Anatomy and mechanics of deep breathing

Principles of Practice

Why practice pranayama?

Nine out of 10 adults in the US are chest breathers, not reaching into the lungs at all. Children are born as belly breathers because it’s a HEALTHIER and more NATURAL breathing for your body. Stress and environmental conditioning play a huge role in the way our breathing patterns change.


IN most people, the bottom ⅓ of our lungs is dead space. We breathe so shallowly, we hardly use ⅓ at all. For individuals with respiratory concerns, learning to breath into healthy, undamaged bottom ⅓ of the lungs, where the pink healthy tissue is absorb oxygen, can be beneficial.

Benefits of deep breathing:

• Strengthen the immune system
• Calms and steadies the mind, better emotional control
• Improves focus and concentration
• Can raise and lower blood pressure, depending upon the technique
• Body uses oxygen more efficiently
• Increases lung capacity
• Provides sufficient oxygen for the functioning in every cell of our body
• Aids in digestion
• Removes waste products such as carbon dioxide and other toxic gases

Anatomy and mechanics of breathing:

The lungs have the ability to expand greatly like two air bags that can be inflated and deflated. The lungs are protected by the thorax and rib cage. At the bottom sits a flat muscle called the diaphragm.
As the ribs expand, the diaphragm moves downward due to muscular contraction and the lungs are squeezed. This pushes air out into the lungs and exhalation takes place.

Discover the different types of breathing HERE

Michelle Berlin
Author of the 300Hrs YTT curriculum

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