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Some Breathing Techniques & Their Benefits

Updated: 3 days ago


Some Breathing Techniques & Their Benefits for your Help

Breathing is one of the essential functions of the human body which occurs involuntarily as well as voluntarily depending upon the situation and conscious choice. The way you breathe can have a significant impact on your physical and mental well-being. Various breathing techniques can help you relax, reduce stress, increase energy efficiency, speed healing, improve sleep, manage pain, improve focus, and enhance athletic performance. Among some of the following breathing techniques, you can choose the one that fits the best for your situation or condition, and practice regularly as suggested by the experts and professionals to enjoy its benefits in full.

 

Alternate Nostril Breathing (Anulom Vilom & Nadi Shodhana)

In yogic practices, this alternate nostril breathing is called Anulom Vilom and then Nadi Shodhana, which are similar with one step difference. This is a specific type of controlled breathing. Anulom Vilom and Nadi Shodhana are mainly practiced for clearing and purifying the subtle channels of your mind and body enhancing balance in the entire body system.


To perform alternate nostril breathing, you will close your right nostril with your finger and inhale through the other (left) nostril. Then, close the other (left) nostril and exhale through the first (right) nostril. Keeping your left nostril closed, inhale once again through your right nostril and exhale through your left nostril closing your right nostril. Repeat this alternating breathing pattern for 5 to 10 minutes for good benefits.


The basic difference between Anulom Vilom and Nadi Shodhana is in their technique, though they both are alternate nostril breathing techniques. Anulom Vilom is good for beginners, and after practicing it sometimes you can shift to Nadi Shodhana breathing. In Anulom Vilom you inhale from the left nostril, exhale from the right, and inhale from the right nostril and exhale from the left. You continue to breathe without any break. Whereas in Nadi Shodhana you inhale from the left nostril, hold it for a few seconds, and exhale from the right. Inhale from the right nostril, hold for a few seconds and exhale from the left.


According to yogic science, this technique balances the energy in the body, reduces stress and anxiety, calms the nervous system, enhances mental clarity and ability to concentrate, and is beneficial for the respiratory system, brain health, and hormonal balance. This technique balances the energy flow in the body, increases the oxygen supply to the brain, clears the mind, helps improve focus, and boosts cognitive abilities.

 

Bellows Breath (Bhastrika Pranayama)

It is also called Bhastrika Pranayama in yogic practice. For this breathing technique, you rapidly and forcefully inhale and exhale short and quick breaths through your nose, using your chest. This technique allows you to clear your emotional body, improves the respiratory system, improves immunity, and reduces fats as it increases metabolic rate, increases energy, and invigorates the body. It is a bitter truth that your emotions can shut down the functioning of literally every other aspect – our organs, our glands, even our mind, so, clearing your emotions is one of the most important things you can ever do for your overall health and well-being.


Warning: people having problems related to any illness with internal organs of the abdomen like the spleen, kidney, intestines, or pancreas, should take a little care when they do this. Those who have problems with heart disease, hypertension, women during pregnancy and menstrual cycle, and others with related problems and severe illnesses, should avoid this exercise.

 

Bhramari Breathing

This breathing technique is called Bhramari because in this technique you produce sounds like the bee, Bhramari (black Indian Bee) during exhalation. It is a very effective breathing exercise for meditation, which helps to induce a calming effect on the mind almost immediately. According to yoga science, practicing Bhramari pranayama benefits in reducing high blood pressure, fatigue, and mental stress giving instant relief for frustration, agitation, and stress. It is beneficial for the brain and the respiratory system and improves sleep and memory. You can practice this breathing technique anywhere at home or work provided you are on an empty stomach.


For this technique, sit in a straight position of the spine, place your index/thumb finger in the cartilage of your ear, press it in, and close your eyes. You inhale deeply through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth making the humming sound like a bee. Repeat it 6 to 7 times, with a longer breath and humming sound.

 

Box Breathing (Sama Vritti)

This is an equal breathing technique, which is called Sama Vritti in Yoga practices. It focuses on equally lengthening your inhalation and exhalation. It is also known as square breathing as it creates a square shape with your breath. In this breathing technique, you inhale for a count of four, hold for a count of four, exhale for a count of four, and hold for a count of four. Repeat the breathing cycle for several rounds until you are comfortable with it.


