Techniques of Pranayama

Techniques of Pranayama

Pranayama is the practice of controlling one’s breath. It’s a key component of yoga, a form of exercise that promotes both physical and emotional well-being. Prana is the Sanskrit word for life energy, and yama is the Sanskrit word for control.

Pranayama is a breathing technique that comprises exercises and patterns. You deliberately inhale, expel, and hold your breath in a particular order.

Pranayama is combined with other yoga activities such as physical postures (asanas) and meditation in the practice of yoga (dhyana). The many benefits of yoga are due to the combination of these practices.

However, pranayama offers its own set of advantages. The therapeutic effects of breathing exercises and awareness are responsible for these benefits.

Importance of Pranayama

Until the Prana vayu is present in the body, the person is said to be alive. He is thought to be dead as soon as the Prana vayu leaves. To increase longevity, one should learn to control prana vayu through Pranayama.

Technique of Pranayama

Pranayama consists of 3 components

  • Puraka (inspiration)
  • Kumbhaka(withholding of breath)
  • Rechaka(Expiration)

 

The heart rate slows during inspiration (Puraka), and with a reduced pace, the heart’s resting period, or diastole, is lengthened. The cardiac muscles are given greater rest, yet the heart cavities are filled with blood. More blood is pumped into circulation with greater force during the following contraction (Systole), which enhances overall circulation.

 

Fresh air does not enter the circulation during Kumbhaka (retention), resulting in reduced oxygen tension in the blood. As a result, some of the anoxia causes cerebral vasodilation and improved circulation. However, this effect is only useful up to a specific ideal level, after which it is hazardous.

 

The gradual expiration during Rechaka (expiration) requires conscious effort with the support of the cerebral cortex of the brain. These inhibitory impulses from the cortex overflow into the adjacent emotional area of the hypothalamus, quieting it. As a result, a relaxing sensation is produced.

Types of Pranayama

• Suryabhedana Pranayama

Inhale via your right nose and exhale through your left nostril.

Inhalation through the right nostril heats the body by passing through the Pingala or Surya Nadi.

Suryabhedana Pranayama
Suryabhedana Pranayama

Suryabhedana Pranayama Benefits

Suryabhedana Pranayama helps to aerate the lungs, clear mucus, and improve lung compliance

It relaxes the nerves and tones the entire body system

It improves digestion and produces a warming effect in the body

It helps to clear the sinuses

Improves Agni’s performance

Purification of Kapala (Sinuses) vitiation

Vata alleviation

• Sitkari Pranayama

Exhale through both nostrils after inhaling through the mouth with the lips slightly apart and the tongue in between the teeth.

Benefits of Sitkari Pranayama

Helps to keep the system cool

Eyes and ears are smoothed

It’s good for fevers and has a bitter taste in the tongue

The liver and spleen are stimulated

Excessive hunger and thirst are relieved

Stress, rage, and anxiety are all reduced

Prevents hair loss and premature greying

Blood pressure is reduced

• Sitali Pranayama

Inhale via both nostrils and exhale through the rolled tongue.

Benefits of Sitali Pranayama: (Same as Sitkaree)

The system is cooled

Eyes and ears are smoothed

It’s good for fevers and has a bitter taste in the tongue

The liver and spleen are stimulated

Excessive hunger and thirst are relieved

Stress, rage, and anxiety are all reduced

Prevents hair loss and premature greying

Blood pressure is reduced

• Bhastrika Pranayama

Close your eyes and sit in Padmasana (Lotus Pose).

Take a deep breath in and fill your lungs with air (inhale).

After that, slowly exhale.

Inhaling and exhaling should take the same amount of time: 2.5 seconds for inhalation and 2.5 seconds for exhalation.

Assume that you are taking in positive energy and vibrations and that you are being energized by them when you breathe in (inhale).

Imagine that you are removing all of the toxins from our body as you breathe out (exhale).

Benefits of Bhastrika Pranayama

The spleen, liver, pancreas, and abdominal organs are all stimulated.

Contraindications

People who have a weak constitution or have a limited lung capacity

People who have problems with their eyes and ears

High or low blood pressure

• Bhramari Pranayama

During Pranayama, a humming sound is produced, similar to that of a huge black bee (Bhramara).

The practitioner experiences a nice sensation.

Both hands should be used to do the Shanmukhi mudra.

Bhramari Pranayama
Bhramari Pranayama

Benefits of Bhramari Pranayama

Helps with insomnia

Stress, tensions, wrath, anxiety, and blood pressure are relieved

Helps with voice and throat problems

• Murcha Pranayama

Sukhasana or lotus pose are two simple meditation postures.

Relax your body, place your hands on your knees, and soften your shoulders.

Sit up straight and make sure your head is in line with your spine.

Use the khecari mudra (roll the tongue to the soft palate or nasal cavity)

Tilt your head back slightly and inhale slowly through both nostrils, as if you were doing Ujayii breathing.

Obtain the shambhavi mudra (bring the gaze to the center of the eyebrows)

Straighten your arms, lock your elbows, and press the palms of your hands into your knees.         

Retain the breath and engage Jalandhar bandha at the top of the inhale (chin lock)

Begin to softly exhale the breath if you are experiencing extreme dizziness.

Return to a comfortable body position with your eyes closed, and take a moment to savor the peace that the practice has brought you.

Benefits of Murcha Pranayama

Excellent meditation preparation

Reduces anxiety, tension, rage, and neurosis while increasing Prana levels.

• Plavani Pranayama

The air inhaled fills the stomach, allowing the practitioner to simply float above the water like lotus leaves.

Benefits of Plavani Pranayama

Improves your swimming ability.

Pranayamas like Murcha and Plavani are tough for the average person to accomplish. It is only practiced by a few yogis.

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