There is no doubt that just as proper diet is essential for health, exercise and yoga are also essential. In the same way, breathing exercise is also necessary to stay healthy. Whether it is to prevent shortness of breath or to keep diseases away, the benefits of breathing exercises can be many. This should be done regularly. In this article, we will also tell different types of breathing exercises and how to do them. So to know about them in detail, read the article till the end.
What is a Breathing Exercise? –
Breathing exercise is a type of exercise, which is related to the breathing pattern. It is important to include breathing exercises in your lifestyle to stay healthy. This breathing exercise can prove to be effective to avoid problems like breathlessness due to corona. Whether it is reducing pain, relieving stress or keeping the mind calm, the benefits of breathing exercises can be felt.
Benefits of doing breathing exercises-
Not only can breathing exercises reduce the risk of diseases, but it can also make us alert, active, as well as maintain our physical and mental health. In such a situation, here we are telling the benefits of breathing exercises in a sequential manner, which are as follows –
For the lungs:
Talking about the benefits of breathing exercise, it can be helpful in keeping the lungs healthy. In fact, it may improve lung function. As we have given information at the beginning of the article, certain types of yoga also fall under the category of breathing exercises, which also includes the name of Pranayama. Practicing this can improve blood oxygenation as well as lung capacity, which can help in the prevention of many diseases.
For better oxygen flow:
The benefits of breathing exercises also include better oxygen flow. It may also be helpful in improving ventilation function (air exchange between the lungs and the environment). This can help reduce carbon dioxide from the body. In addition, it can improve the flow of oxygen to the brain, heart, kidneys and other parts of the body. So to keep the oxygen level in the body right, making yoga or breathing exercise a part of the lifestyle can be a healthy option. Surya Namaskar is a great yoga sequence to improve oxygen flow in the body.
For mental health:
Not only for the lungs, but breathing exercise is also considered better for mental health. Actually, by doing the process of abdominal breathing i.e. abdominal breathing, the state of stress or depression can be avoided or relieved. The reason for this is that by doing abdominal breathing, both the mind and the body can be relaxed.
For good health:
By doing breathing exercises, a person can also protect himself from many diseases. Regular breathing exercises can help improve heart rate as well as control blood pressure. The benefits of breathing exercises are not limited to this, but it can also improve digestion and sleep.
To improve health problems:
Chronic Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD – Lung Disease), Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD – Acidity Problem), Head and Neck Post Surgery Care, etc. Breathing exercises have been considered beneficial. However, keep in mind that medical advice is necessary before doing any breathing exercises after surgery. Also, the patient should do breathing exercises only under the supervision of a specialist.
Types of breathing exercises-
Breathing exercise for healthy lungs and healthy body:
Now that you have come to know so many benefits of breathing exercises, it is also important to know their different types and the process of doing them properly. If the process of doing breathing exercises is not correct, then there can be disadvantages of doing breathing exercises. Follow ups like Chandra Namaskar steps can be very beneficial when combined with these exercises. In such a situation, here we are telling about the types of breathing exercises in a sequential manner and ways to do it, which are as follows:
Performing this breathing exercise can improve ventilation (the exchange of air between the lungs and the environment). Also, it keeps the alveoli (small air sacs in the lungs that carry oxygen up) open and can make breathing easier.
This exercise has been shown to be clinically extremely beneficial to improve breath and oxygen levels in this time of corona. Even doing this exercise during home isolation after contracting the corona virus disease has shown a lot of improvement in corona patients. So it can be useful to reduce the risk of hypoxemia (hypoxemia – lack of oxygen in the blood) or hypoxia. Let us make it clear that along with breathing exercises, keep taking medicines in Kovid and taking regular consultations with the doctor.
How to do Pronal Breathing:
Here we are giving information on how to do Pronal Breathing –
- First of all, after choosing a clean place, lay a mat.
- Now place one pillow on that mat near the neck, two pillows near the stomach and then two pillows near the feet.
- Now lie down on the pillow laid on the mat in a prone position i.e. on the stomach.
- Then take a deep breath in this state and release the breath after holding for two to three seconds, then repeat it at least 10 to 20 times.
- This breathing exercise is done in three postures, lying on the stomach, lying on the right and left side.
- Do prone breathing exercises at least once every day.
- Pregnant women should avoid doing this exercise.
- This exercise should not be done for an hour after a meal.
- If someone has serious heart related problems, then they are also advised to avoid this type of exercise.
4-7-8 Breathing (4-7-8 Breathing)-
There are also many benefits of doing 4-7-8 breathing exercises. This exercise has been shown to help reduce anxiety and depression in patients with moderate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In addition, 4-7-8 breathing exercises have been shown to reduce dyspnea (shortness of breath) as well as improve lung capacity and breathing rate.
How to do:
- Now we are giving information about how to do 4-7-8 breathing exercises. So the 4-7-8 breathing exercise can be done as follows:
- First of all, choose a quiet place and sit in a comfortable posture by laying a mat there.
- After this, while breathing through the nose, count 4 on your fingers. During this, keep your mouth closed.
