Enter your mobile number to Login
Pranayama is a practice in the ancient Indian yoga system involving breath control. Pranayama meaning is derived from the Sanskrit words 'prana,' meaning life force or essential energy, and 'ayama,' and Pranayama in English, means expansion or extension. Pranayama techniques aim to regulate, channel, and expand this life force through specific breathing exercises.
In Pranayama, individuals learn to handle their breathing patterns, utilising different rhythms, ratios, and breath holding. The practice focuses on mindful inhalation, exhalation, breath retention, proper posture, and concentration. By consciously regulating the breath, Pranayama practitioners seek balance and peace in both body and mind.
The benefits of Pranayam are numerous. It enhances lung capacity, improves respiratory function, and boosts oxygen supply to the body, promoting overall physical health. Additionally, Pranayama techniques calm the mind, reduce stress, and increase mental clarity. They stimulate the nervous system, promoting relaxation and managing anxiety and stress-related disorders.
Pranayama is often included in yoga sessions and meditation practices but can also be performed as a standalone practice. It is suitable for individuals of all ages and fitness levels, and its effects can be experienced relatively quickly with regular exercise. However, it is advisable to learn Pranayama techniques from a qualified instructor to ensure proper guidance and avoid potential risks.
Overall, the difference between Yoga and Pranayam is that Pranayama is a powerful tool for developing awareness, promoting physical and mental well-being, and connecting with the vital energy that flows within us. Through disciplined practice, individuals can utilise the transformative potential of Pranayama and unlock its numerous benefits for a balanced life.
To perform Pranayama, find a quiet and clean space to sit comfortably. Then, follow these steps to practice Pranayama:
There are about eight types of Pranayam which help people regulate their energy, control their breath, and clear their minds. Here are the types of Pranayam:
Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing): Nadi Shodhana involves breathing and exhaling through alternate nostrils and closing the other nostril. For example, if you're breathing in through the right nostril, you will close the left nostril and then exhale from the left nostril while closing the right nostril. This technique takes care of the body's energy.
Kapalabhati (Skull Shining Breath): This technique of breathing involves exhaling and slow inhaling. Kapalabhati cleanses the respiratory system.
Ujjayi Pranayama (Victorious or Winning Breath): This form of breathing includes contracting the throat to create a soft sound during breathing and exhaling. This Pranayama calms the mind and brings peace.
Bhramari Pranayama (Bee Breath): The Bhramari breathing technique has the individual take a deep breath and exhale for a long time while humming. This form reduces stress and anxiety.
Sheetali Pranayama (Cool Breath): This form of breathing involves curling and breathing through the curled tongue. Sheetali Pranayama cools the body, mind, and soul.
Sheetkari Pranayama (Hissing Breath): Sheetkari Pranayama involves breathing through the mouth and exhaling through the nostrils. Here the individual has to take a breath through their teeth, keeping their lips only slightly open. This form helps release negativity and anger.
Surya Bhedana Pranayama (Right Nostril Breathing): This breathing technique involves breathing through the right nostril and exhaling through the left nostril. This form activates solar and masculine energy.
Chandra Bhedana Pranayama (Left Nostril Breathing): Chandra Bhedana Pranayama is the opposite of Surya Bhedana Pranayama. This form of breathing cools the body and mind. It also charges feminine and lunar energy.