Pulse oximeter measuring oxygen saturation

Does deep breathing increase blood oxygenation?

I’ve often heard yoga teachers say things like, “We only use a small percentage of our lungs when we’re breathing normally,” or “We don’t use our full lung capacity, and if we could breathe more deeply, we could bring more oxygen into the bloodstream.” But are those things true?  Well, it is true that if…

Up dog on bridge

How does stretching make you more flexible?

How does stretching make you more flexible? Intuitively, it seems that it must have something to do with your muscles—that they must lengthen or that the tissue must become more pliable over time. Yet, as we’ve seen, the evidence doesn’t bear that out. Stretching makes muscle tissue more pliable in the short term, but those…

The glutes and hip pain in yoga

“Don’t contract your glutes.” I’ve heard this instruction many times from yoga teachers, especially during backbending poses, but it’s always puzzled me. The gluteus maximus – the large muscle of your buttocks — is the prime mover in actions that require hip extension against gravity, such as climbing stairs or standing up from a squat….