Benefits of Heart Breathing
March 15, 2022
From regulating blood pressure and weight, to boosting creativity...
Heart breathing, also known as *coherent*, *resonant* or *heart-focused* breathing is an ancient breathing technique with a huge, expanding list of benefits which are being increasingly validated by modern science.
The list of benefits of heart breathing is so long and varied that it almost sounds too good to be true.
- Regulate blood pressure
- Regulate digestion
- Regulate weight
- Lower stress levels
- Improve sleep
- Reduce pain
- Increase energy
- Reduce symptoms of anxiety
- Reduce symptoms of depression
- Balance emotions
- Increase resilience
- Improve decision making
- Improve creativity
The general idea
Most chronic illnesses are caused by an imbalance in the parasympathetic nervous system. Heart breathing is a powerful technique to restore balance in the parasympathetic nervous system, by shifting the balance away from the Sympathetic (fight or flight) side and more towards the Parasympathetic (rest or digest) side.
Heart Breathing also makes the signals between the brain and the heart become far more coherent and less chaotic. The benefits of such communication between the brain and the heart, modern scientists are only just beginning to understand, but have been studied and understood for many years in the ancient spiritual diciplines like Yoga.
The Usual Culprit: Cortisol
When people are "stressed", they usually have an excess of a hormone called Cortisol in the system.
An excess of cortisol is linked to many serious health issues such as:
- Weight gain
- Increased blood pressure
- Low libido, erectile dysfunction or problems with regular ovulation or menstrual periods
- Intestinal problems, such as constipation, bloating or diarrhea.
- Anxiety or depression
The good news is that Heart Breathing lowers cortisol levels!
Bonus: Weight Loss
So how can Heart Breathing help with weight loss?
Cortisol is integral to weight gain, and too much of this hormone can make weight loss more difficult. If you're trying to control your weight then controlling your body's cortisol level is essential.
A 5 minute heart breathing session before a meal can help put the body into "rest and digest" mode, reducing the amount of cortisol in the body. The cortisol-reducing effects of the session are wear off gradually, very approximately over a four hour period.
Heart breathing before a meal can prepare your body for the meal, both preventing your body from storing so much of the food as fat, and also putting you in a better state of mind, which can help you avoid over-eating.