Everything You Need to Know About Pranayama Yoga
Do you want a physical and mental transformation? Ever wondered how to boost your energy levels? If that is what you aim for, Pranayama yoga should be something that you must practice. However, there are so many Pranayama types that a beginner might get confused and wonder where to start. That is why we have prepared a well-structured description of Pranayama yoga.
To make the practice of Pranayama yoga easier for beginners, we have curated a list of important things. Before learning about types of Pranayama, make sure you know what Pranayama is. Also, how does Pranayama included in yoga practice? Moreover, read about the benefits of practising Pranayama yoga. Read on.
Pranayama: A Brief Description
The word Pranayama consists of ‘Prana’ & “Ayama’. Prana denotes the life force or breath that sustains the life in a body. Ayama signifies to extend. When both are combined, it means the extension or drawing out of breath.
Many techniques of Pranayama are available at your disposal. Thus, it might be a bit confusing when you begin your practice. Therefore, you are suggested to join a Pranayama yoga teacher teaching. It ensures you learn each technique from a certified yoga teacher.
What is Pranayama Yoga?
The combination of yoga practice and Pranayama techniques is termed Pranayama yoga. It comprises different yoga poses that you practice while practising a particular Pranayama technique.
When you practice Pranayama yoga, the aim is on your overall development. It brings your mind to the present moment along with a physical transformation of your body.
You might be wondering how to practice Pranayama exercises. Before that, you should know about different Pranayama types. For that, read the following types of Pranayama according to Patanjali to know more about different types of Pranayama techniques.
6 Types of Pranayama
It is one of the most practised Pranayam types. Further, Anulom Vilom is also known as Alternate Nostril Breathing. Anulom Vilom is practised to calm your mind and to become mindful of what is at hand.
Here are a few Anulom Vilom Pranayama steps that you should follow to practice it perfectly. Begin with bringing your right hand in front of your face. Place your right thumb on your right nostril and a little finger on your left nostril. Your index and middle finger should be placed between your eyebrows.
Breath in after closing your right nostril with your right thumb. Hold your breath and close your left nostril with a little finger. Release your thumb and breathe out from the right nostril. Once you completely breathe out, breathe in through the right nostril while keeping your little finger on the left nostril.
Press your right thumb on your right nostril and release air through the left nostril. Repeat this process a few times until you feel relaxed or calm. The inclusion of this with various yoga poses ensures you practice Pranayama yoga easily.
Ujjayi breath is also known as Victorious breath. In this Pranayama type, the air passed after sliding with your throat. Thus, it creates a sound of air passing through your throat under intense pressure. Practitioners having sleep issues practice Ujjayi Pranayama since it sends signals to your brain that mimic deep sleep.
Here are some Ujjayi Pranayama steps you should follow to do it right. After sitting comfortably with closed eyes, breathe in deeply through your nose. When you let the air out, use your throat to constrict the movement of the air.
When you do that, the air passes after grinding with your throat. Moreover, it slows down the breath that helps in calming your mind. Further, the sound aligns your mental frequency to sleeping frequency. Hence, it heals various sleep disorders. Easy pose is one the easiest Pranayama yoga poses in which you can practice Ujjayi breathing.
The exaggeration of breath is done is Bhastrika Pranayama. Furthermore, it boosts oxygen flow in your body. Thus, the practise of Bhastrika Pranayama ensures you stay healthy for an intense yoga practice.
Various Bhastrika Pranayama steps are there. It depends on person to person as to how they prefer practising Bhastrika. However, one way that is practised nearly in almost every class is as follows. Sit in a child’s pose and breath in deep and fill out your stomach.
Raise your arms over your head if you are comfortable doing so. With a gentle push, breath out all the air through your nose. You can also place your hands on your waist if raising them is not comfortable. Repeat the breathing for 20 counts. Once done, open your palms and place them on your thighs for an easier energy exchange.
It is also known as Bee Breath. The practice of Bhramari Pranayama yoga raises your frequency such that it eradicated all the negative emotions from your mind. Thus, it is a fun-to-do Pranayama type that you should include in your daily yoga practice.
Make sure you check the Bhramari Pranayama steps mentioned further. The special feature of Bhramari Pranayama is that you put your index finger in your ears. Once you do that, breathe in deep. Produce a loud humming bee sound when you exhale.
Sheetali is a cooling breath that is effective in calming your mind, body, and various emotions. The word Sheetali comes from Sanskrit that means ‘cool’ or ‘frigid’. It further translates to a soothing or calm flow.
