“The nose has more than 30 functions,” said Ally Maz, a guided meditation instructor at Open. The main ones are filtering, humidity and controlling the air temperature while we breathe. Jessica Phillips, a meditation specialist and mindfulness-based life trainer, adds that there is a lot of research on the benefits of breathing, especially nasal breathing. “That’s how our bodies are designed and why we have noses (we don’t eat from our noses)!” He says.
“Breathing through the nose is scientifically proven to be the healthiest way of breathing on a daily basis. It helps slow down our breathing which shifts our ‘fight or flight’ from the stress response to a place of ‘rest and digestion’, known as our parasympathetic nervous system. .System, “said Mag. “Breathing through the nose helps us to take full, deep breaths, which stimulates a greater distribution of oxygen throughout the body and stimulates the parasympathetic receptors associated with calming the body and mind,” Phillips added. Both recommend breathing through your nose as much as possible (even Mag gives you oral tapes to help you train yourself to breathe through your nose while you sleep).
However, it goes without saying that you should never breathe out of your mouth. “Breathing through your mouth (which we do in Open Breathwork sessions) is used to move the dominant parts of the brain in a short and controlled period of time which gives us access to a greater state of release, clarity and presence,” said Maj. Breathing through your mouth can also help keep your body cool.
In a nutshell: “Think: nose = calm, and mouth = cathartic, a short period of controlled breathing for deep release,” says Maj.
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