- After that count to 7 on the fingers of the hands and hold the breath. If someone is finding it difficult to hold their breath for 7 seconds in the beginning, do not stress too much. Practicing slowly will make this easier to do.
- Now, count 8 again on the fingers of the hands and exhale slowly through your mouth.
- You can do this process at least four times.
- It is also necessary to keep some things in mind while doing 4-7-8 breathing exercises. So before doing the 4-7-8 breathing exercise, keep these things in mind:
- People who have heart related problems should avoid doing this exercise.
- Apart from this, people suffering from spinal cord and respiratory muscle problems should also avoid it.
- Also, it is advised not to do this exercise even in serious diseases like cancer.
Buteyko Nose Breathing
Research on the website of the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) suggests that buteyko nose breathing exercises may be helpful in reducing the symptoms of asthma. Apart from this, this breathing exercise can also help in reducing the problem of anxiety in asthma patients. Not only this, buteyko nose breathing exercise has also been found to be effective in treating Eustachian tube dysfunction. The method of doing this breathing exercise is somewhat similar to pranayama.
How to do:
- To do this exercise, sit on the floor or on a chair.
- After this, assume some easy and comfortable posture.
- During this, keep your spine straight and relax the respiratory muscles.
- Then breathe in and out normally for a few minutes.
- After this, using your thumb and forefinger, close the nose for a few seconds.
- Simultaneously, move the head up and down during this time.
- After this remove the finger from the nose and keep breathing normally for at least 10 seconds, now do this process 3 to 4 times.
It is also important to keep some things in mind before doing the Buteyko Nose Breathing Exercise. Things to keep in mind during Buteyko Nose Breathing Exercise:
- Always use the nose for breathing during this exercise.
- If one feels nervousness, shortness of breath or restlessness while doing this exercise, stop practicing it immediately.
Alternate Nostril Breathing
This breathing exercise is also known as Anulom-Vilom Pranayama or Nadi Shodhana Pranayama. According to research, Nadi Shodhana Pranayama can improve health-related fitness such as cardiorespiratory endurance (when the heart, lungs and muscles work together during exercise), flexibility, and the percentage of body fat stored. Not only this, this breathing exercise can also be useful to improve blood flow and oxygen level in the body.
At the same time, in another study it has been reported that Anulom-Vilom Pranayama can prove to be effective in reducing the problem of systolic blood pressure. Not only this, anulom-vilom pranayama can increase ventilation and oxygenation of the paranasal sinuses (the many small hollow spaces in the bones around the nose) and have a positive effect on the respiratory system.
How to do:
The way to do this breathing exercise or yoga asana is as follows:
- To do this breathing exercise, first of all sit on a yoga mat in one of the easy postures (like Padmasana or Sukhasana).
- While sitting in this asana, keep the waist straight and close both the eyes.
- After this take a long deep breath and release slowly. After that, try to concentrate.
- Then close your right nostril with the thumb of your right hand and take a deep breath slowly through the left nostril. Do not exert too much force while breathing, take as deep a breath as you can.
- Then close the left nostril with the middle finger of the right hand and exhale slowly while removing the thumb from the right nostril.
- After this, close the left nostril with the left thumb and take a deep breath slowly through the right nostril. Now close the right nostril with the middle finger of the same hand and exhale slowly while removing the thumb from the left nostril.
- In this way one cycle of Anulom-Vilom Pranayama will be completed.
- You can do five to eight such cycles at a time.
- This can be done every morning.
Before doing Anulom Vilom or Breathing Exercise, keep these things in mind:
- Pregnant women should practice this pranayama only after consulting a doctor.
- If someone has problems with blood pressure or serious heart disease, then they must consult a doctor before doing this pranayama.
- Apart from this, Anulom-Vilom Pranayama should always be done on an empty stomach.
Breath Of Fire
Breath of Fire is also known as Kapalbhati Pranayama, which is a combination of two words. Kapal means ‘head’ and Bhati means ‘radiance’. Research on this suggests that Kapalbhati Pranayama can purify the entire respiratory system. Also, this yoga can also be helpful for getting glowing skin. This breathing exercise can not only help in detoxifying the lungs and respiratory system, but can also help in purifying the blood as well as increasing the oxygen supply in the body.
How to do:
- To do this exercise, first of all, choose a quiet and clean place and lay a yoga mat.
- After this, sit in one of the postures of Padmasana, Sukhasana or Vajrasana.
- Now keep your waist straight, close your eyes and keep your fingers in Gyan Mudra and then take deep and long breaths.
- After this, while pulling the stomach in, exhale through the nose with a jerk and do this process quickly.
- Continue this process 15 to 20 times continuously. During this, keep your mouth closed.
- Use only your nose to inhale and exhale.
- One cycle of this pranayama can be completed by doing 15 to 20 times. So in such a situation, according to your capacity, you can do it two to three times.
Before doing Kapalbhati Pranayama, keep these things in mind:
- At the same time, people with high blood pressure or heart related diseases should do Kapalbhati Pranayama at a slow pace.
- Apart from this, if someone is facing the problem of bleeding from the nose, then this pranayama should not be done.