Breathe right, now.
Why breathing right should be your top priority right now
New studies suggest that NO (Nitric Oxide) – known for its antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties – can lower the viral load of COVID-19 too.
Lately I got more and more interested in breathing. Maybe the pandemic triggered that interest and influenced my wish to help and be of service by sharing knowledge about breathing.
Ancient scriptures about breath work can be found in many different cultures dating thousands of years back. There are a lot of similarities between them and breath was considered a vital thing. You might say now, no shit Sherlock, we cannot live without the breath. But honestly, how often do you think about your breath each day? We do not learn how to breathe right anymore.
Maybe you have been to a yoga practice and you joined in the count of the breath, and then you go home and that’s it for the day. I am determined to bring breathing right, more into your awareness. Once we learned how to breath correctly consciously, you will also breathe better when you do not think about it.
There are many health benefits about breathing right and actually breathing wrong can make you more vulnerable to disease.
So what does breathing better mean?
Breathe through your nose.
Breathe slow. Slow breathing will get you out of the fight and flight mode (sympathetic nervous system) and reduces chronic stress, anxiety and inflammation as slow breathing activates the rest and repair system (parasympathetic nervous system).
Breathe deep by using your diaphragm, (that’s when the tummy lifts and as a bonus your organs get a nice massage).
Nose breathing and NO release
Today, let’s just look into why nose breathing is so crucial.
The nose is there for breathing. The mouth is a nice backup to keep us alive if our nose is out of order, but really it’s just the standby weal and wants to be exchanged at the next possible opportunity. When we breath through the nose, we automatically slow down the breath and activate our diaphragm to work (it is so crucial, that some call it’s rhythm the second heart beat). The nerve endings around the lower abdomen are connected to our parasympathetic nervous system and we get more out of the stress mode when breathing into the tummy (shallow chest breathing stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and has the opposite effect).
Nose breathing filters the air, humiditises, pressurizes and warmth it and prepares the room air for optimal oxygen absorption. Another great thing that happens when we breath through the nose is the production of NO, which also plays part in the absorption process. NO is further important to keep your blood vessels healthy and regulates blood pressure. It is also important for the immune system and nervous system including a healthy brain. NO has antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. New studies suggest that it could also reduce the viral load of SARS-COV2. Lesser load has been shown as correlating with milder symptoms and lower risk of transmission.
Humming has been shown to stimulate the NO release of the body by 15-20 fold and kills pathogens. In Nadabrahma we actually hum for 30 minutes. A great way to increase NO and slow down the breath. Feel the power of this active meditation on your mental clarity, better breathing and further long term health effects.
If for COVID protection, less stress or sound sleep, to breathe better should be high up on your agenda. Yoga (posture work (asana) with the right breathing and breath work (pranayama)) is a great way to learn how to breathe better. Check out the schedule and join the pranayama practice to improve your breathing and the Nadabrahma meditation for humming more NO into your lungs.
Breath by James Nestor
COVID-19 Prevention: Are YOU Breathing through your Nose?
Could nasal nitric oxide help to mitigate the severity of COVID-19?
Why Nitric Oxide Is So Important