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Study: Yoga Improves Respiratory Health

You know yoga benefits flexibility and muscle structure. But did you also know that, according to science, it also improves respiratory health?

Brazilian researchers at the Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, a university north of Rio de Janeiro, set out to investigate the effect, if any, hatha yoga had on respiratory function in healthy women who’d practiced hatha yoga for at least 6 months. The study included 25 women, 13 of which were practicing yogis, and 12 that were not.

Researchers examined four aspects of respiratory health. First, they measured respiratory rate for one minute. Secondly, maximum inhalation and maximum exhalation pressure were measured. Thirdly, axillary and xiphoid mobility were taken into account, and lastly, chest expansion at the axillary and xiphoid levels was also measured. In addition, researchers used a spirometry to test forced vital capacity and peak expiratory flow.

All measures were taken on all 25 women--- the ones in the yoga group and those in the control group. Of all respiratory health markers, the ones that showed significant superiority amongst the female yogis versus the control group were respiratory rate and xiphoid mobility.

So, what does all this scientific stuff mean to us? Well, this particular study shows that a regular hatha yoga practice benefits our respiratory rate---meaning, the more we practice, the longer, deeper and more fluid our breath becomes.

In other words, our rate of respiration slows down, leaving us in a more relaxed state of body and mind. The study also shows us that a regular hatha yoga practices helps increase the mobility of our xiphoid process, which translates to a deeper and more elongated quality of breath.

So, if we want to improve our respiratory health, engaging in a regular hatha yoga practice is a no-brainer! At Yoga Patch, we have a wide variety of hatha yoga classes to soothe your soul and your breath.

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