yoga breathing benefits

Yoga Breathing Benefits: 5 Powerful Benefits You Need to Know Today!

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Y oga breathing has been practiced since ancient times. It was originally developed to help monks meditate. But now, it’s being used by millions around the world. Yoga Breathing techniques are used by many people as a way to relax and calm down. But did you know there are more yoga breathing benefits than just relaxation? Read on to discover them!

Yoga Breathing Benefits

Yoga breathing offers several benefits, such as relaxation, increased energy levels, improved concentration, reduced anxiety, and relief from pain. These yoga breathing benefits can improve overall health and well-being. Depending on the exercise you choose to practice you can get even more specific with which yoga breathing benefits we can take advantage of.

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Yoga Breathing Exercises for Anxiety & Stress

Because of their ability to tap into our parasympathetic (rest & relax) portion of our nervous system, deep yoga breathing techniques are frequently used for relaxation and calming your nerves. They can also be helpful at reducing stress and anxiety. Yoga breathing exercises are a quick easy way to help you relax when you feel stressed out or anxious. You can always use them whenever or wherever you need them without anyone knowing. Whether you’re anxious about an upcoming deadline, dealing with family issues or just having a really bad day these techniques are easy to learn and produce quick results.

To relieve stress & anxiety during the day you can try the following exercises: triangle breathing, humming bee breath, or ocean breathing. These yoga breathing exercises have an adaptogenic or balancing effect on your nervous system. If you’re up, they will bring you down; if you’re down, they will bring you up. You can practice these exercises standing, seated, lying down, and even while driving. They are always safe, always appropriate, and always healthy.

Yoga Breathing Exercises for Sleep

yoga breathing for sleep

Sleep is important. Lack of sleep has consequences for both our physical and mental health. Getting too little sleep can make us feel tired, sluggish, and put us at risk of developing an alarming number of diseases. Sleeping well helps our bodies feel energized, positive, and alert. It makes us feel better overall!

Seeping trouble is a shockingly common experience. Insomnia is the most common sleep problem among Americans. According to the ASA (American Sleep Association), about 30% of people suffer from short-term problems, while 10% of people have long-term issues falling asleep or staying asleep.

Yoga breathing can help with both. The deep slow breathing exercises used in yoga breathing activate our parasympathetic nervous system, the rest and digest portion of our nervous system. Activating this portion of your nervous system lowers your heartbeat, relaxes your muscles and improves digestion. These breathing techniques are best done right before bed. You should always do these practices when sitting or lying down, not while doing anything standing or active.

Yoga breathing techniques perfect for helping to fall asleep include: 4-7-8 breathing, alternate nostril breathing, box breathing, and three part breathing. I have a post that goes into detail on exactly how to do 4-7-8 breathing for better sleep.

For more information on general sleep hygiene and relaxation exercises check out the Sleep foundation.

Yoga Breathing Exercises for Asthma

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, about 25 million Americans have asthma. That’s 1 out of every 13 people. Asthma is a respiratory disease where airways constrict causing trouble breathing. It can be caused by a number of different triggers and can be mild or very severe.

Yoga breathing can be helpful in managing asthma because it not only strengthens the lungs but also helps you learn to breathe more efficiently. Pursed lip breathing and belly breathing have been studied in clinical trials and have been shown to help improve asthma and COPD. For more information on how to use these techniques when dealing with a lung dysfunction check out this post from the American Lung Association on Breathing Exercises.

If you are interested in trying yoga breathing for your asthma first consult with your primary care physician. Yoga breathing can be an effective complementary treatment as long as it’s in line with your medical treatment.

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Yoga Breathing Exercises for Weight Loss

Using yoga breathing for weight loss might sound far fetched, but it’s simple science. Improving the efficiency of our breathing improves our ability to absorb oxygen and exhaust CO2. This increase in efficiency improves our energy levels and metabolism. Yoga breathing exercises also reduce stress, reducing our cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone produced when we experience stress that contributes to weight gain and retaining excess weight.

The best exercises to try for weight loss include kapalbhati breathing (skull shining breath) or Bhastrika Breath (bellows breath). Both of these practices are very energizing and will help to give you a boost of energy when you’re feeling sluggish. If you’re mentally feeling hazy they will also give you a mental jump start.

Yoga Breathing Exercises for High Blood Pressure

Believe it or not, nearly half of all adults in America have high blood pressure according to the American Heart Association. Blood pressure refers to how hard blood pushes against the walls of blood vessels when it flows through them, causing them to expand. When your blood pressure is consistently above 130/80 mm Hg, you have high blood pressure. High blood pressure can harm your heart and lead to serious health issues if it remains chronically high.

If you are interested in trying yoga breathing for your high blood pressure first consult with your primary care physician. Yoga breathing can be an effective complementary treatment as long as it’s in line with your medical treatment.

Sukha pranayama, AKA easy breath has been studied for its ability to lower blood pressure. It’s a slow and deep relaxing breath that lower the heart rate and reduces stress. Studies showed that sukha pranayama lowered heart rate and blood pressure within 5 minutes of performing the exercise.

A recent study done at the University of Colorado Boulder found that five minutes of breathing exercises lowered blood pressure as much as exercising or medication. Don’t go making any drastic changes without first consulting your doctor, but you can read their study on Inspiratory Muscle Strength Training.

The Bottom Line

Yoga breathing exercises are simple techniques that are a great way to increase your overall health. This post just scratches the surface on the many benefits of yoga breathing. I will go into greater detail on each exercise mentioned in future posts. In the meantime to get started with your own practice check out my blog post 5 Yoga Breathing Exercises for Beginners. 

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Welcome!

Andrea Andres
Andrea AndresRegistered Yoga Instructor | Certified Breathwork Coach
Welcome, I’m Andrea, and I help overworked busy people recover from physical and mental stress, and avoid burnout using evidence-based yoga, breathwork, and meditation techniques.
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