Thursday, April 10, 2008

Be An Inhaler

How often do you hold your breath?
Do you ever feel tightness in your neck?
What level of stress affects you?
How much vitamin 'O' do take? (Optimism that Dr. Davis speaks of)

I confess I'm a gym-rat. And yoga's my Vitamin 'O'. It's an essential vitamin.

Since the new year started off with bright shiny resolutions, the gym has been understandably packed.

So packed... there is no parking....
But as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. And right now... that path is paved with a bunch of ya-hoos clogging my favorite yoga class :)

Hopefully not for long though.

I'm optimistic. *chuckle*

It's definitely a different experience. Being hip to hip with strangers. Hearing their groans (and whimpers) as our instructor teaches us how to self-torture, self-massage, and self-relax ourselves. Why am I into deep breathing?

How does that enhance pharmacology?

In class it's hard to miss deep audible breathing... in unison...the whole class.... Is it sexy? Being back to back?

Highly suggestive of... tantric... cool... Sting...

The class is almost semi-advanced and lead by our shaved-head yoga-stud. It's not a fancy-shmancy class... just gymrat-yoga. What the class is not: bikram, strict/hatha, iyengar, naked yoga (in case you're wondering(!!) sorry to disappoint).

Special names he gives poses:

  • Airplane (stand on one leg, arms out, other leg horizontal out)
  • Dog
  • Fire hydrant (imagine above, one knee lifted, get it?)
  • Dead bug (on back, grabbing toe; this is actually known as 'happy baby' and he says there's a reason why this isn't called the 'happy grandma' pose -- funny guy -- and all the grandmas in our class laugh when he says this)
And he's always telling us to b-r-e-a-t-h-e !
Isn't that involuntary?!

Aren't you an inhaler??
(and exhaler?)

Hooverphonic: INHALER
(Excellent Elvises...
Like the one at my best buddy's wedding!)
Courtesy of

I tried to count once how many times he incants i-n-h-a-l-e . . .
A-n-d . . . .
E-x-h-a-l-e . . .
F o c u s . . . o n . . . t h e . . . b-r-e-a-t-h . . .
E - x - t - e - n - d . . . . . . . (but it's hard when you're zoning out)

Occasionally he'll put these zigger-platitudes out:
---he hears complaints all the time people are 'soooo tired'
---then he hears complaints (from the same individuals) they 'can't fall asleep' (??!! he never gets it)
---he often wonders... 'why do they keep coming up with new gadgets that are supposed to make our lives easier? when truly the latest gadget always makes our lives more miserable than the previous gadget.'

Class is too hilarious and any position becomes difficult to breathe and hold when you're trying not to laugh.

How does breathing (and laughing) help our hearts?
And your BP, heart rate and mood?

Classic Heartscanblog: Parasympathetic effects

Deep breathing during yoga, exercise training and relaxation techniques opens the lowest lobes of the lungs which subsequently activate vagal pathways to the brain. The vagal nerve is responsibility for parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) activities which are related to restoration, rejuvenation and relaxation in the body. These functions are crucial, vital and potent for reduction in systemic inflammation, heart rhythm stabilization and maintenance of a strong immune system. Activation of the PSNS (or autonomic nervous system) via deep breathing is significantly associated with decreasesin heart rate irregularity, less harmful heart remodeling, and reduction of anxiety and stress.

Deep breathing is a plaque-buster indeed.

Anything that strengthens the immune system probably also reduces Lp(a), an acute phase reactant of the immune system, which is one of the most challenging heart risk factors we deal with at Track Your Plaque. Yoga feels great, in fact, sometimes it's better than s..e..x.., omg did I just say that? Yes, it's true, n-o-t . . . e-v-e-r-y-d-a-y, but the endorphins released are frequently quite fantastic. Endorphins are natural opioids we make in our own bodies which reduce stress, elevate mood and alleviate tension.

That is the pharmacology that I'm referring too...

Have you tried being an inhaler?


And exhale... deeply... for deep plaque-busting!
Many athletes engage in yoga for its obvious advantages. Including... my FAVORITES Tiger and Tom.



Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say, recently discovered your sight and love your blog writings!

Dr. B G said...

Great! Thank you for visiting the pharm!

mess talker said...

great post. how's the cross fit/ yoga experience? I've been doing my own versions of both for a while. Loving it. In fact I'm procrastinating now while thinking up today's challenge

Dr. B G said...

Hey Mess Talker,
Nice to see you here ;) Let me know how much CrossFit helps your tri's! I'm getting set up so I'll post later how it goes (if I survive *heh*). Yoga's always great (except when I skip it like today it's cleaning-day). I can run 10 miles but can't clean the house. My hub doesn't get it...neither do I!