So from the part-1 post, we know that how when we hold the asana, our major muscle groups are gently stretched, and so does muscles joining the bones. This, when held for some time, leads to increased blood circulation in that area. Which in turn leads to the better nourishment of affected body parts.
Now let’s delve deeper into how yoga asana practice works on other body functions(respiratory system).
There are two parts of our breathing system:
- Inhaling adequate breath
- Proper oxygenation of blood when breathing
This is what our lungs normally, with no intervention required. But here is the caveat: it’s not happening these days with most of the people. Unless you are associated with discovery channel with travelling and physical activity profile(lucky you! ) or some sports, there is a chance that you are doing some desk job. So basically, you are in sitting position for nearly 8–10 hours a day, including travel.
So what happens in this scenario?
Observe how you are sitting right now? Is your back straight? If not, then either you are leaned forward, hunched over your keyboard or you are leaned back on the backrest of your chair.
In both postures, your chest is not in proper position to breathe properly.
- You are not able to inhale up to natural capacity of your lungs
- Whatever is inhaled, isn’t being absorbed due to chest and lungs being in compressed position
- With the inclusion of air quality we have in cities, oxygen that we receive in each breath is greatly reduced.
This sequence, repeated over few years, leads to body supplying insufficient nutrition to body parts, which leads to lifestyle problems.
Let’s see how yoga solves this issue.
How yoga work on our breathing pattern :
Even if we exclude pranayama from our practice, overall yoga classes work on breathing, in each class. In the dynamic practice like Suryanamaskar, the movement from one position to other is synchronized with breath. You inhale when bending backwards and you exhale when you bend forward. This act along with body movements enforces the natural, deep breathing pattern.
When you are holding any asana, then also you have to slow down your breath to make yourself comfortable in that position. And this leads to deep and calm breathing pattern.
Both these activities, take care of insufficient breathing patterns of modern lifestyle. You have to breathe deeply and fully, with each breath during practice. This alone, when done regularly on daily basis, leads to better breathing habit. Which leads to proper oxygenation of our blood and thus better nourishment of our body parts.
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