The breathing technique in various yoga asanas is one of the main criteria for performing a pose. Because the correct supply of oxygen to the body is involved in the control of all systems. This article fully explains the importance of breathing, as well as breathing exercises for setting proper breathing and healing the body.
Why is improper breathing dangerous?
Rapid shallow breathing contributes to the development of hypertension, asthma, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular and other diseases. In an effort to make up for the excess loss of carbon dioxide, the body includes a protective system. As a result, an overstrain occurs, which leads to an increase in mucus secretion, an increase in cholesterol, a narrowing of blood vessels, spasms of the bronchial vessels and smooth muscles of all organs.
How to normalize the breathing process?
Blood enrichment with carbon dioxide is promoted by sleep on the stomach, fasting, water procedures, hardening, sports loads and special breathing practices. It is also important to avoid stress, overeating, taking medications, alcohol, smoking and overheating, that is, lead a healthy lifestyle.
What is the use of breathing exercises?
- Prevention of diseases of the bronchi (bronchial asthma, obstructive, chronic bronchitis).
- Massage of internal organs, improving intestinal motility and strengthening the abdominal muscles.
- Concentration and increased intellectual activity.
- Reducing fatigue, combating stress and insomnia.
- A burst of energy, vitality and well-being.
- Young elastic skin and even dumping extra pounds.
Five general rules for breathing exercises
- Start with the lightest, gradually increasing the load.
- Work out outdoors (or in a well-ventilated area) and in comfortable clothing.
- Do not be distracted during class. To achieve maximum effect, concentration is important.
- Breathe slowly. It is slow breathing that contributes to the greatest saturation of the body with oxygen.
- Do exercises with pleasure. If you experience unpleasant symptoms, stop training. Consult with a specialist about reducing the load or increasing the pause between sets. The only acceptable discomfort is lightheadedness.
Many centuries ago, yogis discovered the relationship of breathing with the emotional, physical and mental development of a person. Thanks to special exercises, chakras and channels of perception open. Breathing exercises have a beneficial effect on the internal organs, you gain balance and harmony. Yogis call their system pranayama. During the exercise you need to breathe only through the nose.
Pranayama is the ability to consciously control breathing and control the energy of the body through inhalations and exhalations.
Kapalabhati - belly breathing
Sit in a comfortable pose with a straight back. Close your eyes and focus on the eyebrows. As you breathe in, inflate your stomach: relax the abdominal wall, and the air itself enters the lungs. As you exhale, pull your stomach to the spine, the movement should be active. The chest and upper parts of the lungs are not involved in the process. Start with 36 breathing cycles. When you get used to it, bring to 108.
Nadi Shodhana - breathing through the left and right nostrils
Cover the right nostril with the thumb, and through the left, take even inhalation and exhalation. Perform five cycles (inhale and exhale are considered one cycle), then change the nostril. Inhale and exhale through the two nostrils - also five cycles. Practice for five days and move on to the next technique.
Inhale and exhale with the left nostril, then close it and breathe in through the right. Change your fingers, alternately covering the left and right nostrils. Perform 10 breathing cycles.
This gymnastics is designed as a way to restore the singing voice. However, practice has shown that the method of A. N. Strelnikova, based on gas exchange, is capable of naturally and effectively healing the entire body. The exercises involve not only the respiratory system, but also the diaphragm, head, neck, and abdominals.
The principle of breathing is a quick nose breath every second during exercise. Inhalation must be actively, intensely, noisy and through the nose (while the nostrils must close). The exhale is imperceptible, it happens by itself. Strelnikova’s system includes many exercises, three of which are basic.
According to K.P. Buteyko (Soviet scientist, physiologist, clinician, philosopher of medicine, candidate of medical sciences), the cause of the development of diseases is in alveolar hyperventilation. With deep breaths, the amount of oxygen produced does not increase, and the amount of carbon dioxide decreases.
An interesting fact serves as confirmation of this theory: the lung volume of a patient with asthma is 10-15 l, a healthy person - 5 l.
The purpose of this respiratory gymnastics is to get rid of hyperventilation of the lungs, which, in turn, helps to cope with diseases such as bronchial asthma, allergies, asthmatic bronchitis, angina pectoris, diabetes and so on. The Buteyko system includes artificial superficial breathing, holding, slowing and breathing difficulties up to the use of corsets.
