Regulating the Breath
Dr. Daniel Farrant | 5:09
Science has proven that yogic Pranayama (breath control) exercises are an effective device for calming the brain and body. Simply deepening and regulating the cadence of breath oxygenates the bloodstream and brain - dilates the vascular system, so that more blood flows more freely - lowers blood pressure - and releases muscle tension that creates inflammation and pain.
Most importantly, it switches off the sympathetic nervous system, which is designed to get us ready for “fight or flight”. When the system is running (and in today’s world, it’s liable to be “on” most of the day), we’re not only nervous and agitated, we're ingesting a steady drip of toxic hormones and neurochemicals.
Regulating the breath quickly switches us back into “rest and digest” parasympathetic system. In this way, it’s the simplest and fastest route to reducing stress in the moment.