Top 5 Benefits of Deep Breathing Exercises (Pranayama)

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Yesterday when my spondylitis pain kicked into my upper back and neck, I skipped yoga in the morning as I did not have the energy. The throbbing pain elevated to my head and caused me migraine for several hours. In the evening I finally gave up and thought of putting my breathing techniques into test. I am so glad I did so otherwise I would not have been so confident as today about pranayama (deep breathing techniques). I performed pranayama for 25 minutes and guess what just half an hour later, all the spondylitis pain including my migraine disappeared! This made me so excited to know that I have control over my body via my breathing and I felt like I conquered the world. You are breathing right now without even realizing it, so why not train your body to breathe mindfully so that you can transform your mind and body while gaining so many health benefits. So I wanted to write this post and share all the wonderful benefits of pranayama that you deserve to know and have been missing out, if you have not made this a part of your routine yet. The benefits of deep breathing are endless and the list goes on, hence I would like to list the top 5 benefits of deep breathing exercises but before you get started with deep breathing make sure you check out the daily yoga routine for beginners so that you know how to prepare yourself for deep breathing exercises.

1. Control stress and exhilarate your mood

Benefits of deep breathing exercisesPrana is the vital source of energy in the universe that exists around us and sustain us. By controlling our breathing, we can have control over the energy (prana) in our body. When we have control over the universal energy in our body, then we have better control over our mind. You must have noticed the miracle of deep breathing and perhaps been told by many to practice deep breathing when you are stressed out. Hence it is safe to say that deep breathing is the only technique to control emotions. Therefore you can easily control your mind and emotions by deep breathing. Think about a time, when you were stressed or anxious, how did your body respond? Your heart beat changed from slow to rapid and you started breathing quickly, and guess what you have very little control over yourself as now your body has taken the “fight or flight” response. This means your body will prepare itself to face the problem or simply avoid it.

This repeated response to stressful situation will cause your body to develop a habit of rapid breathing and hence will effect your emotions and lead to a habit of taking stress. So lets reverse the process,Why let stress take control over your breathing when your breathing can control stress. Next time when you are stressed, practice pranayama (deep breathing techniques) and focus on your breathing, you will notice the calming effect on your body. Pranayama will help your body get into the habit of slow breathing. This will not only calm you down but will lead to endless health benefits.

2. Shed pounds within a month

Benefits of deep breathing exercisesDid you know that deep breathing helps you maintain appropriate weight? Imagine just sitting and deep breathing for 20 minutes a day and loosing inches as much as 20 pounds within a month without any diet plan, without spending on expensive workout equipments or clothes, gym membership, no time wasted commuting anywhere. Now that’s a pretty cheap investment just 20 minutes a day without burning yourself out of vigorous exercises. Now how does this work? So Deep breathing does so many things at once, it increases the absorption of nutrients by the cells, increases metabolism, enhances the digestion process and increases the intake of oxygen that breaks down fat molecules. Deep breathing will not only reduce overall body weight specially in the belly fat but will also strengthen muscles.

3. Controls high blood pressure and cardio diseases

Benefits of deep breathing exercises

When we are stressed, the increase in the heart beat causes the blood pressure to rise. High blood pressure adversely effects every part of our body; the kidney, eyes, increase in blood sugar levels, brain (stroke, headaches, confusion) and lastly it accounts for a major risk for heart disease. It would be silly to say that avoid stress and it is not possible either. But we can help our body prepare to cope better with stress by introducing stress management technique via deep breathing. Deep breathing slows down our heart beat and hence causes the blood pressure to drop or remain stable.

4. Look and feel younger with a longer life span

Benefits of deep breathing exercises

As has been researched by Benson the author of the book “Relaxation Revolution” that breathing exercises can alter the way the genes response. Benson says “here you use the mind to change the body, and the genes we’re changing were the very genes acting in an opposite fashion when people are under stress”. Have you noticed most yogis have a toned body and beautiful skin? The secret lies in deep breathing. You have this tool too that is free of cost and is the most effective anti-aging tool to give you the healthiest and beautiful skin that no anti-aging creams or skin care treatments can buy you. Another study by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health proves that deep breathing reduces the rate at which cells age. Telomeres cells are responsible for providing longevity and youthful appearance, so the longer the lifespan of telomeres, the slower the aging process. However, exposure to stress and depression has been linked directly to reduce the length of telomeres whereas mindfulness breathing obstructs the pathways of stress and increase the length of telomeres. This means that you will not only look younger in appearance but will live longer too.

5. No more muscle pain and migraines

Benefits of deep breathing exercises

All throughout the post I have been talking about stress how it effects every part and organ of our body. Undoubtedly, stress is the cause for muscle pain too. All the stress is accumulated in the shoulders, neck and back, this built up over time starts bothering us with severe pain in these areas. Deep breathing also increases our tolerance to pain, I have noticed how this applies to my upper back pain. The days I perform deep breathing, I feel so relaxed but when I skip deep breathing exercises for a few days I notice that the unpleasant pain reappears.

