How yoga helps in healthy breathing?


How yoga helps in healthy breathing?

Yoga has tremendous positive effect on human body. It promotes good health and proper functioning of every organ of human body. Yoga focuses a great deal of attention in developing both balance and flexibility. Practising a few yoga stretches after work can help straighten and strengthen your spine. 

Therefore it is said yoga is a full body practice. And each posture has different purpose and results, but in this article will focus and understand how yoga helps in healthy breathing in human body.

To understand yoga effect on breathing, let’s have a look at the anatomy of respiratory system in human an how it function

Anatomy of human respiratory system

The human body torso consists of two cavities, the thoracic and the abdominal. These cavities contain important vital organs.  The thoracic contains the heart and lungs and the abdominal contains the stomach, liver, gall bladder, spleen, pancreas, small and large intestines, kidneys and bladder. Both cavities are bounded posterior by the spine. Both share an important structure- the diaphragm (it forms the roof of the abdominal cavity and the floor of the thoracic cavity). Another important property of the two cavities is that they are mobile i.e. they change shape.  It is this shape changing ability that is most relevant to breathing, without which body cannot breathe.

Three-dimensional shape changes in breathing

Because the lungs occupy a three-dimensional space in the thoracic cavity, when this space changes shape to cause air movement, it changes shape three-dimensionally. Specifically an inhalation involves the chest cavity increasing its volume from top to bottom from side to side and front to back and an exhalation involves a reduction of volume in these three dimensions. In a living body therefore thoracic shape change cannot happen without abdominal shape change. That is why the condition of the abdominal region has strong influence in the quality of breathing and why the quality of your breathing has a powerful effect on the health of your abdominal organs.

How yoga helps in healthy breathing?

All these three diaphragms (pelvic, respiratory and vocal) come together in yoga movements that are coordinated with inhaling and exhaling processes. In yogic terms these actions of diaphragms create more stability in the body, protecting it from injury by redistributing mechanical stress.  An additional effect of moving the body through this resistance is the creation of heat in the system which can be used in man beneficial ways. These practises in yoga thus implies heat, expansion and the development of power and strength as well as the ability to withstand stress.

Ujjayi breathing is one of the most effective breathing technique in yoga. It includes balancing and calming breath which increases oxygenation and builds internal body heat. In this inhalation and exhalation are done through nose. Sound is created by narrowing the airway as air passes in and out. The length and speed of the breath is controlled by the diaphragm. The inhalation and exhalation are equal in duration and are controlled in a manner that causes no distress.

Thus practicing yoga on daily basis helps in proper and healthy breathing which is turn has tremendous positive effect on overall body functioning.



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