An ancient Indian practice of controlling breath is known as Pranayam also spelled as Pranayama. It is a sanskrit word explaining extension prana as life force/breath or prana, and yama is described as the control on breath with certain breathing techniques. Pranayam is considered to be beneficial for various respiratory disorders for ex- Asthama, stress related disorders, depression, anxiety etc. Applying certain breathing techniques where the breath is purposely altered to get some positive results. Pranayam has treated dreaded diseases, doctors are also recommending yoga and pranayam for the patients to live a stress free life.
Pranayam is the 4th limb of 8 limbs of ashtanga yoga. From ages sages and spiritual leaders have practiced pranayam for a disciplined living and longevity. This breathing control practice will keep diseases at bay but it should be followed under proper guidance of a guru or yoga instructor. In todays fast paced world people don’t have time to hit the gym and workout to keep their physical structure in good shape. Unlike Yoga can be done at our convenience at our home without paying heavy fees, take this opportunity to create a wonderful physical and mental state for your well being.
There are different forms of Pranayam that help you achieve healthy life.
Bhastrika Pranayam (Bellows breath): In this form breathing from the nostrils, feel the diaphragm moving down, lungs expanding, abdomen moving out and chest expanding with your breathing. Secondly breathe out through your nostrils feeling your collar bones dropping and the abdomen and chest shrinking and lungs inflating this technique should be rigorous than inhalation. Repeat the technique for 2-3 times until you get used to it, but keep a check on breathe in and breathe out process. With regular practice you will eventually master the technique.
Kapalbhati Pranayam (shining forehead breath): Breathe in through your nostrils until your lungs expand. Breathe out through your nostrils powerfully, concentrate on your exhalation than inhalation in this technique because it should be more quick than inhalation. Repeat this process for 3-5 minutes initially and later increase the duration.
Anulom Vilom Pranayam: Gently close your eyes take few deep breaths and then start Anulom Vilom. Close your right nostril with your thumb and breathe through your left nostril until your lungs are full and exhale through your right nostril, repeat the same with right nostril by closing left nostril and inhale through right nostril and exhale through your left. Repeat this technique for 10-15 times.
Bahya Pranayam(external breath): Breathe deep through your nose till your lungs are full with the air pushing the abdomen out. Exhale powerfully using your stomach and diaphragm, comfortably push the air out through your body. Next let your chin touch your chest taking the stomach inside completely. Lift your chin and breathe in slowly, repeat this set for 3-5 minutes
Brahmari Pranayam(Bee breath): Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing, place your hands on the eyes, let the forefinger rest above the eyebrow and the rest till your nose. Inhale deeply through your nose, let the diaphragm move down and oxygen fill your lungs, then push your abdomen out feeling the collar bones rising at the last. While you exhale hum like a bee starting from your throat. Repeat this technique 2-3 times for good results.
Udgeet Pranayam(Chanting Breath): In this technique inhale deeply through your nose, while you exhale chant ooommm, repeat 3-5 times for complete relaxation.
Breath plays a vital role in pranayam, with continuous practice of pranayam health is restored. Pranayam cures cancer, asthama, respiratory problems, stress, blood pressure, anxiety and others.