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 By Sharonne Gracia

Tip: Breathe through your nose to live a healthier life

The nose isn’t just for air to pass through. It’s an amazing organ that does far more for our well-being. The scientifically-documented benefits of nose-breathing are breathtaking… or should I say breathGIVING?!?

You know how we breathe every day without even thinking about it? Lately, as I’ve been teaching yoga, I’ve found myself paying closer attention to the breathing process. With added research, I’m discovering its truly amazing nature. Both ancient yoga teachings AND modern science agree that nose-breathing can significantly influence how we feel and our overall well-being!

Most people think breathing through the nose and mouth are pretty much the same thing, just two paths for the air to flow into the lungs. The truth is, the difference between nose breathing and mouth breathing is profound and life changing.

Nose breathing? Super healthy. Mouth breathing? Not so much. It might sound a bit dramatic, but as someone with asthma and allergies, I’ve felt the impact firsthand. In some cases, mouth breathing is necessary. You might need to breathe through your mouth if you have nasal congestion, a deviated septum or small nostrils. Yet, breathing primarily through your mouth is associated with some health risks, even during heavy exercise.

Since our nose was specifically designed to help us breathe, nasal breathing has many advantages. When we breathe through it, the air gets special treatment, it’s filtered, made a bit humid, and warmed up before reaching our lungs. Nose breathing may reduce the risk of infections and other problems with the mouth, teeth, .

Research has shown that nasal breathing can even activate more parts of the brain in comparison to mouth breathing. Researchers concluded that this makes nasal breathing a better choice for overall cognitive and brain function.

When we breathe through our nose, we may sleep better at night. As a bonus, nose breathing triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting relaxation. Consistent nose breathing fosters better lung function, improved oral health, and balanced blood pressure.

Now, here are some suggestions to start breathing through your nose:

Take a few moments during the day to notice how you’re breathing. When you’re on the move or being active, try breathing through your nose. Make bedtime cozy with a humidifier and find a comfy sleep pose that allows you to focus on your breath. And, of course, remember to stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day. These little tips will not only make you feel good but also help improve your health, especially by keeping your nose and lungs in great shape!

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This post is also available in: 日本語 (Japanese)