breathing to reduce hypertension

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For the answer to this question, user Clay (a yogi) responds:

2breathe is not yogic breathing. That was the mistake I made when I first began, as I tried to turn it into that.,p/>

2breathe has the mission of sleep, its initiation and maintenance–and yoga does not. With 2breathe, you are not encouraging vigilance and control, as in many yogic breathing techniques. You really do just want to “go with the flow.”

With 2breathe, you let breathing happen. Though the goal is to extend the pause after exhalation, in order to reduce breaths per minute, you aren’t thinking of that! You are listening to pleasantly hypnotic music and following musical cues that are urging you to release all your cares.

When I first started, I was pushing hard to extend the pause between breaths by very slow release of air in exhalation, which is characteristic of certain breathing techniques in yoga (like ujjayi). But pushing is not the way to go to sleep! Here’s what to do instead: If the app is trying to slow down your breathing too much for comfort and ease, you can just give it a hint to speed up by inhaling as needed. It will do so. (It is amazingly responsive!) Just enjoy and rest–and maybe even allow a playful state of mind. You should pause after exhalation as long as you are comfortable. With time, your breathing will slow down.

That’s what new research into the neuro-plasticity of the brain and nervous system is showing. Over time, repeated voluntary behaviors (and changes in patterns of thinking) can actually rewire the system. In practicing 2breathe, you are slowing breath rate, thus triggering the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system to reduce stress, lower heart rate and blood pressure–to induce sleep. In continuing to practice, you have the potential to create real physical change in your body, in addition to finally achieving a good night’s sleep.

Here’s the take-away. With yogic breathing, you are in conscious control; there is heightened awareness. With 2breathe, on the other hand, you just fall gently, effortlessly to sleep and stay there, aware of nothing but–perhaps–your dreams.


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