Hack Your Nervous System Through Square Breathing

  • November 17, 2014
  • Science, Tech
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Hack Your Nervous System Through Square Breathing

Breathing Techniques can help calm our bodies in stressful situations, allowing our minds and bodies to relax. During stressful situations we don’t think about what happens to our bodies and only focus on that stress or stressful situation or incident, but breathing techniques will help center and calm your mind so that it doesn’t become overwhelmed. When you practice breathing techniques, you can rejuvenate your circulatory and respiratory systems and counter any unhealthy effects of stress.

Breathing exercises have actually been practiced for thousands of years and are prescribed to patients with numerous disorders like anxiety, depression, GAD, panic attacks and more. They can also help reduce anxiety, irritability fatigue and muscular tension. One popular technique is the box breathing technique, otherwise known as four-square breathing. It’s a simple technique that can be done at any time and is really helpful whenever you’re feeling stressed. And the best thing is that it’s easy to learn. This technique emphasizes breathing control via counts of four, which actually helps your body make full use of the air that you breathe in. The breathing technique is also allows you to work on your chest and abdominal muscles a bit since it requires a strong core.

This type of deep breathing is great for combating travel anxiety or even panic attacks and is great for managing anger. Psychologists actually teach box breathing as a technique to use with mediation since it helps cultivate awareness and lets your thoughts, feelings and sensations around you all come into play to help you feel calmer and more at peace.

When your body is stressed, it has this “fight or flight” response that can cause you to have physical reactions like a rapid hearth beat, trouble breathing, headaches, hold and cold feelings, etc. Breathing counteracts these symptoms and improves your blood flow and indigestion as it helps calm your body down.

To practice box breathing, you first need to inhale your breath slowly for a count of four. After, hold your breath for an equal count of four before you release your breath out all the way via pursed lips, while still counting to four. Before you do anything or say anything, wait another four seconds. Then repeat the cycle a few more times or as long as you need to fully relax. To correctly practice box breathing, you must breathe from your lower belly and not from your upper chest. To make sure that you are breathing correctly, it usually helps to put one of your hands on your abdomen or sides so that you can feel it rise as you breathe in.

To help you during your box breathing session, download the square breathing app for Windows phones https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/apps/square-breathing/9wzdncrdpg8h and it will guide you via step-by-step instructions when you are feeling the most stressed. It’ll help you combat dress and provide you with helpful insight on the technique.

See below for screenshots from the Square Breathing app:

Square Breathing Screen Square Breathing Screen 2

New Study Shows Yoga Can Boost Your Brainpower

  • September 28, 2014
  • Science
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New Study Shows Yoga Can Boost Your Brainpower

Who could have guessed that a series of exercises developed thousands of years ago to develop the mind, body and spirit could possibly help people learn to function in a highly computerized world?

The science journal known as Technology published the results of a study by a group of University of Minnesota researchers. The researchers studied two groups of people; one group of 12 people who practiced yoga exercises in one-hour sessions twice a week for a year while the other group consisting of 24 people did not practice yoga or had very little exposure to it. All of the participants were both physically and mentally healthy.

Both groups of people participated in an activity that required them to use both their right and left hands to move a marker around various points of a computer monitor screen. The researchers reported that the group who regularly practiced yoga were able to learn as much as three times as fast as the group members who did not practice yoga. The group members that practiced yoga were also twice as likely to complete their tasks. The study consisted of thirty trial runs of this activity in order to weed out fluke performances.

The researchers believe that their findings may be able to help paralyzed and physically disabled people become proficient with computerized devices. It could also be possible that exposing young children to yoga exercises will help prepare them mentally for learning to use computers.

Hatha Yoga Helps Increase Cognitive Function

  • August 28, 2014
  • Science
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Regular Hatha Yoga Helps Increase Cognitive Function

In most discussions about health, wellness and our personal futures there is a particular subject that is almost guaranteed to make most people uncomfortable- our mental health and ability to function when we reach our twilight years. It is an understandable reaction; there is something frightening about the thought of losing our mental faculties and not being in complete control of ourselves. There are countless activities and choices we can make today to improve our physical health in later years but is there anything we can do to make certain we will enjoy good mental health as we get older?

Well, there just might be. It turns out that practicing hatha yoga a few times per week could lead to significant boosts in senior citizens’ cognitive abilities. A study featured well over one hundred people ranging in age from 55 years old to 79 years old. Nearly half of these people attended hatha yoga classes while the rest of the people took classes for stretching exercises. After taking their respective classes for an eight week period everybody was brought in to take a series of tests that gauged the participants’ ability to recall information, moving from performing one task to another and mental flexibility.

