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Yogic breathing: breathe your way to betterness

NATHAN BALDWIN

Bloating, diarrhea, poor memory and foggy mind can be debilitating, but could it be treated with something as simple as your breath? Health professional, Nathan Baldwin, investigates the power of breath and the body hack of yogic breathing for a healthy mind and body.

In a fast-paced world that thrives on technology and craves efficiency, people are often too caught up on what comes next. When is the report due for work? What do I have to cook for dinner? I’ve got to get the kids to bed! This ongoing stress that keeps you on task might seem like the only way to be productive but slowly tears you down.

With just a few small changes in technique you can breathe to destress and improve your physical, social and mental health anywhere, anytime!

Isn’t breathing just breathing?

Yogic breathing is a simple way you can put a stop to every day stresses and improve your health in more ways than one. Controlling the breath through use of your diaphragm stimulates the tenth cranial nerve, the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is responsible for sending signals from our brain to our heart, lungs and digestive tract to create a calming, stress reducing response.

 

Blow yourself away!

Vagus nerve activation with yogic breathing is an incredible way to decrease stress on both your brain and organs. It stimulates our brains to send messages to rest and digest, increasing the activity of blood to parts of the body including the digestive and reproductive organs.

Destress to discover

If you think destressing means less productivity, think again. Research has shown yogic breathing increases heart rate variability and profoundly effects brain function through brainwave activity.

In a stressed environment, full of planning, learning and thinking critically, the left-brain is predominantly active using beta brainwaves. Yogic breathing increases heart rate variability and with it the use of alpha brainwaves. These activate your right-brain for creative and abstract thought, providing clarity to crowded minds and answers to more difficult problems. After all, how many great answers have come to you when you’re relaxed in the shower or on the couch? Even Sir Isaac Newton discovered gravity relaxing under an apple tree!

 

The whole picture

Health is an ideal that is far bigger than just weight. The clarity that yogic breathing can bring into your life will improve not only your physical, but also have great impacts on your social and mental health. Decreased stress results in better moods, a more positive outlook and will help you to live in the present to enjoy all the fruit life bears.

The clarity that yogic breathing can bring into your life will improve not only your physical, but also have great impacts on your social and mental health.

How do I start?

All you need is a 3-5 minute break and a clock!

  • Breathe in – extend your stomach out
  • Breathe out – bring your stomach in
  • Breath timing – breathe in slowly for 5 seconds, out slowly for 5 seconds
  • Get a good rhythm going for ~2 minutes using the clock
  • Continue breathing and close your eyes
  • Picture your most calming environment – a forest, beach, mountain, wherever!
  • Stay in your environment as long as you’re comfortable, slowly open your eyes.
  • Take a minute to recognise how you feel
  • Have a quick walk to get some water or tea before getting back into your day!
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