9 Pranayama Techniques | How to do Pranayama? | Pranayama Benefits
Pranayama is commonly defined as breath control. The word pranayam is form sanskrit language is comprised of two root words - 'prana' which means 'vital energy' or 'life force' and 'ayama' which means 'the extension or the expansion'. Thus 'pranayama' means extension or expansion of the dimension of prana. Pranayama utilizes breathing to influence the flow of prana in the energy channels or 'nadis'. Therefore, pranayama should not be treated as mere breathing exercises aimed at suppling extra oxygen into the lungs.
"The techniques of pranayama provide the method whereby the life force can be activated and regulated in order to go beyond one's normal boundaries or limitations and attain a higher state of vibratory energy and awareness."
Practicing different Pranayama techniques establishes a healthy body by removing blockages in the body, enabling increased absorption and retention of prana or the life force.
Before we start with the different Pranayama techniques and Pranayama benefits, let us lay down for some general notes on the practitioner.
- Pranayama should never be practiced during illness or having any kind of disease, although simple breath awareness techniques and breathing can be performed in shavasana.
- Also the best time for practicing the pranayama techniques is at dawn when your body is fresh and your mind is free from all the disturbances and distractions. One can also practice these techniques after sunset too, however you should try to practice pranayama techniques each day, regularly at the same time and same place.
- Your should at least wash hands, face and feet before starting the practice of Pranayama and must wait for minimum half hour before bathing and make your body to relax. This will also allows the body to have time for cooling down after the practice.
- You must practice it before eating breakfast in the morning or you should wait for 3-4 hours after meals before starting pranayama.
- You also should practice in a clean and calm environment which is free from clutter and daily mess. Ensure the room is well ventilated, means that there should be proper regulation of air into your room or that place.
- You must always breathe from the nose and not from your mouth unless otherwise specified in the techniques explained in this website.
- You must maintain a comfortable meditation posture which will enable you to breathe efficiently. Your body should be relaxed with the spine, neck and head erect, this is a good posture to maintain. After that you shoul sit on a yoga mat or a folded blanket to ensure maximum conduction of energy from the ground during the0 practice.
Benefits Of Pranayama Techniques :
Benefits of pranayama techniques are both tangible ( can be touched or seen ) and intangible ( can only be feel ). God has provided prana ( means life ), the supreme source of power free of cost to all the human beings. With the proper utilisation of this free source of energy we can make some remarkable changes to our health, vitality and our self confidence. We cannot simply equate the term prana ( means life ) with oxygen present in the air that we breathe but it is also filled with vital energy known as prana which is responsible for the cure for most of the diseases and makes your life active.
All benefits of pranayama cannot be written down and every pranayama technique has its own benefit and uniqueness. Also there are lot of subtle changes like mental peace and clarity of thought that can occur in our mind and it also decides the rate of effectiveness.
Benefits of Pranayama
- It helps in decreasing Breathing Rates.
With the help of yoga breathing exercises you can train yourself to breathe more slowly and more deeply with the time. Also your breathing rates can be changed from about fifteen breaths a minute to 5-6 breaths a minute, which will finally results reducing the breathing rate by one third but this can only be achived form regular practice. Reductionof your breathing rates will lead to:
- The slow heart rate and reduction of the heart rate will results in more oxygen pumping even with less number of breaths. It will finally be in the ration of 1:2 for inhalation:exhalation. Overall you can say the efficiency of body to intake oxygen increases by a great amount.
- The reduction of wear and tear of the internal organs of your body.
- The lowering of blood pressure of your body which will directly involves in relaxation of body tensions and quieter nerves.
As per yoga and pranayama culture, longevity or long living of any creture in this world depends on your breathing rate or breths. There is a fixed amount of breaths in you life and lowering of breathing rate will results in increase of your life span. Let us take an example of a tortoise which takes four to five breaths in a minute and it lives up to 200 years or more.
As a result of this kind of breathing, the freshly oxygenated blood (during inhalation) travels from your lungs to the heart. The heart will pumps the blood to every part of your body via arteries and blood vessels, which further seeps into every tissues and then cells of your body. This improves the overall blood circulation and all the parts of your body hence get more oxygen/ prana or cosmic energy.
The heart is the most industrious part of the body. Our heart normally beats 100,000 times a day and it is also pumping blood day in and day out non-stop in our entire life. The health of our heart will decide our life expectancy and quality of life in our old age. If there is more oxygen in the blood that means more oxygen is supplied to muscles of the heart.
- Pranayama is really beneficial For the better Functioning Of Body Organs. Since better functioning of autonomic system improves the working of lungs, kidneys, heart, intestines, diaphragm, abdomen and pancreas automatically.
- Due to all the effects of pranayam digestive system improves and diseases pertaining to the digestive organs are cured eaisly and effectively.
- The general kind of irritability due to lethargy or fatigue vanishes with the ragular practice of pranayam.
- By this practice all body organs gets more and more oxygen, due to which toxins are removed from your body, therefore exposure to various diseases is prevented due to this practice. Pranayama strengthens the your immune system and makes it more stronger to fight more and mor diseases.
Pranayama practice provides freedom from negative and harmful mental conditions like anger, depression, lasciviousness, greed for money, arrogance etc. With pranayama fluctuations of mind are controlled and it prepares the mind for meditation. With practice of pranayama, you will start experiencing lightness of body, feeling of inner peace, better sleep, better memory and better concentration whereby improving the spiritual powers/ skills.
As a person with sedentary lifestyle reaches middle age, lung tissues tend to grow less and less elastic and lung capacity decreases. Pranayama can help to reduce the effects of following old age problems:
- Loss of vitality will be there when you will introduce Pranayama into your life.
- Accumulation of uric acid in the blood stream will leads to frequent joint pains and discomfort in old ages.
- Also the problems of Backaches, headaches, rheumatism, stiffening muscles and joints can be tackled by these asanas.
- There will be Proper circulation of blood in your blood channelsand is impeded by a sluggish diaphragm or hardening arteries.
It is recommended form our side to start learning pranayama from a yoga teacher without any delay in order to experience the immense benefits of pranayama. Benefits of yoga breathing can be realised only by experience. Establish a daily routine of yoga breathing exercises. If you want to start on your own, first start with rhythmic deep breathing to get into the rhythm.