As you might expect, the group that was taking hatha yoga classes showed improvements in all of these areas while the group engaged in regular stretching exercises did not show any signs of improvement. Participants in the yoga classes were able to complete their tasks more quickly and with fewer instances of distraction than their counterparts. The researchers behind the study pointed out that there were no significant differences between the two groups of subjects other than the one group participating in hatha yoga classes.

What is it about hatha yoga that allows people to develop such major increases in their cognitive abilities? Hatha yoga can be described as a series of exercises involving meditation, breathing and moving one’s body in a variety of stances. A typical user must move his or her body through these assorted stances in a controlled manner while maintaining their breathing at a relaxed rate.

Hatha Yoga has already been determined to be helpful to our bodies and minds in a number of different ways. For example, studies conducted earlier have shown that yoga can lower stress levels, aid in moving on from depression and reducing physical anxiety. It is known that both stress and anxiety can impact our abilities to concentrate and think critically. With this in mind it is worth considering that regular participation in yoga exercises could possibly prevent the deterioration of our crucial mental functions.

It should be pointed out that there are obviously no guarantees in life. However, it appears that regular participation in yoga exercises not only provides benefits now but also helps condition us for happy and functional lives when we are older.

Revitalize Your Soul – The Yogic Way by CashSherpa.com

  • March 14, 2014
  • Science
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Revitalize Your Soul – The Yogic Way

Amongst the various goals in our busy lives, the most desirable one is to attain permanent peace of mind. Though usually, humans create their own miseries by complicating this simple life with undue stress, anger and irritation; at times, certain unpredictable situations do arise that provoke the latent negative emotions in us. To control the flow of these negativities like worry, anxiety, anger, fear etc, practice yoga.

Yoga is a scientific exercise of uniting the mind, body and the soul in order to heal one’s true inner self and achieve permanent peace of mind. It mainly, consists of Meditation, Asanas (Poses) and Pranayam (Breathing).

Meditation de-stresses the mind and makes it strong, calm, focused and composed. In turbulent conditions, a healthy and relaxed mind helps in overcoming and facing the upheavals positively with a smile which makes meditation an effective way of increasing emotional buoyancy.

Asanas associated with yoga are all about creating and maintaining balance in the body while connecting it to the mind. It builds the strength and stamina of the body muscles, increases its flexibility and develops mental awareness.

Pranayam or Yogic breathing is the practice of controlling one’s breath and is intended to provide more oxygen to the brain and blood vital for health.

Therefore, the system of yoga is the interconnection between the body postures, breathing and meditation which offers a key to complete, eternal harmony.

Treating the body and mind as a whole, yogic science enhances health naturally, acting as a therapeutic for many chronic illnesses and re-establishing the body’s balance. A flexible body, peaceful mind and perfect health is what we look for and this practice makes it easily achievable. It is a proven way for all-round fitness regardless of the type or style of yoga.

Indulge in this practice for-

Inner peace: It releases the stress by focusing the mind on the breathing and body movements, leaving a relaxed, soothing and contented being. A stable mind can withstand various atrocities of day-to-day life with ease and lead to a higher quality of life.

Strengthening muscles and increasing flexibility: The different yogic postures or asanas help in improving the core strength and endurance of the body muscles and relieves various pains or discomforts affecting the body.

Improved energy levels and immunity: The yogic exercises and breathing techniques help in boosting the immunity and in turn, the general vitality of the body.

Increases stamina: Gradually performing more vigorous styles of yoga increases the capacity of standing fatigue or resisting disease thus, promoting health.

Treats various chronic ailments: This scientific art has the magical ability of treating innumerable diseases from anxiety to hypertension, to joint pains, to obesity, to fatigue etc.

Emotional upliftment: Keeping the mind focused on the present helps in detoxifying and
cleansing the soul of all the negative emotions and developing better communications and stronger relationships.

Yoga rejuvenates the mind, strengthens the body and relaxes the spirit. In all, it is the source of escalating the Body-Mind relationship and the path to natural healing.

Top 9 Yoga Info Points Statistics: Infographic

Top 9 Yoga Info Points Statistics: Infographic

Seems Yoga is everywhere! I mean just sign up for Groupon, Living Social, or Amazon local and you will be bombarded with Yoga deals. I thought since so many people do Yoga these statistics on Yoga deserve their own infographic.

Yoga Statistics Infographic

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