5 Yoga Breathing Techniques

Middendorf

If possible breath in and out through the nose! The nose, our facial projection, is in reality substantially larger than the small projection that it presents towards the outside. With its paranasal sinuses it can be compared to a large palace with many chambers. For our breathing and our health it also plays a greater role than we may generally believe.

Our nose acts like a filter, which pre-warms the inhaled air through the numerous convolutions and conches in the nose, humidifies it through the nasal sinuses, purifies it from dust particles and foreign matter through the nasal mucosa and the cilia located there, insofar as they have not already been held back by the hair at the entrance to the nose.

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Due to this the mucous membranes are less irritated through cold, dry or contaminated inhalation air, and many infections like cough, colds and pharyngeal catarrh can be avoided preventively.

The nasal breathing can fail due to pathological conditions, e.g. when the nose is too narrow, with immobile and tensed nostrils, with deformities of the nasal cartilage, proliferate growth of the mucous membranes, adenoids or adenoid vegetation.

The nose may also be too wide due to atrophy of the mucous membrane, surgical operations, too little tension of the face, tongue, palate and throat muscles, which is similarly as damaging as mouth breathing.

Mouth breathing, which according to Dr. Bahnemann/Eutin already represents a behaviour that can be described as being a disease of civilisation, paralyses a large portion of the reflexes in the nose: the normal ventilation of the nasal sinuses and the stimulation of the reflex zones of the nasal mucous membranes are missing; reduced ability to smell, disturbed functioning of the ciliated epithelium and dryness of the nasal mucous membrane are the results. Mouth breathing should therefore only be added when deeper and stronger breathing is required due to exertion or sports activities.

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