How Pranayama Can Improve Your Health

The ancient practice of pranayama techniques in yoga has been found to have many scientifically proven health benefits.

If you’re new to practicing yoga, you may be wondering, “what the heck is pranayma?” Put simply, pranayama refers to a number of different types of breath control techniques that are often used in traditional yoga.

Unfortunately pranayama techniques are all too-often omitted or ignored in modern yoga classes. People are either intimidated by them, or just don’t understand the purpose of doing them. But traditional yoga practices have been using pranayama techniques for hundreds of years, and they are considered just as important as the physical movements in a well-rounded yoga practice.

Yogic breathing techniques are traditionally practiced not only to improve energy flow and purify the body and mind, but they also have scientifically proven benefits on your health!

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For example, in one recent study, a team of researchers tracked inflammation markers in participants’ saliva samples before and after doing a pranayama breathing technique involving alternate nostril breathing.

Here is what they found:

The researchers measured biomarkers in saliva that corresponded to inflammation in the body, and found that there was, indeed, a decrease in multiple biomarkers at the end of the study. Inflammation has been connected to ailments from cancer to depression, and recognizing inflammation early is quickly becoming a key part of illness prevention and treatment.

Researchers, who found that the results of the study match others focused on breath, movement, and mindfulness techniques outlined in yogic texts, add to a growing body of modern scientific knowledge focused on ancient yogic practices. These studies have found that pranayama and asana lower stress, reduce blood pressure, alleviate chronic pain, change metabolism and insulin secretion, and even have calming, healing effects on others.

It’s not up for debate: Incorporating breath awareness and simple pranayama techniques into daily life has benefits beyond what practitioners see on the surface. It can change everything from physiological processes to the effects we have on people around us…

Read more about the study at YogaBasics.com

 

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