For as long as you live, breathing will remain an automatic and subconscious action that requires no conscious effort on your part. However, it remains essential that you keep in mind how you breathe. Some people breathe through their mouths, but little do they know that nasal breathing is more beneficial for their bodies.
In this article, you will learn more about nasal breathing, its advantages, the difference between nasal and mouth breathing, and the many techniques to improve nasal breathing.
Comparing Nasal Breathing and Mouth Breathing
There are two ways you can inhale and exhale, and that is through your nose and your mouth. Both passageways can carry oxygen into your lungs, but it is important to note that there are differences between nasal breathing and mouth breathing.
What Is Nasal Breathing?
Through nasal breathing, you can breathe with efficiency, and it is also safe and considered the proper way of breathing. By breathing through your nose, you can filter foreign particles, humidity inhales air, and produce nitric oxide.
Since your nose has nasal hair, your nose can filter out and prevent dust, pollen, and other allergens from entering your body. Your nose also can warm and moisturise the air you breathe in, making sure that you inhale air with a temperature that your lungs withstand. It can also produce nitric oxide, which can widen blood vessels and improve the oxygen circulation in your body.
What Is Mouth Breathing?
You can drink, eat, talk, and, yes, even breathe through your mouth. But it does not feature nasal hairs to block out allergens or the ability to inhale air that your lungs can take. However, not having such features does not invalidate the benefits that mouth breathing can bring.
There are instances wherein mouth breathing is a must. This includes having nasal congestion, deviated septum, and if you have smaller nostrils than most people have.
Unfortunately, being dependent on your mouth for breathing can expose you to many short-term and long-term issues. Short-term issues include having a dry mouth as breathing through your mouth can dry it out. Having a dry mouth puts you at risk for long-term dental problems such as tooth decay and bad breath.
Lack of energy is also another short-term problem since you will get less quality oxygen when you breathe through your mouth. You will have poor sleep quality and low energy levels, making you inefficient in your day-to-day activities. And this short-term problem will become a long-term one in the form of sleep apnoea.
Why Is Nasal Breathing Better?
Nasal breathing is said to offer several advantages. This includes boosting blood circulation and enabling appropriate oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange during respiration.
Other benefits include improving your sleep quality. Through nasal breathing, you will reduce your sleep disturbances, loud snores, and even frequent nighttime urination.
You may learn more about its benefits in this article: Benefits of Nasal breathing
Techniques on How to Improve Nasal Breathing
Nasal breathing comes naturally to most people, but for some, it’s not as easy as you think. Some inhale through their mouths, and transitioning to nasal breathing may require several techniques.
That said, we’ve listed a few techniques to improve nasal breathing that can surely help you out. These techniques include alternate nostril breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, and the “breath of fire.”
Alternate Nostril Breathing
If you have tried mindfulness meditation and yoga, you may already be familiar with this breathing technique involving focus or dedicated concentration to experience its advantages fully.
You can practice this technique by sitting comfortably with proper posture. Let your shoulders relax while resting your left hand on your left knee and pushing your right thumb on your right nostril. Then, take a deep inhale via your left nostril, hold it, and slide your right finger to your left nostril.
To repeat the exercise, exhale through your right nose, then inhale through your right nostril. As you have observed as you followed through the instructions, this is where this technique got its name.
This type of nasal breathing technique allows you to relax by lowering your heart rate, easing any tension you feel in your body, and clearing your thoughts. Another term for this technique is abdominal breathing or belly breathing.
You begin this technique by sitting straight, upright posture with your shoulders relaxed. You can also do this while lying down. Place one hand on your tummy, then the other on your chest, with your lips closed to prevent any breathing through the mouth. Slowly inhale through your nose, concentrating your breath that goes into your stomach.
One way to know that you are doing these steps right is to feel your belly rise as it fills with air, but your chest stays still.
Breath of Fire
This technique can help you improve or enhance your focus and respiratory function. It may take some work to master this technique, but once you follow through with the steps and practise it daily, you will soon master the technique eventually.
You can start by placing both of your hands on your tummy with both of your palms facing upward. As you fill your stomach with air, let it expand. You can do this by closing your mouth and inhaling only through your nose. Then forcefully exhaling through your nostrils, allowing your stomach to return to its original position.
Continue the steps without any pause until you feel that you have already achieved a comfortable breathing pattern. Once you get used to this, you can increase your intensity after establishing a rhythm.
Learn How to Nasal Breathe the Right Way with Breathe Your Vision
At Breath Your Vision, you will learn how to breathe the proper way through nasal breathing. With Karishma Desai at help, it’s a guarantee that you will be guided in your journey to nasal breathing, especially since she is a certified breathing instructor and resilience coach.
To get started, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website to learn more about what we do.