Breathing is a crucial part of living, and it’s essential that you pay full attention to your breathing patterns now more than ever. Many factors such as physical habits, pollution, stress, and tensions affect the breathing pattern. Unconsciously, you compromise the flow of breath and, in turn, impact the energy flow in the body. Worried? Don’t be! You can easily keep a check on your breathing by practicing pranayama.
All About Pranayama
In simple words, pranayama means to control and regulate your breathing. The word comes from two Sanskrit words, prana, which means vital energy of life and yama, meaning to control. It connects the body to the mind. You can practice these breathing exercises or pratice them along with yoga asanas and meditation. Not only does it help in maintaining the oxygen level in the body and eliminating toxins from the body, regularly practising the form has plenty of physiological and psychological benefits too!
Pranayama is always performed in three phases; Purak (inhalation), kumbhak (retention), and rechak (exhalation). The duration of the phases may differ with various forms.
Boons of Pranayama
Yoga is not just bound to a few asanas that benefit the body, it also helps enhance the overall health of the body and mind. And, pranayama, an integral part of yoga, helps clear any obstructions in our body to let the breath or life energy flow properly. Practising these exercises regularly increases your oxygen intake capacity, which helps in reducing stress, and getting good sleep. This also enables you to concentrate better. The various pranayamas strengthen the lungs and enhance the performance of the brain.
Pranayamas To Practice
In yoga, the easiest pranayama is anulom vilom. It is simply inhaling through one nostril and exhaling through the other while you are in a meditating position. And, if the idea of what your breathing sounds like is intriguing to you, then we suggest you try out bhramari pranayama, also referred to as humming bee due to the vibrations and humming created by the chanting of om. This exercise helps calm the body and the mind.
On the other hand, if you want to increase your body heat, start practising kapalbhati. Also known as the breath of fire, kapalbhati’s primary purpose is to generate heat in the body and boost the vibrational life energy by exhaling forcefully. Slightly contrasting to kapalbhati is bhastrika pranayama. It is also called bellows of breath. The significant difference is that, in bhastrika, both inhaling and exhaling are forceful. These are some of the easiest, effective, and most common breathing exercises in yoga.
What are you waiting for? Play some soulful music and get on with it! Also, remember to practice pranayama early in the morning, on an empty stomach, and outside your house.
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