Frequency of breath - Deepstash

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Why slowing your breathing helps you relax

Frequency of breath

Even though we have been breathing for all our lives, we can still learn a lot about this most basic instinct.

Quick, shallow, and unfocused breathing may contribute to anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure. However, scientists find that around six exhalations a minute can be restorative, triggering a relaxation response in the brain and body.

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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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Nadi Shodhana or “Alternate Nostril Breathing”

How it’s done: Starting in a comfortable meditative pose, hold the right thumb over the right nostril and inhale deeply through the left nostril. At the peak of inhalation, close off the left nostril with the ring finger, then exhale through the right nostril. Continue the pattern, inhaling through the right nostril, closing it off with the right thumb and exhaling through the left nostril.

When it works best: Crunch time, or whenever it’s time to focus or energize.