Counting helps you have slower, smoother, and even breath, which calms your nervous system, reduces anxiety, helps create a sense of calm and equilibrium, and improves focus.

 

Breath of Fire (Kapalabhati)

It is also called Kapalabhati Pranayama in Yoga science, which is a rapid or high frequency (approximately 1 to 2 Hz) breathing technique, in which you breathe short and quick with vigorous exhalations and effortless inspirations. In Sanskrit Kapala means skull, and Bhati means shine or lumen, so people often say Skull Shining Breath for this technique. The Breath of Fire is a cleansing breath that can reboot your system and is beneficial, especially during winter months for the bronchial passages and the entire respiratory system.


This breathing can be done by rapidly inhaling and exhaling through your nostrils at a quick pace, using your diaphragm and abdominal muscles. Some Yoga practitioners also suggest forcefully exhaling through your mouth making a “ha” sound. Repeat this rapid and forceful breathing cycle until you are comfortable with it. While practicing this breathing exercise you can breathe two to three cycles of inhalation and exhalation per second.


This forceful breathing technique increases energy, clears the mind, sharpens your focus, detoxifies the body, helps cleanse the respiratory system, releases tension, increases oxygen flow, improves the cardiovascular, mental, immune system, and physical health on different parameters, and boosts energy levels.

 

Chandra Bheda Breathing

This breathing technique is for cooling your body system. For the chandra bheda breathing technique, sit comfortably, close your right nostril with your finger, and inhale deeply through your left nostril. Then close your left nostril and exhale through your right nostril. Repeat the cycle and continue for 2 to 5 minutes.


According to yoga philosophy, Nadis are energy channels through which the prana or the life force energy flows. Among thousands of nadis ida, pingala and sushumana are the 3 main nadis. Sushumana connects the base of the spine to the crown chakra. Ida nadi is associated with lunar and feminine energy and has a cooling effect on your body system. Pingala nadi, also called Surya (sun) is related to masculine or solar energy and has a heating effect on your system. Breathing primarily through the left nostril activates the ida nadi, and through the practice of chandra bheda breathing your body will cool down and it’s a good summer breathing exercise. Like surya bheda, it is also good to practice before meditation.


This technique promotes relaxation, calms the mind, and is beneficial for people suffering from high blood pressure. Those who suffer from low blood pressure should avoid this breathing exercise.

 

Deep Belly Breathing

To practice this deep belly breathing technique, place one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Inhale deeply, allowing your belly to rise, and then exhale fully, allowing your belly to fall. It is diaphragmatic breathing with one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. This technique promotes relaxation and increases oxygen flow.

 

Diaphragmatic Breathing

It is a deep breathing technique that involves breathing deeply into your diaphragm rather than shallowly into your chest. It helps promote relaxation and reduces stress. It is also called belly breathing. Some other breathing techniques such as Kapalabhati/breath of fire, three-part breath, and deep belly breathing, incorporate this diaphragmatic breathing.

 

Energizing Breath

For this energizing breath technique, inhale deeply through your nose, then exhale forcefully through your mouth.

This technique increases energy and invigorates the body.

 

Lion’s Breath

In this technique, broaden your chest wide, inhale deeply through your nose for a few counts, then exhale forcefully through your mouth, sticking out your tongue and making a “haa” sound and gazing gently upward toward your third eye or the ceiling. This technique helps release tension in the face and throat, relieve stress, boost confidence and vitality, get rid of negative emotions, and open your throat chakra.

 

Ocean Breath

In this technique you inhale deeply through your nose, then exhale slowly through a slightly open mouth, making a “ha” sound. This technique mimics the sound of ocean waves and promotes a sense of calm.

 

Progressive Relaxation

For this breathing technique, inhale deeply, tensing all the muscles in your body. Exhale slowly, releasing the tension and allowing your body to relax.

This technique helps reduce stress and promote a sense of calm.

 

Resonant Breathing

It is heart rate variability biofeedback, which is breathing at a slow rate, depending on the individual. Inhale for a count of four, then exhale for a count of six.

