas and their benefits:

1. Ujjayi/ Ocean’s Breath

If you've been struggling with depression, Ocean's Breath provides an immediate fix to help you get unstuck. Exhale while letting your chin drop, inhale through your mouth, bring your chin in so that your throat feels a little bit restricted and contacts your chest, and then slowly and deliberately inhale and exhale through your nose. It should be done at least five to ten times.

Benefits of Ujjayi:

- It soothes the nervous system

- Calms the mind and increases psychic sensitivity.

- It relieves insomnia

- Slows down the heart rate

- Lowers blood pressure.

- Although it is a calming pranayama, it also has a heating effect that encourages oxidation.

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2. Shitali

When things get tense, whether emotionally or at the peak of the heat of summer, you can use Shitali to calm yourself down. Roll your tongue in the manner of a straw. Hold the inhalation for a few seconds and then let it out through your nose. Repeat.

Benefits of Shitali:

- Reduces excessive pitta.

- Lowers body temperature and eliminates surplus heat.

- Sparks the appetite and encourages healthy digestion.

- Reduces excessive acidity in the gastrointestinal tract.

- Relieves inflammatory skin disorders.

- Assists in reducing inflammation all over the body.

- Promotes mental tranquillity by soothing and calming the mind.

3. Shitkari

The yogic breathing technique Shitkari can help you relax and calm your nerves. The area of your tongue where the tip touches the inner border of your upper palate is where you should roll your tongue backwards. Close your mouth and take a deep breath through the sides of your rolled tongue. Breathe out with your nose. Repeat.

Benefits of Shitkari:

- Holistic Balance of the Mind and The Body.

- It harmonizes the body`s Pitta (Fire Element).

- Enhances Mental Health

- Removes Heat from the Outside.

- Promotes healthy digestion.

- Fevers Treatment and Potential Cure.

- Reduces high blood pressure.

- Detoxifies the entire bodily system and reduces toxins.

4. Brahmari

Use the humming bee breath if you're trying to relax and release any physical stress. Using basic yoga breathing exercises involves inhaling deeply through your nose and exhaling loudly while humming. You can hum while closing your ears with the tip of your index finger. Experience the inside vibration.

Benefits of Brahmari:

- Reduces stress.

- Improves sleep quality.

- Increases mindfulness.

- Reduces high blood pressure.

- Improves lung function.

- Enhances cognitive function

- Good for Substance abuse as it reduces cravings

5. Bastrika

Practice Bastrika Pranayama to release tension and stress. Moreover, it generates a lot of heat, which can help your body burn calories. Sit in a Lotus pose and breathe in through your nose. When you exhale, try to make your belly work like a "bellow" as your breath exits your body. Continue this fiercely for ten breaths, then take a deep breath, hold it, and slowly let it go.

Benefits of Bastrika:

- Benefits the respiratory and digestive systems.

- Drains excess phlegm from the lungs.

- Improves blood oxygenation, giving all tissues and organs a boost in vitality.

- Strengthens and tones the area around the abdomen.

- It soothes the mind.

- Energizes the entire body and mind.

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6. Alternate Nostril Breathing

One example of a pranayama breathing technique is alternate nostril breathing, which involves breathing alternately through each nostril. This type of breathing is thought to promote brain equilibrium between the right and left hemispheres, bringing to a peaceful and centred state of mind.

Benefits of Alternate Nostril Breathing:

- Reduces stress and anxiety

- Improves mental clarity and focus

- Balances the nervous system

- Increases energy and vitality

7. Diaphragmatic Breathing

The diaphragm, a muscle at the base of the rib cage, is the centre of the diaphragmatic breathing technique, commonly referred to as belly breathing. When breathing with the diaphragm, the lungs fill with air as the diaphragm expands and collapses, producing slow, deep breaths.

Benefits of Diaphragmatic Breathing:

- Reduces stress and anxiety

- Improves sleep quality

- Enhances respiratory and cardiovascular health

- Boosts the immune system

8. Slow Breathing

It is a technique to breathe slowly and deeply, in through the nose and out through the mouth. It is a quick and simple approach that may be applied anytime and anywhere.

Benefits of Slow Breathing:

- Reduces stress and anxiety

- Improves respiratory function

- Lowers blood pressure

- Enhances mental clarity and focus

9. Box Breathing

Box Breathing is a straightforward but powerful breathing exercise that needs four equal breaths, each with a specific count. Inhaling for four counts, holding the breath for four counts, exhaling for four counts, and holding the breath once more for four counts make up the procedure. To reach the required level of relaxation, this practice is performed numerous times.

Benefits of Box Breathing:

- Reduces stress and anxiety

- Improves sleep quality

- Enhances respiratory and cardiovascular health

- Increases mental clarity and focus

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10. 4-7-8 Breathing

The 4-7-8 yogic breathing, which counts each inhale, hold, and exhalation is simple and efficient. Four counts of inhalation, seven counts of holding the breath, and eight counts of exhalation constitute the procedure. To get the required level of relaxation, this practice must be repeated multiple times.

Benefits of 4-7-8 Breathing:

- Reduces stress and anxiety

- Improves sleep quality

- Enhances respiratory and cardiovascular health

- Increases mental clarity and focus

11. Animal Breathing

Animal breathing simply as the name suggests refers to breathing openly and freely as an animal does, this is said to open up the lungs and help you breathe better aiding your overall health.

Bunny Breathing: To increase the amount of oxygen getting to your brain, take several briefs, and rapid breaths.

Bumble Bee Breathing: Slow breaths and buzzing can help reduce your heart rate and stress level.

Lion Breathing: To let out frustration and rage, take long, deep breaths and roar.

Bear Breathing: To induce a state of peace and restfulness, concentrate on holding your breath.

Crocodile Breathing: Deep belly breathing can be achieved by using yoga asanas like Makarasana.

12. Mindful breathing

Begin by taking an  breath: a deep inhale through your nostrils (3 seconds), hold your breath (2 seconds), and a long exhale through your mouth (4 seconds).

To perform mindful breathing, a person should:

- find a quiet place without distractions

- choose a comfortable position, ideally sitting or lying down

- focus on breathing by feeling and listening to the body inhale and exhale.

- Be able to let thoughts go through your mind without passing judgment.

Never substitute medical care with breathing exercises. These exercises work best when combined with other treatments. Breathing exercises may be included in pulmonary rehabilitation for lung disorders. The course of treatment might additionally involve physical activity, physical therapy, and preventive medicine.

Some people will feel stress and anxiety in different ways. Potential treatments include therapy, medication, and mindfulness exercises. Breathing exercises might help you feel less stressed in stressful situations or when trying to create a regular sleep schedule.

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Breathing exercises can be beneficial for a variety of medical issues, particularly stress and anxiety. They function best when they are a regular part of your schedule.

(Disclaimer: This article is based on general information and does not substitute for an expert's advice. Zee News does not confirm this.)

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