Improve Your Breathing with Yoga

By: zachthompson
With all the stress and physical abuse we put our bodies through on a daily basis it is good to know that there is an alternative. Yoga is an ancient form of art that has been practiced for many centuries to improve the overall health and well being of a person. It includes many exercises or positions to help the mind and body heal and work in unison.

Different exercises work on different areas of the body. This allows you to pinpoint certain areas or work on your entire body. Examples of postures would be stretching exercises like the Downward dog, this strengthens muscles and can help with joint problems like arthritis. At first these exercises are a little difficult but as your muscles become stronger and you become more experienced they will become easier.

Yoga is a discipline that encompasses your entire body and mind. In order to be able to carry out your exercises or postures you will need to learn the art of breathing correctly. As you learn Pranayama, or breathing exercises they will help you to relax and energize your body to keep it in balance. This promotes good health and a sense of well being.

There are many benefits of this type of Yoga exercises:

The correct way of breathing: surprisingly enough most of us normally use just a small part of our lungs when we breathe. Pranayama teaches you to use your entire lung capacity. This will allow more oxygen to get to your body and especially your brain; this will contribute to an improvement in your health. Here are a few ways this will help you:

Correct breathing will help you to reduce wastes and toxins in the body.

This in turn will improve health and digestion.

It will also help relieve stress and tension by helping you relax.

Will help you have more control over your physical well being and emotions

Helps you think better.

There are two types of Pranayama exercises. One set will calm and cool your body. An example of this would be Sit Cari Pranayama. Other exercises will warm and energize your body. Examples of these are Kapalabhati Pranayama and Ujjayi Pranayama. Different conditions of the body will require different exercises.

This is a skillful discipline and proper guidance with knowledge is required to do Pranayama exercises. Children below the age of 16 are not advised to do these exercises. In fact these exercises can be detrimental to your health if not done correctly.

There are certain circumstances when this discipline should not be done: If you feel that you are having any breathing problems do not continue with Pranayama exercises. It should not be done if you are hungry or directly after food. You should not do this if you are depressed.

There are different types of this discipline. Each type has different effects on your mental and physical well being and is aimed at a different purpose and goals. Some exercises are performed with open nostrils, for example Ujjayi and Viloma and others are regulated with the fingers.

To really benefit from Pranayama or breathing exercises it is necessary to do the other exercises or postures in Yoga and to take advantage of the complete discipline. In this way you will be able to take care of your overall health and well being.
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