You know that your breath and your heart are intimately connected. Harmonious rhythms will have a positive impact, and stressful rhythms can negatively interfere with this connection. But how do cardiovascular benefits actually emerge from breathing?
The Toll of Stress on Health
Imagine an otherwise stress-free day, when your mental chatter is bothering you about something and keeps your thoughts on high alert. Or another day when your schedule is go-go-go, and finding a time (and place) to relax is not even a consideration.
During times of excessive mental chatter and daily hustle, the body releases stress hormones– namely cortisol and adrenaline, in order to have energy for our tasks and challenges.
The problem emerges when the periods of high alert do not cycle regularly with embodied calmness. Over time, this becomes stress that takes a toll on your heart and cardiovascular system.
Symptoms of prolonged stress include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, blocked and narrowing arteries.
The Rewards of Breathing
On the flip side, techniques that reduce stress can reverse these negative effects. When we carve out time to calm the mental chatter and find ways to relax throughout our day, the benefits are endless.
Fortunately, there is a time-tested technique that offers remarkable benefits for our heart health – Sama Vritti Breathing. In this blog, we will explore the profound cardiovascular advantages of this ancient breathing practice.
Understanding What Is Sama Vritti Breathing
Sama Vritti, also known as “equal breathing” or “balanced breathing” is a centuries-old yogic breathing technique. It involves equalizing the duration of inhalation and exhalation. This practice brings balance to the breath and soothes the nervous system.
The Cardiovascular Benefits of Breathing
By deliberately regulating and slowing down the breathing, Sama Vritti activates the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is also known as the “rest and digest” response.
- Blood Pressure Management – Sama Vritti breathing has been shown to have a positive impact on blood pressure regulation. By inducing relaxation and reducing stress, the practice helps in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.
- Heart Rate Variability Improvement – HRV refers to the variation in time intervals between successive heartbeats. High HRV is associated with better cardiovascular health and increased resilience to stress. Sama Vritti breathing has been linked to an improvement in HRV, promoting a healthy heart.
- Enhanced Circulation – The balanced and rhythmic nature of Sama Vritti breathing aids in optimizing blood circulation throughout the body. Improved circulation means better nutrient and oxygen supply to the heart and other vital organs.
- Stress Reduction – As stress levels decrease through regular practice, the body produces fewer stress hormones. This reduces the strain on the cardiovascular system.
Incorporating Sama Vritti Breathing into Your Life for Cardiovascular Health
Sama Vritti breathing is simple to learn and can be practiced at any time of the day or night.
To begin, find a comfortable environment and have a seat. You can also practice lying down on your back. Relax your eyes, closing them if comfortable.
- I recommend initiating the practice with a deep cycle of breath, inhaling deeply and exhaling thoroughly.
- Without straining the inhale or exhale, begin synchronizing the duration. For instance, inhale deeply for a count of four, and exhale for a count of four.
- Practice eight rounds of that duration.
Gradually extend the duration of inhalation and exhalation to the count of eight. Practice for eight to twelve rounds.
Sama Vritti breathing offers a myriad of cardiovascular benefits that can significantly contribute to heart health. By embracing this ancient practice in our modern lives, we empower ourselves to counter the effects of stress, promote relaxation, and foster a stronger, healthier heart.
So, take a moment each day to connect with your breath and nurture your cardiovascular well-being with the time-honored wisdom of Sama Vritti breathing.
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. If you have any underlying health conditions or concerns, consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new breathing practice.
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