According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, it is estimated that 60 to 80 percent of visits to the doctor are stress-related but rarely do doctors talk to their patients about how to reduce stress.
This statistic really hit home for me recently. My dad just had a triple by-pass at 81 years old. You want to talk about my stress levels shooting out of the roof-HOLY SMOKES!!!
By his fifth day in ICU, I came home and collapsed on my couch at which point my husband said, “What’s wrong with you? Why are you breathing that way?” To be honest, I hadn’t even noticed how I was breathing. So, I paused and said, “Just relieving some stress.”
In reality and totally subconsciously, I was doing Ujjayi breathing (aka "ocean breath"). From all my years of being a yogi, I naturally defaulted to breathing to reduce my stress. A fundamental principle of yoga is that our body and mind are connected. Breathing is key to this connection with your body.
Yogic breathing also trains your parasympathetic nervous system. It helps your stress hormone levels to drop and your heart rate variability to increase (a measure of your ability to tolerate stress).
The Next Time You Feel Stressed Try Ujjayi Breathing for Yourself
Take a deep slow breath through your nose and exhale through your nose while constricting the back of your throat (keep your mouth closed). Your breath will probably be loud enough that you can hear it and will sound like the waves of the ocean or like Darth Vader from Star Wars.
I AM Boundless Bliss Yoga. Just me. I'm a one-lady band. I'm a yoga therapist. I didn't start out to be a yoga therapist, I just wanted to learn more and SHAAAZZAMM...here I am.