In our introduction we mentioned the three key elements of Hatha Yoga: meditation, posture or poses, and breathing. We’ll discuss hata yoga breathing in this article and reveal why this kind of breathing is more than just simple inhalation and exhalation.
Yoga Breathing Benefits – The Value of Oxygen
Those who are very much adept in the ways of yoga know that breathing (Pranayama in Sanskrit) is intimately linked to our mental processes. That is to say, the way you think and perceive the world around you can be affected when you have breathing disturbances that may be caused by:
- illness (such as emphysema or even the common cold),
- environmental factors (such as cigarette smoke and/or air pollution), and,
- location-related factors (such as when you are in high altitudes and only “thin air” is available).
There’s a physiological reason for this. Your brain, which is where your mental processes happen, is an organ that’s only about 3% of your whole body mass. Yet, it is the organ that consumes or uses more than 20% of your body’s total oxygen content.
When your brain is deprived of oxygen (delivered through the bloodstream), conditions such as failing memory, inability to maintain balance, and deficient focus can result. You may also experience distorted perceptions of reality or hallucinations.
Yoga Breathing Benefits – Staying Fit and Balanced
Stress can also affect your breathing, which may become too rapid for comfort. Some people even pass out from improper breathing, and while the effect on your inner stability may not be readily apparent, the results of wrong methods of inhaling and exhaling will show up over time (depression, a dour disposition, and lack of interest in living—just to name a few).
Yoga breathing addresses these problems.
Rhythmic, Slow, and Deep
Through rhythmic, slow, and deep breathing, you will be able to ensure that cells in your body get all the oxygen they need. Waste and toxins in your body are eliminated with less difficulty, as well. Most important of all, the regular practice of yoga breathing in your life can calm excessive desires, such as a strong yearning to eat even when already full.
It is in those perspectives that breathing the Hatha Yoga way can be highly beneficial towards the achievement of health and wellness. When you begin practicing yoga poses, like the ones we provide to you when you subscribe to our MyFitness.com Newsletter, you’ll appreciate understanding yoga breathing techniques to enhance your yoga workout sessions. Next up, we’ll look at doing yoga exercises and provide a few examples.