The most important deep breathing exercises that you must practice everyday are

  • Kapalbhati
  • Anulom Vilom
  • Bhramari Pranayama
  • Bahya Pranayama

These have been briefly explained in the earlier post, yoga for diabetes cure .

I hope you found this post helpful. Please leave your comments or suggestions below and I will be happy to get back to you as soon as I can.

Best Regards,

Ramandeep Kaur

 

Following sources have been used

Just Breathe: Body Has A Built-In Stress Reliever

Can meditation slow rate of cellular aging? Cognitive stress, mindfulness, and telomeres

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20 Comments

  1. Very good information. I have a lot of back pain, due to the nature of my job, so I practice deep breathing and stretches to relieve it. Yoga does more for me that taking medication for the pain. Thanks for posting this!

    1. I have back pain too kayla, insomnia and back pain is the reason why I switched from practicing from 3 days a week to everyday now. It makes a big difference for sure 🙂
      Warm Regards
      Ramandeep

  2. Hi 🙂 Thank you for writing such an interesting article. I love to read about self improvement and I think yoga has so many benefits. Do you think there will be an article on the benefits of Yoga for men or musicians? Again, thanks a lot! Douglas

    1. Hello Douglas
      You are most welcome. I did an article on the benefit of yoga for women, but ofcourse men can reap the same benefits as women:)
      Warm Regards
      Ramandeep

  3. Deep breathing work has an amazing effect on the body and the mind. Did your pranayama technique use alternate nostril breathing? I find this amazing for calming or energizing (depending how fat you do it).

  4. Thanks Raman for a great post! It was very interesting to find out all the areas where deep breathing can improve our health/ well being. People even subconsciously introduce deep breaths and sighing to release stress and help with pain. I’m very curious about the weight loss by deep breathing, it sounds great but is it really working? Can you expand on it?

    1. Hello Elektra
      That’s a very good question. Yes it has worked for me for the past 15 years I have maintained a steady weight at 120 pounds; my height is 5feet 6 inches. Whether I have time to practice asanas or not but the first thing I practice is deep breathing for 25 minutes everyday and my weight has never changed more than half pound up or down. Apart from the other benefits of deep breathing i mentioned above, it also increases insulin sensitivity this signals our body to convert fat into carbohydrate which prevents excess fat from being stored. Kapalbhati and anulom vilom are very effective for weight loss. You should try them for a month and you will see the difference. I hope this helps 🙂
      Best regards
      Raman

  5. Hello. I really enjoyed reading your page, as i myself am a self control weight and health ‘freak’, I love being healthy, and living a non stressful life is my ultimate goal.

    I believe Yoga is one of the most popular ways of being healthy, and actually achieving any goals for that matter, it clears your mind set, and stimulates the brain, more oxygen to the brain, you feel refreshed.

    Please keep posting as i really did enjoy your post

    1. Hello Candice
      Thank you for your wonderful comment, I will definitely keep posting and researching such stuff to help myself and others around me. Keep visiting back 🙂
      Warmest Regards
      Ramandeep

  6. Soooo cool. I learn something new every day.

    I have been telling people to breathe properly since back in the day. Some people just don’t know how to breathe right. Our bodies want oxygen yet we give minimal at best. I have told them before that it increases intelligence and reduces stress. But now I am going to start telling them that it promotes longevity and balances body-weight. Thank you so much for your wisdom.

    1. You are doing a great job Drake by guiding other people in the right direction. I hope one day everyone around us will utilize these tools and be aware of yoga and deep breathing that we will reduce our visit to the clinics and hospitals by 50%.
      Warm Regards
      Ramandeep

  7. Good article
    Thank you for helping me to find a way to release stress.
    I will practice pranayama permanently.
    When I got stress in my work, pranayama will help me to stay calm and deal with challenges well.

  8. Raman this is such an amazing post! I remember being in a lot of pain during childbirth and one of the nurses told me to breathe into the pain. It really worked, it felt more like I was in control of the pain and gave me something to focus on.
    I practice deep breathing every day now and haven’t looked back, I love it!
    I haven’t heard of the different breathing exercises you have mentioned but I will definitely be looking into them more, also I did not know that it helps with weight loss, amazing!

    Colleen

    1. Colleen I have been there too atleast you could deep breathe but I was not even be strong enough to deep breathe in that pain. That is wonderful that you are planning to try these out and you will see a difference in so many things. Most people are not aware that deep breathing helps us lose weight too but it is a very effective tool, it has maintained my weight for 15 years without doing anything other than yoga.
      Best Regards
      Ramandeep

  9. I never knew that deep breathing has such great benefits thank you for the info. I will sure put it into practice. Do you have any posts on how to perform any of The breathing techniques you have mentioned?

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