The Importance Of Breathing
By: Diana Viscusi
A while ago I discovered the importance of breathing. It came to me during my first yoga practice. In a society full of everyday problems: worrying about money, good looks, high social status, happy marriages, etc., we don’t even think about the essentials, like the quality of breathing. My concern about this topic was the connection between posture and breathing, their influence to the quality of life (emotionally and physically), and vice-versa. Jessica Levine, in her article from June 17, 2015, “The Science of Breathing”, is supporting my idea saying that mindful breathing—paying attention to your breath and learning how to manipulate it—is one of the most effective ways to lower everyday stress levels and improve a variety of health factors ranging from mood to metabolism. "Fast breathing pings the brain at a higher rate, triggering it to activate the sympathetic nervous system, turning up stress hormones, heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, sweat production, and anxiety. On the other hand, slowing your breathing induces the parasympathetic response, dialing down all of the above as it turns up relaxation, calm, and mental clarity," Levine writes.
While doing yoga in a group, I paid attention to the fact that we are overlooking the breathing during the dynamic practice of the asanas. Jessica Levine advises us to notice anytime, anywhere our inhalation and exhalation. Just becoming aware of your breath tends to slow it down. In this article I liked the most the second part where Jessica is presenting 5-pranayama techniques’ which includes my favorite one – the Ujjayi. In conclusion she points that quality breathing can improve your overall well being.
I chose this article because it had a great influence on me. Living in a routine, always busy with work, house duties, bills, and family problems, I never tried to find a solution in myself. Jessica Levine gave 4 reasons to breathe right. There is this saying: “If you want to change the world, start with yourself”. Breathing is one of the keys. When there is a hurricane around you, just focus on your breathing and everything will calm down. Try to combine every process, every movement with an inhale and an exhale. It’s a way to systemize yourself with the environment, to get in harmony with the world. One thing that I really didn’t know and discovered in this article is that Pranayama helps with weight loss; once you try some of the breathing practices, you can absolutely notice this. I want to get deeper into the relationship between breathing and posture within yoga and use this knowledge make my life better.
Read Jessica Levine's article here: https://www.yogajournal.com/yoga-101/science-breathing