Women’s Yoga – Slow breathing can help combat depression

"The reality is that our breath is a modulator not only for our mental or emotional state but also for our physical health."

An article in the i-newspaper last week looked at recent studies revealing a correlation between slowing the breath down and improvements in mental and physical health and wellbeing.

The author interviewed Ben Wolff, who runs breath workshops in London that target everything from depression to insomnia to pain management. He states: “The nervous system doesn’t allow relaxation without slow, rhythmic breathing. “The adult nervous system is designed to operate at five breaths a minute. In the US, the average is 17 to 19, which is pathological even before they get out of their chairs. The recommended rate to run for your life is 20.”

Our Friday night Women’s Yoga session focuses on the gradual process of slowing the breath to less than 5 breaths a minute, whilst staying in poses typically for a couple of minutes, giving adequate time for connective tissue to stretch.

Poses chosen are particularly helpful for women to stretch out the body, realign the pelvis, support menstrual cycles or peri-menopausal symptoms, and improve emotional and mental health and wellbeing. We also practice Yoga Nidra, which the article talks about, and which has a profound effect on slowing the breath down.

Students report leaving class with a greater sense of wellbeing and report better sleep on Friday nights, along with a gradual and sustained alleviation of physical and hormonal issues.

I always say to students: “Remember, you are actually doing a breathing practice! You just happen to be doing a yoga pose. Yoga is the calming of the mind!”

:: CLICK HERE :: for more info on our Friday night Women’s Yoga’s class (First session for new students is free: email: info@samyecentre.com)

:: CLICK HERE :: to read the i-newspaper article in full by Siobhan Norton from 11 March 2017

"We have had a whole lifetime to pick up bad breathing habits, which we need to unlearn!"