Benefits of pranayama in yogic sciences dates back to 1000 years.
There are many types of pranayama that has different benefits on our whole system. Below are these 8 types that are fruitful in your respiratory tracks and has other fantastic benefits on your body.
- Nadi Sodhana
- Shitali Pranayama
- Ujjayi Pranayama
- Kapalabhati Pranayama
- Bhastrika Pranayama
- Bhramari Pranayama
- Anuloma & Viloma Pranayama
- Sheetkari Pranayama
Let us understand first what is Pranayama – it is a Sanskrit word that means control of breath. And in yogic sciences yogis said it is prayan – the bio life and yaam is asnaa. So it is asan for life. In pranayama, we consciously control our breathing through various breathing techniques as it is a meditative practice.
The type of breathing techniques in pranayama is divided into three stages: Inhalation through the nose (Purak), retention (kumbak) and exhalation (Rechak). These breathing techniques are not only used in yoga practices but also in meditative practices. The rhythm of pranic energy can be controlled through pranayama. They are useful in all forms of meditation.
1 – The best among all which you can do for lung exercise is Kapalabhati Pranayama – also called as a breath of fire.
This type of pranayama is done by forcefully exhaling from the lungs and inhaling is done involuntarily. The exhalation should be so forceful that one should suck the belly by releasing the air. In the same way, when inhaling is done, the belly should go back to the same position. Usually, Kapalabhati Pranayama is done for warm-up. This cycle of inhalation and exhalation should be done for few minutes. This type of pranayama is quite beneficial in strengthening the diaphragm and abdominal muscles. It also helps in increasing focus, reducing anxiety and burning calories.
6 – Bhramari Pranayama
Clinically it is being proven that this type of pranayama is effective in increasing lung capacity and respiration. It is also being said that the biochemist is researching this yogic practice as it has a tremendous capacity to decrease the spread of microbes in the lungs. Why, as it increases the nitrous oxide in our lungs. It is also said that eating a nitrous rich diet curb the spread of any virus in our lungs. As it has anti-viral property, it reduces replication of the virus thus it stops the spreading. Sit at a steady place, intact, close your ears, with thumbs, and eyes with your fingers. Then create a humming sound or you can also chant om sound while exhaling. This is also known as ‘humming bee breath’. Do it for 5 minutes daily morning and evening. It also helps in increasing concentration, alertness, relieving stress.
3 – Anuloma & Viloma Pranayama
This pranayama is divided into two stages: Paused inhalation and paused exhalation. It is done by inhaling for 2-3 seconds and pausing, then again restarting inhalation and pausing for few seconds while sitting in a comfortable position. Inhalation should be done until the lungs are full of air. Exhalation must be done slowly. One must relax the mind and body. This is Viloma Pranayama where pausing of breathing is in regular intervals. In anuloma pranayama, one must breathe nostrils in an alternative way. Both are similar. These techniques help in relaxing, reducing stress and cleansing nasal passages.
4 – Yogendra Prayanam no. 4 – it is the best for diaphragmatic breathing.
It induces relaxation and letting go of the vairagya bhava. It will give you immense calmness and self-discipline. Lay down on the mat and place right hand on the navel and left on the side of the body, palm facing to the sky, legs fold and maintain equal breathing. Do not do force breathing. If you observe that the belly will rise and go down to the spine with exhaling. It is one of the natural ways of breathing. It is deep breathing practice – do it 10 times before sleeping or before Shavasana. It is effective in relaxation and stress reliever.
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