Breathe through the nose!
We are moving into Autumn, the season linked to the lungs and large intestine according to Chinese Medicine. So I thought it would be apt to talk a little about the benefits of the breath.
In yoga practice, I always encourage people to breathe out through the nose apart from when we are physically letting go of the week, or waking up our senses after relaxation. This is because the breath is intrinsically linked to our nervous system and physiology.
Many of us practice yoga in order to relieve stress and come into balance; of course, we reap other benefits at the same time. So it is important that we choose to breathe in a way that activates our parasympathetic nervous system, giving our mind and body the signal to rest and digest.
Western medical researchers have found a variety of benefits that come from breathing through the nostrils rather than the mouth:
1. We can absorb more oxygen into the lungs
2. The air that we inhale through the nose is warmed and humidified allowing for better oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange
3. The air that we exhale through the nose moves more slowly than through the mouth, which means that oxygen stays longer in the lungs and more is absorbed
4. The prolonged exhalation also stimulates the vagus nerve, which results in lower blood pressure and heart rate, a lower breathing rate and also decreased inflammation in the body
5. There is more resistance when exhaling through the nose; more effort is good exercise for the lungs and makes them more efficient
When we gently constrict the throat, this produces an ocean-like sound and is called ujjayi breathing. This is still breathing through the nose, as the mouth is closed. Any sound has the added benefit of prolonging the breath, enhancing all of the benefits listed above.
You are very welcome to join us at the Autumn Immune Booster Workshop (Metal Element) on Saturday 9 November. We will be focusing on shoulders, chest openers and breath practices (lung meridian) and letting go of thoughts that don't serve us well (large intestine meridian).
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book. £25