Do you know that morning workout that involves striking poses on a flat, laid-out mat? That’s Yoga. What we most times don’t know is that yoga is more than just stretching out on a yoga mat and relaxing. It is a way to be more in tune with your body, its systems, processes, and how it functions. People have been doing yoga over the years for a whole lot of reasons. For some, it has been a way to relax and meditate, enjoy a bright Saturday morning, or set the track for an energetic day ahead. For others, it has been more purposeful and directed at their body, mind, and soul.
How Yoga Breathing Exercises Can Help Strengthen Your Lungs?
From being in tune with your environment to understanding how your mind works, specific yoga exercises can help you through all of that. In the same way, yoga can help you understand your body system and processes. With particular yoga exercises, you can focus on certain parts of your body, build them and strengthen them. One fantastic thing about yoga is that it can even target specific muscles in the body and help you improve, maintain and exercise them. A good example will be the muscles in your lungs. With yoga exercises, you can target your lung muscles and strengthen them.
.These exercises are known as yoga breathing exercises. They effectively exercise your lung muscles, regulating breathing, and helping with specific recuperating processes. According to healthline.com, “Your lung capacity is the total amount of air that your lungs can hold. Over time, our lung capacity and lung function typically decrease slowly as we age after our mid-20s. Fortunately, some exercises can help maintain and increase lung capacity, making it easier to keep your lungs healthy and get your body the oxygen it needs.”
Why You Need Yoga Breathing Practice?
Ever run a short distance, and it feels like your lungs are about to give way? It was most likely a distance you could run 4 to 5 years back without even panting for air. This is because your lung capacity has undergone a reduction. It could either be due to old age, an underlying health condition like lung infection, or weak lungs. There are also health conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which significantly speed up the lung capacity reduction process and overall functioning.
Yoga breathing exercises can help strengthen your lungs and helps with shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. They allow you to retain your lung capacity and increase it, as in the case of athletes. People with health conditions are also advised to adopt yoga breathing exercises to help with the recuperating process and overall strengthening of the lungs. Not to worry, we have compiled the five best yoga breathing exercises that can help you strengthen your lungs.
5 Yoga Breathing Exercises To Help Strengthen Your Lungs
1. Pursed lips breathing (PLB)
PLB is a technique that involves sitting in a relaxed position where you can focus on your air intake. It can also be done while standing. This breathing technique involves slowing down your breathing and keeping your airways open for longer. It improves gaseous exchange. It is one of the most straightforward yoga breathing exercises and can be done anytime and anywhere.
- Inhale slowly through your nostrils
- Pout or purse your lips
- Just as you breathed in, breathe out slowly through your pursed/pouty lips
- Repeat the process
2. Deep breathing with increasing counts
When it comes to improving lung capacity, blood flow and eliminating stress and anxiety, this remains the most accessible and most influential yoga breathing exercise. (Difficulty sleeping, relaxing, or anxiety issues? Check this out. Deep breathing exercise also helps improve immunity.
- Sit in a relaxed position. You could also cross your legs to aid concentration.
- Take deep breaths and give a time frame to your inhalation and exhalation (they should be the same).
- With each breath, increase the count. You can go up to a 2 to 5 min duration.
This is a breathing exercise derived from Sanskrit, meaning a bee. It is a humming exercise that increases the nitric oxide in the body and acts as vasodilators. It aids blood circulation and stops lung muscles from tightening.
- Sit in a meditation position on the yoga mat.
- Use both thumbs to close your ears and place your middle and ring fingers at the inner corners of your eyes.
- Place your index or pointer finger above your eyebrows and your little finger on your cheeks.
- Take in deep breaths while making a humming sound like a bee while exhaling.
- Repeat the process for 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Alternate nostril breathing
It is a breathing exercise that has made its way into most yoga literature. This nasal exercise helps to clear out nasal passage and strengthen the lungs. This exercise is best done on an empty stomach in the morning or evening.
- Sit on a yoga mat in a meditation position.
- With one thumb, close your left nostril and inhale through the right.
- Then release your left nostril closing the right, and exhale through the left.
- With the other thumb, close your right nostril and inhale through the left.
- Then release your right nostril closing the left, and exhale through the right.
- Continue the process while alternating for 5 to 10 minutes.
5. Diaphragmatic breathing
Breathing exercises but not exactly the easiest for beginners. It helps with IBS, depression, anxiety, and insomnia, especially when done in conjunction with prescribed CBD medications. This exercise helps increase lung capacity and oxygen intake.
- Lie flat on your yoga mat with your shoulders relaxed.
- Place one hand above your stomach and the other below your chest (where your diaphragm is positioned.’
- Take in a deep breath by expanding your diaphragm and exhale slowly.
- Repeat the process.
When taking yoga breathing exercises, it is important to couple them with healthy activities. This includes staying away from cigarettes, taking food rich in antioxidants, improve indoor air quality with ventilators and air filters, and getting a vaccination to help lung health. For even more stress relief, try adding daily meditation and full spectrum CBD into your routine. Stay relaxed! Stay healthy!