A new mobile yoga and meditation app named after the yoga meditation Breath Of Fire, would like to teach you to breathe better.
As you probably know, Breath Of Fire (Kapalbhati pranayama) is one of the breathing meditations used in yoga. And now it is one of the main exercise in a new meditation app: Just Breathing, made by Matthew Israelson, a yogi and software developer in Vancouver, Canada.
All meditation practitioners understand the importance of proper breathing techniques. The way we breathe has a direct effect on our wellbeing, and there have been many scientific studies that prove the benefits of proper breathing technique. And yet, many people breathe incorrectly. Stress, anxiety and other problems affect the way we breathe, leading us to breathe shallowly, which is of course a less than optimum breathing techniques.
The Just Breathing app wants to change that. It provides exercises for the lungs to teach us and encourage us to breathe correctly. The developer states that the breathing exercise in the app will help us to take control of the autonomic nervous system through breathwork.
Israelson is a yogi with six years of experience. One of his personal passions is breathwork. Breathwork, israelson says, is similar to meditation but a little bit different. It stems from the yoga practice of pranayama, and has numerous health benefits.
Slowing down the breathing rate to around five second inhales and exhales helps to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous systems, which essentially helps us to relax. That’s why one of the quickest ways to relax is to take a few deep breaths. And this is precisely what the Just Breathing app helps with. It’s a simple and fun introduction to pranayama that is ideal for beginners. It’s all about slowing down and activating your breathing muscles. This is known to help relieve the symptoms of anxiety and stress and to prevent us from entering the fight or flight more we all know and love.
The app offers four different breathing exercises so far:
Balance Breath: Basic breathing that gets us to inhale and exhale to a steady rhythm.
Samravritti (Box Breathing): A type of breathing where your inhale, exhale, and pauses are the same length.
Kapalabhati: The “Skull Cleanser” pranayama which is currently all the rage in yoga studios.
Brahmari [Bees Breath]: Deep breathing with humming (which is proven to be relaxing).
The Just Breathing app seems simple and fun. My one question with it is whether there is another unique content on the app to make it standout from the rest. There is even an app called Just Breathe which looks remarkably similar to this one. Truth be told, there are so many mindfulness and yoga apps in 2020 that it is hard for a new app to make an impression. Will Just Breathing make it into my list of the best meditation apps?