A study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine has found that yogic breathing (pranayama) for just 20 minutes is proven to lower stress levels in the body. Researchers examined levels of cytokines in the saliva of 20 participants; cytokines being one of several types of biomolecules that we release when we are het up which act as indicators of both our stress and inflammation levels. Half of the group read for 20 minutes while the other half did specific yoga breathing exercises: 10 minutes of ‘om chanting’ and 10 minutes of rhythmic breathing. And those who practised the yogic breathing exercises had significantly lower cytokine biomarkers than those who were just reading.

 

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