The initial stage of training
Measure a control pause - the interval from a quiet exhalation to the desire to inhale (so that you do not want to breathe through your mouth). Norm - from 60 seconds. Measure your heart rate, your norm is less than 60.
Sit on a chair, straighten your back, and look slightly above the line of the eyes. Relax your diaphragm by starting to breathe so shallowly that you feel a lack of air in your chest. In this state, you need to be for 10-15 minutes.
The meaning of exercise according to the Buteyko method is to gradually reduce the depth of breathing and minimize it. Decrease inspiratory volume for 5 minutes, and then measure a control pause. Exercise only on an empty stomach, breathe through your nose and silently.
This is a technique for combating overweight, sagging skin and wrinkles, developed by Greer Childers. Its indisputable advantage is the absence of age restrictions. The principle of bodyflex is a combination of aerobic respiration and stretching. As a result, the body is saturated with oxygen, which burns fat, and the muscles tighten, becoming elastic. Start learning gymnastics with five-stage breathing.
Imagine that you are going to sit on a chair: bend forward, resting your hands on your legs, slightly bent at the knees, put your buttocks back. Place your palms about 2–3 centimeters above your knees.
- Exhale. Compress your lips into a tube, slowly and evenly release all the air from the lungs without a trace.
- Take a breath Without opening your mouth, inhale quickly and sharply through your nose, trying to fill the lungs with air to capacity. The breath should be noisy.
- Exhale. Lift your head up 45 degrees. Make a move with your lips as if you were smearing lipstick. Exhale from the diaphragm with force all the air through the mouth. You should get a sound that looks like a groin.
- Pause. Hold your breath, tilt your head forward and draw in your stomach for 8–10 seconds. Try to get a wave. Imagine that the stomach and other organs of the abdominal cavity are literally placed under the ribs.
- Relax, inhale and release your abdominal muscles.
Danish gymnast Jørgen Peter Müller (Jørgen Peter Müller) calls for deep and rhythmic breathing without pauses: do not hold your breath, do not take short breaths and exhalations. The purpose of his exercises is healthy skin, respiratory endurance and good muscle tone.
The system consists of 60 respiratory movements performed simultaneously with ten exercises (one exercise - 6 breaths). We recommend starting with an easy degree of difficulty. Perform the first five exercises slowly six times. Breathe through the chest and through the nose.
5 exercises to strengthen muscle corset
Exercise number 1. Starting position: hands on the belt, feet near, back straight. Raise and lower straight legs one at a time, forward, to the sides and back (one leg on the inhale, the other on the exhale).
Exercise number 2. Place your feet a short step away. On inspiration, bend back as far as possible (with your head), feed your hips forward, bend your clenched hands in your elbows and hands. As you exhale, bend down, straighten your arms and try to touch the floor with them. Do not bend your knees.
Exercise number 3. Close and do not lift heels. As you inhale, tilt your torso to the left, while moving your bent right arm behind your head. Exhale and return to the starting position. Repeat the movement to the right.
Exercise number 4. Spread your feet to the maximum distance from each other. Heels facing outward, arms hanging freely on the sides. Turn the body: right shoulder - back, left thigh - forward, and vice versa.
Exercise number 5. Put your feet shoulder width apart. As you inhale, slowly raise your hands in front of you. Take a deep squat as you exhale. Straighten and lower your hands.
No matter how great the benefits of respiratory gymnastics, it should be performed carefully. Before starting any class, consult your doctor. Progressively increase your workload to avoid unpleasant symptoms of pulmonary hyperventilation.
Breathing exercises are contraindicated in people after surgery and with certain diseases. Limitations are severe hypertension, a high degree of myopia, myocardial infarction, glaucoma in the acute stage of the disease with hyperthermia, acute respiratory viral infections, decompensated cardiovascular and endocrine pathologies.
Surprisingly, it is a fact: the natural process of inhaling and exhaling can greatly change your life. A properly selected breathing technique can enhance health and ensure longevity. The main thing is a desire to learn and a competent approach.
