• Marika Nikkinen

Why Deep Breathing Is So Important

Breathing is about living and yet we easily forget to breathe. My martial arts sensei Jo Hall and I had a great discussion on breathing based on our experiences, she as a personal trainer, and a martial arts teacher, and me as a kundalini yoga teacher and life coach. You may listen to our discussion from Jo's podcast.



So, why is it important to breathe deeply? And what does it mean to breathe deeply? Most of us live in a hamster wheel 24/7. When we do not pay attention to our breathing, our body will be in a fight or flight mode all the time. Meaning that our nervous system thinks we are in a danger and we must run for our lives, though that's not clearly the situation. The impact is that the prolonged stress increases the blood flow to the muscles and increases blood pressure, heart rate, and activates the production of blood sugars, and fats since the body need to keep going. You may imagine the long-term consequences.


My personal experience validates all the above well. In 2015 I had burnout, I was exhausted and it caused all sorts of mental and physical sickness. The stress, I was experiencing, caused a higher blood pressure, my heart rate went up from the calmest exercise, I gained 15 kgs overweight because of the excess blood sugar and fat production. My body was desperately trying to save me, but I didn't understand. I was healthy according to my doctor even the signals were clear. I went to see an occupational psychologist and she was the one telling me for the first time ever that I wasn't breathing. My breath was superficial, I only breathed with my upper lunges. She guided me through breathing practice to learn deep, long breathing.


It took time for me to start listening to my body and when I did, I found Kundalini yoga. Its impact on me has been life-changing. With different breathing techniques, meditation, and the re-balancing of the energy centers I have been able to recover physically and mentally. Now two years after, I have graduated as a kundalini yoga teacher, and more important than any certification, deep breathing has become a part of my everyday life. I am conscious of when I need to stop to breathe, and it has also become an unconscious action.


Deep, long breathing has the opposite impact to shallow breathing. It calms down our parasympathetic nervous system, increases the amount of oxygen, and releases a sense of calm throughout your brain and body, it lowers your blood pressure and reduces your heart rate. Breathing is about living healthy.


If you want to start with something super easy and influential, just close your eyes, relax your body. Take a deep inhale through your nose and feel how the air travels through your throat and lunges all the way to the bottom of your stomach and your stomach expands like a small balloon. Exhale through your nostrils and let every drop of the air come out, feel how your stomach squeezes towards the spine. Continue this for 5-10 rounds and relax.


Want to learn more? Join my online Chakrapath Kundalini Yoga classes starting on 15th February 12-13 pm CET from here


Remember to breathe,

Marika <3

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