INTERNATIONAL YOGA DAY 2022: It is true that some of the asanas in Yoga could look like they are impossible to achieve. However, yoga also focuses on breathing exercises and meditation which in itself comes with umpteen benefits. Ahead of the International Day of Yoga, we are going to tell you how simple breathing exercises can help your overall health.
According to Diabetes Self-Management, meditation has been shown to reduce such risk factors for cardiovascular disease as high blood pressure. Let us take a look at some of the common breathing exercises that can get your body relaxed.
- Deep Belly Breathing
Deep belly breathing focuses on the diaphragm to maximise lung expansion. The movement of the diaphragm naturally controls the airflow through your body, forcing the air to move deeply into your belly. A 2019 study mentioned that diaphragmatic breathing exercise has favourable effects in controlling blood sugar levels among Type-2 diabetic patients if it is combined with other exercises or therapies.
To note, the study also mentioned that the breathing component alone cannot maintain a normal blood sugar level. These exercises have to be combined with other healthy lifestyle choices as well.
- Anulom Vilom or Alternate nostril breathing
This pranayama involves holding one nostril closed while inhaling, and then the other nostril closed while exhaling.
Anulom Vilom is the perfect addition to any sort of meditation practice. This exercise has an immediate calming effect. It is also reported that alternate nostril breathing has a positive impact on cardiovascular function. It also helps in stress reduction.
- Victorious breath (Ujjayi)
A part of the larger Pranayama yoga technique, the Ujjayi breathing exercise involves both inhalation and exhalation through the nose. As you inhale and exhale, keep your mouth closed, and constrict your throat to the point that your breathing makes a rushing noise, similar to snoring.
The next step in this yoga practice is to control your breath with your diaphragm. Keep your inhalations and exhalations equal in duration while practising Ujjayi. This helps in improving concentration and managing stress.
You can begin by including these breathing exercises in your daily meditation sessions to see the effects.