In everyday life, an untrained person does not use the entire volume of his lungs. Breathing becomes intermittent and rapid because of this, the oxygen metabolism in the blood is disturbed. Breathing does not hold, which means that carbon dioxide does not have time to accumulate in the cells of the body and blood. An insufficient concentration of carbon dioxide makes it difficult to synthesize amino acids, negatively affects the nervous system, vascular contraction, and the response of the respiratory center.
The human body reacts sharply to a lack of carbon monoxide, activating the protective system. The risk of diseases of the cardiovascular, respiratory and endocrine systems increases. The most common consequence of improper breathing is insomnia.
Normalization of the respiratory system
From the above, it became clear that carbon dioxide is needed for breathing. In order to always have enough of this substance in the blood, you need to adhere to a certain lifestyle. Perform breathing exercises, walk more often, practice various water procedures and fasting, sometimes sleep on your stomach. Various techniques will help you learn how to breathe properly, which can be found below.
The benefits of breathing exercises
- Respiratory exercises are accompanied by vibration, which has massage effects on internal organs. This effect helps rejuvenate internal tissues and trigger the burning of visceral fat.
- The benefits of breathing exercises for the central nervous system are invaluable. Instead of tension after the gymnastics complex, a person feels a surge of vigor, increased mental performance and strength of concentration.
- The best beautician is blood filled with oxygen. Performing respiratory gymnastics daily, due to the acceleration of blood circulation, the skin becomes elastic and matte.
- Thanks to exercises, the organs of the respiratory system begin to work stably.
- The ability to control the sympathetic nervous system. This type of nervous system is active when a person is under stress. So far, only two organs of this system are able to control a person - blinking and breathing. Having realized with the help of exercises the power of control over the sympathetic system, a person will discover portals for himself through which he can send signals to the brain and thereby control the health of his soul and body.
Five general rules for performing a respiratory gymnast
Before you begin to normalize the respiratory process, you need to carefully prepare. The main thing is to choose the most suitable technique, study and remember these five rules.
- Training takes place in clothes that do not constrain movement. On the street or aired room.
- Full concentration on the exercise, breathing technique is strictly observed.
- Breathe slowly with the help of the chest, so more oxygen will enter the body.
- At the initial stage, perform light exercises, increase the load gradually.
- When doing gymnastics, be as relaxed as possible. Rely only on your feelings, if you feel pain or unwillingness to perform exercises, finish the training.
Such simple rules can conduct training of the respiratory system most effectively.
Types of breathing gymnast
For residents of eastern countries, the daily practice of breathing exercises is an ordinary ritual of preserving beauty and health. It was from these countries that various techniques for working on breathing came.
Each technique has its own method of healing the body. Many practices are based on conscious breathing control meditation. Deep breathing techniques awaken the parasympathetic nervous system, which keeps the human body at rest. The practice of yoga based on shallow breathing helps to activate and improve the work of internal organs. Next, we offer to get acquainted with various techniques that can be used for different needs of the body and soul.
The main active organ is the muscles of the diaphragm. Air fills all lungs completely. Thanks to this, the whole body is supplied with oxygen. Blood pressure and the number of heart contractions are reduced, while performing this technique, the stomach is very inflated. Because of this, many do not perceive this technique as a working one, because a flat stomach is now in fashion. Especially resist the deep breathing of women. Although they are shown such a method of normalizing breathing, because they constantly keep their abdominal muscles in tension so that it seems more taut. Constantly contracting the muscles of the abdominal cavity leads to neural tic syndrome in the abdomen. Recent tics: constant tension, exerting pressure on the entire nervous system.
- Starting position: the spine is straightened, the head is straight, the mouth is closed, the hands are located on the knees. The lotus position is perfect. Inhale the air through the mouth, squeezing a little matzo pharynx, resembling the operation of the pump. It will be easier for a beginner to inhale at the count of 4. The breath will be correct if a sound similar to the operation of the pump is heard. The chest and shoulders remain motionless, only the ribs are included in the work, they are slightly apart.
- After a pause of 1-2 seconds, a smooth exhalation begins with the help of ribs. The shoulders and chest are still motionless. Finishing to exhale, draw in a stomach to push out all air. Repeat 10-15 times.
The entire respiratory system is included in the work. Inhaling is done in full breast. Air fills the lungs completely, passing through all the organs of the respiratory system. This type of breathing calms, inhibits the rate of release of cortisol into the blood.
