If you're skeptical about the benefits of yoga breathing you might want to give it another shot. A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry suggests deep yogi-style breathing is beneficial to both your physical and mental health.
The study, which was conducted by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, found Sudarshan Kriya yoga (SKY) breathing techniques helped alleviate severe depression in participants who failed to respond to antidepressant treatments.
“With such a large portion of patients who do not fully respond to antidepressants, it’s important we find new avenues that work best for each person to beat their depression,” Dr. Anup Sharma, the study's lead author, said in a press release.
SKY is the culmination of both slow and rapid breathing patterns and it can be done in private or in a group setting making it a low-cost treatment for those looking to bring their bodies to a deep, rested state.
Previous studies have found SKY breathing to reduce depression associated with alcoholism recovery. It has also been tested against bilateral electroconvulsive therapy and the tricyclic antidepressant imipramine in patients hospitalized by depression. Though the results were not as high as the other treatments, after four weeks, 67 per cent of patients who practiced SKY breathing for 30 minutes six days a week achieved remission.
While most people are used to shallow breathing, it can actually increase tension and anxiety since the lungs are getting restricted air flow.
According to researchers at Harvard, deep abdominal breathing is the most beneficial for the body as it requires a full exchange of oxygen for carbon dioxide. Deep breathing can also slow the heart beat and stabilize blood pressure.