Central to ancient Hindu philosophy was prana, described as vital “airs” or “energies” flowing through the body. Stemming from that belief, yoga was built on pranayama or breath retention.
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Breathing is at the core of ancient (and currently trendy) mindfulness practices, from yoga and tai chi to meditation.
However, studies suggest that breathing exercises alone, derived from those ancient yoga practices, can be good for the body and mind.
It involves filling the lungs to the max and goes by various names like belly or diaphragmatic breathing.
It has been linked to improved cognitive performance, lower stress levels, and lower blood pressure.
Every relaxation, calming, or meditation technique relies on breathing, which may be the lowest common denominator in all the approaches to calming the body and mind.
Controlled breathing techniques can get one autonomic system under control and in turn affect others (like the heartbeat), alleviate momentary anxiety and longer-term emotional stress, and perhaps even improve physical and cognitive health outcomes.
Normal human breathing at rest should raise the belly, not the chest.
To relax during a particularly stressful moment, take three slow, deep belly breaths to interrupt the fight-or-flight response.
How it’s done: To nix tension from head to toe, close the eyes and focus on tensing and relaxing each muscle group for 2 to 3 seconds each. Start with the feet and toes, then move up to the knees, thighs, rear, chest, arms, hands, neck, jaw and eyes — all while maintaining deep, slow breaths.
Dizziness is never the goal. If holding the breath ever feels uncomfortable, tone it down to just a few seconds at most.
Pranayama is about breathing science and having control over breathing brings many physical & mental benefits. Controlled breathing by pranayama techniques lets you hold the horses of your mind, you keep calm, become able to think wisely, and make the correct decisions. It eventually makes you stress-free and happy.