- Place your hand on your stomach, the other on your chest. Breathing raise a hand located on the chest, the other - remains motionless. Hold the air for 5-10 seconds. Exhale through the mouth.
- At this stage, the breath should raise a hand located on the stomach. The chest is immobilized. Repeat 3-5 times.
- Alternate breathing methods from paragraph 1 and 2.
- Simultaneous deep breathing using both types of breaths. Inhale and exhale take an equal amount of time with small pauses.
Full and deep breathing are two basic techniques on which narrower practices of yoga and proper breathing are based.
Breathing exercises are a specific sequence of breathing exercises. With its help, diseases of the bronchi and lungs are treated, and the bone-ligamentous system is strengthened. The general condition improves: activity and concentration increase, sleep becomes easy, and physical indicators are better. Despite the fact that breathing exercises can be performed for 30 minutes a day without much effort, the effect is felt almost immediately, and the visible result will not be long in coming.
Such practices are very specific, have many types and, if improperly performed, can be harmful. You should be careful and careful when choosing your method of treatment with breathing exercises. Проконсультируйтесь с врачом и подберите подходящий именно вашему организму блок дыхательных упражнений.
Чтобы более полно раскрыть возможности гимнастики, давайте разберем, какие виды дыхания существуют:
- Верхнее — дыхание через верхний отдел грудной клетки. The diaphragm almost does not move down, and the abdominal muscles barely tighten.
- The average - Air enters the body by expanding the middle section of the chest. The abdominal muscles contract more strongly, the diaphragm barely moves down.
- Lower - Involves the lower chest. The diaphragm is lowered as far as possible, and the abdominal muscles are relaxed.
- Full - combination of all previous types of breathing. There is a maximum filling of the lungs with air.
- Converse - when inhaling, all actions are reversed: the abdominal muscles are tense, the diaphragm goes down. The internal organs are compressed and massaged.
- Delayed - breathing, during which a delay appears in the “inhale-exhale” cycle. There are several options for such breathing:
- inhale, delay, exhale,
- inhale, exhale, delay,
- inhale, hold, exhale, hold.
The latter method is actively used in yoga, since the ancient masters of this teaching believed that at the time of holding the breath, the body is filled with energy and strength.
So, we know the basic types of breathing - now let's talk about the types and differences of respiratory gymnastics.
Types of breathing exercises
There are many types of breathing exercises, but they all work according to the following principles:
- artificial hardship
- breath holding
- slow breathing.
In other words, everything is built on easing breathing, due to which the benefits of respiratory gymnastics arise.
The essence and positive impact of gymnastics
Gymnastics is one of a kind in terms of performance technique and gives truly amazing results.
- Inhale - with all exercises short, sharp, noisy nose breath (3 breaths for 2 seconds), which is performed at the peak of movements (exercises) that compress the chest.
- Exhale - you need to exhale arbitrarily, through the mouth. The exhalation is passive, or rather, it is impossible to concentrate on it at all: it is believed that the body itself will throw out excess air.
During classes, all parts of the body are included in the work, which causes a general, pronounced physiological reaction of the body and, accordingly, an increased need for oxygen.
- All exercises are performed in parallel with breathing. This leads to increased tissue respiration and helps all body tissues to better absorb oxygen and activate all metabolic processes.
- A special inhalation leads to irritation of the vast zone of receptors located on the nasal mucosa. The receptor zone provides reflex connections of the nasal cavity with almost all organs. This determines the widest range of effects of exercises, helps in the treatment of various diseases of almost all organs and systems, but has the strongest effect on the respiratory system and is especially relevant for bronchitis, asthma, and SARS.
- Inhalation “sends” inhaled air to the deepest parts of the bronchi, due to which the lungs are completely filled with air. The vital capacity of the lungs after the 1st lesson increases by 0.1-0.3 liters. The gas composition of blood is normalized, arterial blood contains more oxygen. Since the breaths are parallel to the active movements, the diaphragm is also fully included in the work. As you know, this is the strongest muscle that is involved in both breathing and sound formation. The so-called diaphragmatic massage of almost all abdominal organs is also realized.
- At the same time, the cerebral cortex is saturated with oxygen, which leads to an improvement in the work of all the centers that regulate the functions of the body.
- The process of self-regulation of metabolic processes is being implemented.
