Our brains are washed by a constant flow of cerebrospinal fluid, which plays the important role of carrying away waste substances, such as harmful proteins and excess water.
The rhythm of your heart is one of the factors that affects how well this fluid flows through the brain. Now a new study shows that breathing also affects how well the spinal fluid flows.
“It’s not impossible that yoga breathing techniques can affect the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and promote the removal of brain wastes,” says Vegard Vinje of the Simula Research Laboratory, where he is a PhD candidate.
Vinje explains why fewer deep breaths have a greater impact on the flow of brain fluid than faster, shallow breathing. Essentially, the longer waves that result from deep breaths can carry more volume. He compares it to ocean waves hitting the land.
“Imagine a beach with rubbish. A long wave will remove garbage and clutter on a beach more efficiently than a short one,” he said.
Short, choppier waves won’t come as far up on the beach compared to longer waves of the same height, he explains.
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