We work against our Respiratory System
Take a few seconds to recollect when was the last that you turned your shower knob in the opposite direction for a cold-water bath? I am sure, most of you would have hard time figuring that out. Millennials and the older generation are, perhaps, the only ones who would be able to relate to the experience of cold water bath.
As modern amenities started making its way into our daily living, to bring comfort and a leisurely experience, least we would have thought that someday, we will fall prey to these comforts, to the extent, that it would eventually start working against us.
Hot Shower Vs Cold Shower
As a young kid, we would experience the luxury of a hot water bath only during winters, that too, when it was chilling. That hot water bath was, indeed, heavenly. The water would be heated up on chulha in the initial years, then on gas, before finally getting accustomed to heating appliances which are now an inbuilt feature in our flats today. In current scenario, hot water bath is a 365 days affair as much as air conditioning is a 24/7 affair across the year, irrespective of the fact that seasons do change. But, we mulishly deny our body and mind the right to assimilate to the natural rhythm of the weather.
Rewind to the past, when we had to take a cold shower no matter what. Pouring that first mug of tap/cold water was the most excruciating experience especially during the winters. It needed strong willpower. And the immediate reaction was: you inhaled deeply, held your breath and started taking the bath at a very fast pace. Deep breathing became a natural outcome of a cold-water bath.
Why deep breathing?
The most important thing to contemplate here is: – How lack of deep breathing is playing havoc with our respiratory system?
- Quick breathing is the chosen option in lack of deep breathing. With quick breathing, we inhale a small volume of air and exhale a small volume of air, thereby, failing to reach the deeper surfaces of the lungs and thus, allowing germs to accumulate in these areas.
- Slow Breathing is the first component. Slow breathing enhances the process of oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange. It removes the stale and stagnant air which otherwise gets mixed with freshly inhaled oxygen and reaches our cells in the same semi purified form, bringing us only sub-optimal benefits.
- Slow and Deep breathing go hand in hand. Deep breathing coupled with Slow breathing further enhances the lung capacity. It optimizes the usage and elasticity of the main respiratory muscles which are otherwise sluggish due to shallow breathing. It massages abdominal cavity, removes accumulated impure blood and supplies pure and oxygenated blood to liver, spleen, digestive area etc., thereby, allowing them to function optimally.
Some quick facts about Cold Shower
Cold shower therapy is common in western countries. It is also a regular practice among athletes.
- It is a stimulant which breaks the inertia of mind and body
- It increases blood circulation, taking care of your cardiovascular health
- It helps recover fast from muscle soreness
- It keeps your skin wrinkle free, young and rejuvenated
We, the millennials, are at least, able to relate to the experience of deep breathing during a cold-water bath. Today’s generation has not had this rejuvenating experience and are unlikely to do so ever. Does it mean that they would never be exposed to the benefits of a cold-water shower or the ‘concept of deep breathing, because of cold-water shower?’
Live close to natural rhythm and nature will keep you close to your inner self
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Shammi Gupta, founder of Shammi’s Yogalaya holds an MA in Yoga Shastra, is a certified Yogic Therapist and Naturopath, has completed an Advanced Yoga Course and holds a Diploma in Yoga Education from Mumbai University. She is a certified trainer from American College of Sports Medicine and holds an MBA in HR & MBA in Finance from The University of Akron, Ohio, USA. She conducts Health Awareness Workshops for Corporate, Yogasana Workshops for Athletes and Yoga Therapy Workshops on different medical issues for patients. Among the celebrities Shammi trains are eminent personalities from the film and television industry and corporate world.