Mechanism of action
The most important feature of exercises is the use of forced inspiration with the involvement of the diaphragm. During training, it is mandatory to concentrate precisely on inspirations: you need to think about them, you should concentrate on them and they must be considered.
A large number of repetitions (1-5 thousand breaths in 60 minutes) and regular, daily training (twice a day, morning and evening) for 12-15 sessions guarantee the strengthening of the respiratory muscles, restoration of respiratory function, strengthening of the muscles of the chest, and the beginning of the elimination of spinal deformities (for complete normalization it will take more time).
A significant load does not lead to the accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles, which means that during and after exercise there is no pain.
We will dwell in more detail on the benefits of exercises for diseases of the bronchopulmonary system. An increase in the excursion of the chest leads to an increase in its suction action. It improves lymph and blood circulation. Hyperventilation of the lungs leads to mechanical stretching of the broncho-alveolar link and activates the resorption of exudate. The development of the adhesive process is suspended, atelectasis is being straightened. Regular classes can significantly reduce the amount of drug therapy, and in some cases completely abandon it (with bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis).
- Lack of material costs and special conditions for classes.
- Almost complete absence of contraindications, which we will mention below, including age-related ones. The exception is severe, bedridden patients, patients in a coma, very young children who, due to their age, are not able to understand the technique of execution.
- In addition to the direct therapeutic effect, classes relieve fatigue, increase vitality, give an excellent mood, invigorate, improve memory. These "bonuses" are especially important for students, schoolchildren, people engaged in stressful professions.
- Combination with the usual cyclic exercises, such as running, walking, swimming.
- The possibility of conducting parallel drug treatment.
- Recovery of altered organs and systems and disease prevention.
- The breathing that occurs during movement allows you to restore the energy balance of the body.
- The preventive use of the method in schoolchildren allows to reduce the frequency of acute respiratory viral infections by 2-4 times.
- In just 10-15 minutes of the most uncomplicated classes, a completely different state of health appears: a person feels lightness, cheerfulness and excellent mood. And this means that for a minimum period, absolutely free, you can get the maximum result. And at the current pace of life, this is very important!
"Paradoxical gymnastics" (which is what it is called) is indicated for almost all diseases and any ill health. The main indications for breathing training:
- neurotic conditions and chronic depression,
- inflammation of the lungs and bronchi,
- bronchial asthma, COPD,
- vasomotor rhinitis in acute and chronic forms,
- allergic diseases, including seasonal hay fever,
- pulmonary tuberculosis,
- heart diseases,
- vegetovascular dystonia,
- history of heart attacks and strokes,
- heart rhythm disturbance,
- diseases of the musculoskeletal system, including scoliosis,
- thyroid disorders
- inflammatory skin diseases
- pregnancy period
- obesity. Recommended for weight loss with a slight excess of body weight,
In addition to improving the condition for various respiratory diseases: bronchial asthma, COPD, chronic bronchitis, etc., gymnastics helps:
- For the spine - training helps eliminate stoop, helps create a springy, lightweight gait, makes the body supple and flexible. With regular and constant exercises Strelnikova gymnastics for children and adolescents with scoliosis and impaired posture gives very good.
- Restoring nasal breathing even in those patients who did not benefit from surgery is one of the many positive effects. Even with free nasal passages, patients continue to habitually breathe through the mouth due to the fact that they have formed a complex of conditioned reflex connections in which the higher parts of the central nervous system take part. To consolidate the once-lost skill of nasal breathing, it takes time and perseverance of the patient. It is in this case that a special breathing technique is simply indispensable and helps to significantly shorten the recovery period.
- Vision - classes stop the drop in vision, and with a good deal, they can improve it by 2-3 diopters. This allows children and adults with myopia to maintain vision and improve visual acuity.
- Stuttering - breathing exercises change the stereotype of breathing, producing an extremely deep breath. If in parallel to this also conduct special sound exercises, then you can achieve good results when stuttering.
- Smell - stimulation of the vast reflexogenic region of the nasal mucosa provides a reflex connection with the olfactory center. This allows an improvement in the sense of smell.
- The genitourinary system - an excellent tonic and firming effect exercises exercises Strelnikova have on the genitourinary system:
- Eliminate enuresis, help normalize the menstrual cycle and eliminate pain during menstruation.
