The Sanskrit word ‘Pranayama’ is an amalgamation of two words, ‘prana’ meaning breathe or life forces and ‘ayam’ meaning control on prana. Pranayama may be defined as the connecting link between physical and mental yoga practices. It is a regulated combination of prolonged inhalation and exhalation. This yogic asana invites you to be mindful of breathing which plays a vital role in the proper functioning of different systems of the body.
Both beginners and advanced practitioners can benefit from incorporating pranayama onto the yoga mats. To carry this spree forward, here are four easy way to practice pranayama at home.
Breathing is a unique physiological function that is both voluntary and automatic. Deep slow breathing with the diaphragm has a lot of benefits. It nourishes the nervous system and awakens all energy channels in the body. It relieves depression, anxiety increases lung capacity and strengthen immunity.
Here’s how yoga gurus at the best yoga classes in Jaipur conduct deep breathing sessions.
Step 1: Sit in a comfortable position. The spine and neck should be erect.
Step 2: Inhale slowly and deeply allowing your diaphragm to move down and chest to expand.
Step 3: As you exhale, allow your diaphragm to relax and your chest to deflate.
Practice the steps for up to three minutes.
Regular practice of this asana can detoxify all systems in the body. It unblocks our energy channels and adds radiance to the face. It is therapeutic for diabetes, stimulates abdominal organs, improves digestive functioning and calms the mind. It also energizes the nervous system, rejuvenates brain cells, increases metabolism and trims down the belly. A good yoga for beginners.
Step 1: Sit comfortably in Padmasana or Vajrasana position keeping the spine and neck erect.
Step 2: Gently close the eyes and place your hands on the knee in Gyan Mudra. The palms should face upwards.
Step 3: Take a deep breath and as you exhale, exert pressure on the abdominal muscles. Release abdomen with passive inhalation. You may place your right hand on the stomach to feel the abdominal muscles contract.
Step 4: Initially take 15-20 breaths to complete one round and gradually increase breaths to a hundred in three rounds. Each stroke of the Kapalbhati strikes on the Kundalini to help arouse kundalini.
Also known as Nadi Shodhana Pranayama, this asana cleans the nadis or the pranic channels to let prana flow freely in the body. Prolonged practice can remove toxins from the body and reduce weight. It can also help maintain peace of mind. Other advantages include increased lungs capacity, improved concentration and stress removal.
Step 1: Sit comfortably in Padmasana or Vajrasana posture with the spine and neck erect in Vishnu Mudra.
Step 2: Place your right thumb on right nostril and inhale through the left nostril. Now place the ring and small finger on left nostril and exhale through the right nostril. Again, inhale through right nostrils and continue the steps in three sets till 10 rounds with ratio 1:1.
Step 3: Later, change the ratio of breath to 1:2 by doubling the exhalation time compared to inhalation. Complete three sets for three rounds. As you get better command on breathing, increase the ratio time to 3:12:6. Do three sets for ten rounds.
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Bhramari has been derived from the Hindi word ‘Bhramar’ meaning bumble bee. Exhalation in this breathing technique resembles the humming sound of a bee, hence the name. This asana is highly effective for meditation. It can instantly calm the mind, reduce fatigue and mental stress. You can feel the vibrating sound of the jaws, throat, and face.
Step 1: Sit up straight with the eyes closed in Padmasana or Vajrasana position.
Step 2: The spine and neck should be erect. Place the index finger in the cartilage between your cheek and ear.
Step 3: Inhale by taking a deep breath. And as you exhale gently press the cartilage. You may press it in and out while making a humming sound.
Continue the same breathing pattern three to four times. Also, learn six intermediate yoga poses.
Prana creates an aura around the body. Seek a deeper meaning of life, speak to the inner voice and learn to appreciate others. Inhale. Exhale. Peace.