Posts In: Align

The majority of the world takes breathing for granted. It’s something that each person does naturally, and thus it tends to get overlooked as a focal point, misguidedly so.

However, being more conscious and present with your breathing will help you hone techniques that drastically improve your overall well-being. More specifically, experts cite breath rate as having links with physical and mental health.

Moreover, given that each person breathes every few seconds, it’s an act that requires much attention. This blog takes the previous sentence to heart, as it will explore important aspects of breathing:

The Importance of Mindfulness and Breathing

Breath control, or pranayama, is the fourth of the eight limbs of yoga.

While breathing just “happens” for humans, making crucial adjustments will help you get the most from this physiological function.

When it comes to breathing, less is more (as long as you’re not holding your breath or failing to breathe). With that said, the average 14 to 20 breaths per minute that most people inhale and exhale is shockingly high.

Taking 6 breaths per minute is associated with the most optimal results, such as pain management and cardiovascular health. 

Breathing and Emotions

There are many techniques suggested to breathing technique practitioners. Each one offers tons of mental health benefits.

Below is a list of eight highly recommended breathing techniques that you can read about more in-depth here:

  • Abdomen breathing
  • Lengthened exhale
  • Focused breath
  • Equal breathing
  • Resonant breathing
  • Yogic breathing
  • Lion’s breath
  • Alternate Nostril breathing
  • Guided meditation

As suggested previously, these methods all bring with them physical benefits. But a healthy body means a healthy mind, and vice versa.

Think about it like this: people’s breaths get shallow and rapid when panicked and anxious. Consciously taking the time to slow down your inhales and exhales, changing your breath rate. This will alter autonomic function and mood state. Thus, it can change your response to various emotions.

A Scientific Explanation of why Controlled Breathing is so Beneficial:

Your respiratory system holds a nearly endless amount of sensory receptors (in the millions, in fact). These all send signals to the brainstem from the vagus nerve.

By breathing fast, you activate the sympathetic nervous system because the brain is overworked. This leads to an increase in the following adverse reactions:

  • Stress hormones
  • Heart rate
  • Blood pressure
  • Muscle tension
  • Anxiety

Slowed breathing induces the parasympathetic response, reducing all the above symptoms while boosting relaxation, calm, and mental clarity.

Breathing is at the Core of Align Wellness Studio

Align’s entire existence is centered around the mind-body connection–which is also at the crux of breathing.

As this blog highlights, mindful breathing techniques positively impact the body and mind. This is why your breath is such a critical focus of our Yoga and Pilates classes.

With enhanced breathing and a better connection between your body and mind, you’ll live life on a whole new plane. One that’s rooted in balance, calm, and being present in every moment, so you can get the most out of your experiences.

Contact us today to inquire about our classes and take one more step toward improved wellness!

We hear “Mind-Body connection” all the time, but what is it? Have we unlocked it?

One great way to experience the mind-body connection is through exercise. Both Yoga and Pilates do the body (and mind) good.

Yoga and Pilates are excellent practices for the mind-body connection. The nature of Yoga and Pilates allows the practitioner the space to connect the mind with the movement; its not as effective if your mind is elsewhere.

Here are some reasons why practicing yoga and pilates is good for the body—and the mind.

1. Regular yoga and pilates practice improves your mood.

It feels good to get down on the mat and breathe out your stress. Yoga and pilates work hand-in-hand with breathing techniques. In that way, it has similar benefits to meditation.

Regular yoga and pilates practice can:

  • A decline in self-destructive patterns
  • Produce greater creativity
  • Provide emotional stability
  • Reduce depression and anxiety
  • Increase in relaxation

Who couldn’t lose a little stress, right?

So how many days constitutes “regular” practice? According to Runner’s World, only two days a week can show improvements.

2. Regular yoga and pilates practice releases physical and mental tension. 

Holding poses and using your breathing has a tremendous effect on our physical and emotional well-being. Yoga and pilates help relax tight muscles.

Creating a pattern of breathing in your yoga and pilates practice can also help you relieve mental stress from the day. Like other forms of exercise, it helps relieve pent-up energy.

One great benefit is that it doesn’t take a long time to feel the effects of yoga and pilates. Practicing a few minutes each day can help you calm your mind and stretch out tight spots.

Sometimes, you may need to use tools to help you stretch, but that’s okay. These practices have been used for hundreds of years by people young and old.

So, in other words, you’re in good hands. Every year, people young and old learn how to use yoga or pilates for a stronger body and mind.

3. Regular yoga and pilates improves mental and physical health.

There’s no better way to achieve improvement in both mental and physical health than exercises such as Yoga & Pilates.

Regular yoga and pilates practices make us feel better. We often feel more relaxed and calm. It improves our health and well-being. Daily practice forms a mind-body connection.

We make healthier choices and are more self-aware and attuned to our bodies; we become more mindful not just during the exercise, but in our life in general.

Most people associate mindfulness with meditation. One distinction is you can practice mindfulness in many aspects of your life. We can practice mindfulness as we walk, talk, rest, play with our children, or a workout.

Mindfulness improves our mental clarity and our immune system. It also improves the way we see the present moment, which is important for a healthy mind.

Regular Yoga and Pilates practice Does the Mind and Body Good!

The benefits of regular yoga and pilates practice are evident. Tons of research has concluded that yoga and pilates do the mind and body good.

It’s never too late to give yoga or pilates a try. Its benefits are for young and old, experienced and beginner, healthy and challenged.

Looking for a studio to practice yoga or pilates with emphasis on mind-body connection? Align is here for you!

Make mind-body connection a priority. Regular yoga and pilates practice can ensure vitality, health, and well-being. Align yourself.

Already a full-on yogi? No sweat. Check out our shop for the latest accessories for your yoga or pilates training.