This technique helps activate the body’s relaxation response, lower blood pressure, improve mood, and reduce stress.

 

Seetali Breathing

In Sanskrit, Seetali means cooling, calm, and passionless. This technique is specially designed to reduce body temperature, which brings harmony to the body system and calms your mind. In this breathing, you roll your tongue into a tube shape and inhale deeply through it. Take the tongue inside the mouth, close your mouth, and slowly exhale through your nose. Repeat it 4 more times.


According to the Indian Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, this technique has a cooling effect on your body and mind, purifies blood, and is beneficial for high blood pressure, indigestion, and overall well-being. They also warn that those who are suffering from severe colds, coughs, or tonsillitis should not use this breathing technique.

 

Surya Bheda Breathing

For this breathing technique, sit in a comfortable position, close your left nostril with your finger, and inhale deeply through your right nostril. Then close your right nostril and exhale through your left nostril. Repeat the cycle and continue for 2 to 5 minutes.


According to yoga philosophy, Nadis are energy channels through which the prana or the life force energy flows. Among thousands of nadis ida, pingala and sushumana are the 3 main nadis. Sushumana connects the base of the spine to the crown chakra. Ida nadi is associated with lunar and feminine energy and has a cooling effect on your body system. Pingala nadi, also called Surya (sun) is related to masculine or solar energy and has a heating effect on your system. Breathing primarily through the right nostril activates the pingala nadi, and through the practice of surya bheda breathing we can remove dullness and lethargy, your mind becomes more alert, energizes the body, increases focus, helps get rid of all impurities from your body, and is beneficial to people suffering from asthma, low blood pressure, cold and gastric problems. Those who suffer from hypertension, heart disease, and epilepsy should avoid this breathing exercise.

 

Three-Part Breath

This breathing is done by inhaling deeply, filling your belly, ribcage, and chest with air. Exhale slowly, releasing breath from your chest, ribcage, and belly. It is a yogic breathing technique. It can also be considered complete breathing as you inhale and exhale fully, utilizing your chest, ribcage, and belly at full expansion and contraction. This technique promotes relaxation, and mindfulness, and deepens your breath capacity.

 

Ujjayi Breathing

This breathing technique is commonly used in flow yoga and is known as victorious breathing. It is breathing in and out through the nose while slightly constricting the back of the throat. It is an audible breath, an internal sound that you can use to anchor your busy mind to it. It helps in energizing and calming all at once, by which you can quiet your mind anchoring on this technique.

 

4-2-6 Breathing

This breathing can be done by inhaling for a count of four, holding for a count of two, and exhaling for a count of six. This technique helps slow down the breath and induce relaxation.

 

4-7-8 Breathing

In this breathing technique, you inhale through your nose for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of seven, and exhale through your mouth for a count of eight. This technique promotes relaxation and can aid in falling asleep.

 


 

These are just a few of the many breathing techniques available to us. Incorporating these practices into your daily routine can have a profound impact on your overall well-being. Whether you are looking to reduce stress, improve focus, or enhance athletic performance, there is a breathing technique that can help you achieve your goals. So, take a deep breath, and start exploring the power of your breath today.


Now you learn some of the best breathing techniques, which you can practice at your convenience, but only you know your own body and its limits. Like any exercise, please remember to consult your healthcare provider/professional with any questions or concerns before starting any exercises, especially if you have any underlying health conditions. These breathing exercises are easy, but if you over-practice or don’t follow your limitations, like when participating in any exercise, there is the possibility of physical injury. Not all exercise techniques are suitable for all persons. The creators/writers of this content, its distributors, and performers are not liable for any injury, accident, or health impairment befalling any reader/viewer of this program or any individual utilizing the techniques suggested in the article.



 

The writer of this article and ATHAC, inc. are not a licensed medical care provider and represent that it has no expertise in diagnosing, examining, or treating medical conditions of any kind, or determining the effect of any specific exercise on a medical condition. The writer/creators of this article, its distributors, and performers make no representations or warranties regarding the completeness of information on this article, any references, linked websites, books, or other products represented herein. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Expert advice is for educational purposes and general information only and should not be a substitute for the medical advice of your doctor or any other healthcare practitioner/professional.

 

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