Tree or Vrskasana Pose

Consequences of Fast and Shallow Breathing

When our breathing is too shallow and too quick, we are not taking in sufficient oxygen and we are not eliminating sufficient carbon dioxide. As a result, our bodies are oxygen starved, and a toxic build-up occurs. Every cell in the body requires oxygen and our level of vitality is just a product of the health of all the cells. Shallow breathing does not exercise the lungs enough, so they lose some of their function, causing a further reduction in vitality.

There are many reasons as to why our breath is fast and shallow – the main ones are:

  1. We are in a hurry most of the time. Our movements and breathing follow this pattern.
  2. The increasing stress of modern living makes us breathe more quickly and less deeply.
  3. We get too emotional too easily. We get excited easily, angry easily, and most of the rest of the time we suffer from anxiety due to worry. These negative emotional states affect the rate of breathing, causing it to be fast and shallow.
  4. Modern technology and automation reduces our need for physical activity. There is less need to breathe deeply, so we develop the shallow breathing habit.

As we go through life, these bad breathing habits we picked up become part of our life. Unless we do something to reverse these habits, we can suffer permanent problems. The good news is that these are reversible. Certainly, yoga is one of the best ways to cope up with the stress and the resultant drop in oxygen supply to the brain brought on by the constricted breathing.