In addition to the yoga practice, it is good to combine these activities with more mundane practices such as running, climbing the hill, etc. once I was ready to start my session bar when a group arrived at the site that included athletes who proudly brandished a cigar so I proceeded to express my discomfort. He looked at me and asked ‘why”. To which I replied ‘hey, my buddy! What happens is that when you are exercising, last thing you want is to breathe smoke cigarette’. Though, he did not agree with quitting the idea of smoking, he moved away to a distant place and smoked.
You must understand that it was not the place nor the time to explain all the biochemical background that after an intense of anaerobic activity, what the body is looking for is the oxygen and the presence of tar, nicotine, arsenic, make it difficult for our bodies.
The point is that in fact our body is able to meet the demand of oxygen during anaerobic activity, but not for long, in fact, this ability comes from our origins as a species, as a survival, in what is known as the ‘flight or fight’, but the fact is that recovery after energy that makes the body in the absence of oxygen, it behaves as a collector more impatient than the mafia movies, manifesting that ‘I need oxygen and need NOW.’
During the year, as demand for fuel increases, the liver releases glycogen. In body, glycogen is converted into lactic acid which can be used as energy source, and returns to the liver to be stored again in the form of glycogen. As a resource for survival, the body is able to convert glycogen into energy without oxygen for about 90 seconds (anaerobic glycogenesis). After this, the reaction must occur in the presence of oxygen so that the respiratory rate increases. However, during strenuous exercise, the amount of oxygen inhaled breath is insufficient for the amount of lactic acid for processing. This shortfall in the amount of oxygen is called fatigue which is similar to what happens when an appliance is unplugged, and prevents the muscles to contract.
But the importance of breath goes beyond the important biochemical oxygen intake in to the body. Breathing is a fundamental part of our journey towards finding introspection which is the key to achieving our fulfillment. The tool you use in yoga to achieve this goal is the Pranayama, and could be translated as breath control. This discipline with the primary exercise is known as pranayama yogic breathing or abdominal.
Abdominal or Diaphragmatic Breathing
Abdominal breathing maximizes the amount of air entering in the lungs, through the activation of the diaphragm. This breathing can be done while sitting, lying down or standing, but for the purposes of explanation, we will use savasana position of yoga.
How to Perform?
- Lie down in savasana and fix your attention on the abdomen.
- Push your belly out as you inhale and exhale.
- Observe the movement of your abdomen to breathe, or if you prefer, place your hands or a book in the abdomen to look up and down with breathing.
- Fix your attention on the movement of the abdomen and at the entrance and exit of air from the lungs.
- Build your strength up to 5 minutes without effort.