Pranayama as a Tool to Counter Stress
“For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on earth.” ~ Sanskrit proverb
This is aligned with my belief in longevity and rejuvenation through conscious connected breathing. The work that i am offering at the foundation of everything I do for both myself and others is aligned with the yogic practice of ‘Pranayama’
For thousands of years, traditional practices like yoga have emphasised on the importance of breathing correctly. This practice however is becoming popular globally as researchers have realised that proper breathing can lead to substantial positive results in a human body.
Breathing is undoubtedly the most basic routine, and arguably one of the most ignored ones. Applying certain techniques for proper breathing will not only benefit your body, but will also help in relaxation and relieving stress.
Breathing is regenerative and restorative.
I am inspired by the following article from Sheila Patel (MD) from the Chopra Centre so want to share it with you.
“Breath is essential to life. It is the first thing we do when we are born and the last thing we do when we leave. In between that time, we take about half a billion breaths. What we may not realize is that the mind, body, and breath are intimately connected and can influence each other.
Our breathing is influenced by our thoughts, and our thoughts and physiology can be influenced by our breath. Learning to breathe consciously and with awareness can be a valuable tool in helping to restore balance in the mind and body.
Researchers have documented the benefits of a regular practice of simple, deep breathing which include:
- Reduced anxiety and depression
- Lower/stabilised blood pressure
- Increased energy levels
- Muscle relaxation
- Decreased feelings of stress and overwhelm
In the medical community, there is a growing appreciation for the positive impact that deep breathing can have on the physiology, both in the mind and the body. According to the research, many of these beneficial effects can be attributed to reducing the stress response in the body.
To understand how this works, let’s look at the stress response in more detail.
When you experience stressful thoughts, your sympathetic nervous system triggers the body’s ancient fight-or-flight response, giving you a burst of energy to respond to the perceived danger. Your breathing becomes shallow and rapid, and you primarily breathe from the chest and not the lower lungs. This can make you feel short of breath, which is a common symptom when you feel anxious or frustrated. At the same time, your body produces a surge of hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine (also known as adrenaline), which increase your blood pressure and pulse rate and puts you in a revved up state. “
I encourage you to register for my free webinar when I will be talking more about the power of the breath work I am focusing these days to increase our life force and rejuvenate.