The Best Way to Breathe for Well Being?
With your NOSE!
YES, nose breathing is best, but some of us may find this challenging due to nasal congestion, allergies or just bad habits.
So why is nose breathing better?
√ For one, it helps you to breathe slower & more gently. Unless you’re active, the best breathing is SLOW. Optimal breathing is when you breathe just the amount you need. Breathing quickly or too much for your needs can blow off the CO2 (which is our normal trigger for breathing). Think about when you do fast quick breathing eg Fire breath – it can make you feel light headed, even a little anxious.
√ Nose breathing also filters, warms & humidifies the air (notice when you mouth breathe how dry your mouth gets). This protects your lungs & airways from irritation.
√ Additionally when you nose breathe, you pick up & transport a special chemical called Nitric Oxide – a natural chemical developed by the body, which helps open your airways & blood vessels. Maybe this could be helpful with high blood pressure or asthma – more research needed.
√ Also when you nose breathe, air travels over the sensory organs called our Olfactory nodes: these sense smell.
√ However, they may serve another role of communication – conscious nose breathing seems to have both a calming effect and awakening effect on our brains. You can feel this when you do conscious nose breathing – like the meditation described below.
√ Lastly, when you persevere with nose breathing, it actually helps to open up the breathing passages by reducing congestion around the nose lining. So if you tend to suffer nostril congestion, try practicing a gentle nose breathing regularly and you may find it eventually improves the congestion.