- Training exerts an excellent therapeutic effect with varicocele in adolescents and youths. Exercises from the Urological Complex and a special massage eliminate phimosis and cryptorchidism.
- In most cases, deep breathing helps to normalize sexual function, increase potency, especially in young men.
- With regular use of the same "Urological complex", it is possible to get rid of such a diagnosis as chronic prostatitis.
- The so-called "Gynecological complex" helps in the treatment of female diseases - uterine fibroids, tubal obstruction, endometriosis, ovarian cysts.
- Numerous positive examples of the use of training during pregnancy allow it to be used in this category of the population.
- Postoperative period - over a period of time, this technique was actively used in the surgical departments of the City Clinical Hospital No. 50 in Moscow. All patients had a high healing effect after interventions to excise inguinal hernias. In general, training in the early postoperative period after resection of the stomach, removal of the gallbladder, hysterectomy, appendectomy helped the fast and complete healing of postoperative sutures.
- In case of tuberculosis, at the Central Research Institute of Tuberculosis of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences in early 1992, a scientific experiment was conducted to introduce Strelnikov’s breathing technique into the treatment and rehabilitation complex for adolescents suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis. A significant improvement in ECG, hemodynamics, and respiratory function was noted. Rapid resorption of the infiltrative foci occurred and the healing period of the decay cavities was shortened. Until now, this method has been officially used in the complex treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis in children and adolescents.
Positive feedback from doctors about Strelnikova’s gymnastics and official recognition of the method as a therapeutic method are the best guarantee of the effectiveness of training. But, like any other method of treatment, training requires regularity and compliance with the implementation technique.
Training can be done simultaneously with the use of drug therapy. Fully healthy people can use Strelnikova’s method for prevention.
How to learn to breathe on Strelnikova?
In order to learn the special breathing technique and exercises, it’s best to watch Strelnikova’s gymnastics in the video: the proverb is relevant here, it’s better to see it once than hear it 100 times. It’s also free. The technique is simple, it is easily mastered by both children and the elderly.
The main condition for exercise is access to fresh air, that is, it is best to conduct training in the fresh air or on the balcony, in extreme cases with open windows or windows.
What is the paradox of the method? During inspiration, the chest is in a compressed state, and not in the usual, expanded. Despite this, training does not cause fatigue, and ventilation increases fivefold.
- Breathing technique: energetic inhalation - passive exhalation.
- Air is inhaled through the nose noisily and quickly as a sniffing, exhalation occurs through a half-open mouth without effort.
- All movements are performed synchronously with breaths.
How often do breathing exercises
As a treatment method, training is carried out twice a day, 1,500 breaths, morning and evening, before meals or an hour after eating.
As a method of prevention, they “breathe” in the morning, replacing the usual morning exercises, or in the evening, to eliminate the fatigue that accumulated during the day. Simple and affordable exercises perfectly train the whole body, from head to toe, providing a rush of blood to internal organs. This determines a wide range of indications for respiratory gymnastics Strelnikova.
Timetable of classes:
- It is better to start with the first 3 exercises and perform them 2 times a day.
- Every day you need to add one exercise from the complex until all 11 techniques are connected.
- Rest between movements should first be 10-15 seconds, by the end of the development of the complex, this break should be 3-5 seconds.
- Training is carried out throughout life: they replace traditional morning exercises, fitness and other sports.
This technique can be attributed to yoga. Yogis use this method as tuning the breathing apparatus before meditation or performing asanas. Cleansing the breath is a great option for morning exercises, as you can do immediately after waking up.
Starting position: the body is straightened and relaxed, standing, lying, sitting.
The first breathing technique: inhaling through the nose about 2, inflating the stomach, about four exhaling through a thin slit in the lips, the stomach is pulled to the spine.
The second breathing technique: inhaling through the nose, cutting the exhale through the mouth, so that the stomach goes under the ribs for five seconds.
A method for people who have extremely little time. It takes only 4 minutes a day. You need to breathe in a lying position, 2 minutes in the morning and 2 in the evening.
Breathing technique: for 2 counts, inhale through the nose, then hold the breath for 8 seconds, exhale slowly for 4 seconds through the nose.
Breathing "Health" performs according to the scheme: 1 (inhale) - 4 (breath hold) -2 (exhale).