Breathe Your Way Back to Health (and sanity!)
Do you find yourself spinning around in a dizzy dimension on a daily basis? Where are my keys, phone, wallet, kids, dog, to do list? Our minds are like hamsters, running themselves around endless circles, only to curl up at the end of the day in preparation to do it all over again. Daily stressors are now an inevitable part of our daily life. It is not news to our ears that stress is linked to many health issues including: heart disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, depression and anxiety to name a few. This is thought to be because stress causes inflammation in the body which in turn turns our healthy bodies into bodies of ‘dis-ease.’
So, how can we combat stress within our daily lives?
A study approved by Health Sciences South Carolina Review Board researched how yogic breathing can influence levels of pro-inflammatory biomarkers within our saliva. Yogic breathing is one of the several practices included in the broad range of yoga, and is known to be an effective way to access the mind-body connection; with the ability to reduce blood pressure, decrease heart rate, improve cognitive function and reduce symptoms in disease.
The study randomised volunteers into two groups: a group who participated in yogic breathing for 20 minutes, and a control group whom read a book for twenty minutes. Saliva was collected from each group at 0, 5, 15 and 20 minutes. The study found that levels pro-inflammatory biomarkers were significantly reduced in the yogic breathing group when compared to the control group. Furthermore, the reduction in the breathing group was significant at all times tested, whereas the control group only showed a reduction after 15-20 minutes of reading.
What does this mean?
A single 20 min session of Yogic Breathing practice could reduce the levels of key pro-inflammatory biomarkers in saliva. In other words, breathing is good for our health!
In the world of meditation there are many breathing techniques that can be used within our daily routines. If you’re feeling in a fluster try this quick and easy breathing technique that will calm you down in an instant.
Close your eyes and inhale through your nostrils, counting 1,2,3,4. Let your lower stomach expand as you breathe in all that lovely, fresh air. Hold for one second and then breathe out to a count of four through your mouth, pushing all of the air out of your diaphragm. Repeat this sequence 15 times up to 15, 2, 3, 4 (finishing on an out breath). Open your eyes and smile as you see the world from a beautiful, new perspective.
Link to Research: CLICK HERE
By Jadine Hocking for ‘Go Meditate!’