Ever wonder why yoga teachers ask you to only breathe through your nose during class? This is one of the most common questions I get asked. It is also one of the biggest challenges for new students.
When you use your nose to breathe, you purify the air upon entry into the body – filtering pollutants such as dust, pollen and bacteria. When the breath exits the nose, we tend to exhale a bit slower than it exits the mouth. This is important because a slower breath relaxes the nervous system, which in turn leads to reduced stress.
As we get older, shallow breathing can lead to many lung complications, including lung disease. Practicing more nose breathing now can help you avoid lung complications in the future.
Here’s a quick and simple exercise to get you started:
While seated comfortably at home or work:
Step 1: Close your eyes and focus on your breath.
Step 2: Shift to nose-only breathing (Inhaling in and out for counts of 4)
Step 3: Begin to increase your count to 6 or 8 as you get more comfortable
Try this breathing exercise for a minute and then in time work your way up to 5 minutes and notice how it calms your mind and body.
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