“The nose has more than 30 functions,” says Ally Maz, a guided meditation instructor for Open. Basically among these are filtering, humidifying and regulating the air temperature as we breathe. Jessica Phillips, a meditation specialist and life coach based on consciousness with P.volve, adds that there is a lot of research on the benefits of breathing – and in particular nasal breathing. “It’s how our bodies were designed and why we have a nose (we do not eat from our nose)!” she says.
Nasal breathing is scientifically proven to be the healthiest way of daily breathing. It also helps to slow down our breathing, which shifts us from the “fight or flight” stress response to a place of “rest and digestion” known as “Our parasympathetic nervous system,” says Maz. “Both recommend breathing through your nose as much as possible (Maz even recommends mouth tapes to train yourself to breathe through your nose while you sleep).
However, this does not mean that you should never breathe through your mouth. “Mouth breathing (which we do in Open Active Breathwork sessions) is used in a short and controlled amount of time to shift the dominant parts of the brain giving us access to greater states of release, clarity and presence,” says Maz. Mouth breathing can also help cool your body.
In short: “Think: nose = calm and mouth = short periods of controlled breathing for laxative, deep release,” says Maz.
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