When you practice Sheetali, there is the active use of the tongue. So, the practice of the Sheetali Pranayama steps includes folding the tongue such that air passes through it. Hence, when you breathe in and out through the tongue.
Furthermore, it creates a hissing sound that raises your awareness and pulls you into the present moment. When you practice Sheetali Pranayama yoga, your mind calms down in an instant.
Surya Bhedana focuses on the right nostril breathing. It is one of the most effective techniques of Pranayama yoga that you can practice daily. Practising the Surya Bhedana activates the sun element in your body.
There is no exaggeration of breath when you practice Surya Bhedana. Rather, it is one of the most gentle yoga breathing exercises that you should include in your yoga routine.
With the above-mentioned types of Pranayama, let’s now look at various benefits of practising Pranayama yoga. This will help you know why you should dedicate your time to the practice of various yoga breathing exercises. Make sure you read till the very end.
Benefits of Practicing Pranayama Yoga
Breath is a life force that helps in sustaining life in a being. However, many things tend to accumulate over time in mind and body that leads to stress or anxiety. If not dealt with, they seep deeper into your unconscious and hamper your mental peace.
That is where the art of Pranayama yoga comes into action. Regularly practising various types of Pranayama techniques helps in stress reduction. Not just that, it releases negative emotions from your mind that help you relax or calm down.
Better Quality of Sleep
Sleep cycles are very delicate that even the slightest change in your surrounding can disrupt them. When you are exposed to the varying situations in life, your mind and body grasp plenty of things. Therefore, it badly affects your sleep cycles. In short, you tend to experience sleep disorders like insomnia, sleep apnea, and much more.
With the regular practice of Pranayama yoga techniques and poses, your sleep cycles restore to their natural place. You no longer take hours to fall asleep. Rather, consistently practising various yoga breathing exercises boosts your energy that minimizes your need for sleep.
Makes You Mindful
The art of being present and completely engulfed at the moment is known as mindfulness. Today, there are many things for your distractions. Even while eating food, people tend to watch TV or mobile phones. That is what hampering your mind and its functioning.
Different Pranayama yoga techniques eliminate the need for over-stimulation. It means your desire to participate in different things at an instant comes to an end. This helps you focus on a single thing at a time. Hence, you stay connected to whatever you are doing rather than getting distracted over multiple things.
Neutralize High Blood Pressure
Plenty of things result in high or low blood pressure. Sometimes, even a single thought is enough to raise your blood pressure over the limit that may turn harmful. Therefore, flushing out harmful thoughts from your mind becomes important.
That is where the art of Pranayama yoga exercises help you out. Breathing deep into your gut calms your central nervous system. It positively impacts your mind. In short, you calm down which lowers your blood flow.
Good For Lungs
Your lungs are underutilized. In short, you are not breathing the required amount of air needed to fully use your lungs. That is why you should practice various Pranayama yoga exercises to increase the functionality of your lungs.
With regular practice, you enjoy all the Pranayama benefits for the lungs. It makes your life easier and flushes out all the negative entities from your body. Moreover, filling your body with air increases the amount of oxygen in your body that helps you stay healthy.
The best thing is that with your lungs working in perfect condition, you stay away from all the breathing issues. So, make sure you practice Pranayama yoga techniques daily.
Boosts Cognitive Functioning
Your brain has numerous tasks at hand that it performs very smoothly. However, with so many distractions, you always tend to over-complicate things. This leads to the accumulation of tasks in your mind that affects your working capacity.
Breathing deep into your mind helps in easing out the tension in your mind. In short, you become more efficient at planning and executing things. Moreover, you learn to dedicate time to different works. Hence, you become more productive and efficient rather than postponing the stuff at hand.
Mends Bad Habits
Are you are chain smoker? Do you drink regularly? Well, that is not good for your mental as well as physical health. Sticking to bad habits over time makes you a slave of your mind. You crave stimulation that you get when you drink or do whatever you crave.
If controlling your mind is not in your hand, you should inculcate yoga breathing exercises in your routine. It helps you get rid of negative reactions that your body gives out when you wish to quit bad habits. Also, you can use this to build new or good habits in life.
For instance, practising yoga daily helps you become a master of your mind and body.
Good For Heart
Your heart is under a lot of pressure and stress when you live a sedentary lifestyle. Moreover, the heart has to push extra hard to cope up with your movement. That is why you might experience different heart diseases in a long run.
However, with the regular practice of Pranayama yoga, your heart health improves. You enjoy various Pranayama benefits for the heart when you inculcate different yogic breathing exercises into your routine. Further, the health of the inner walls of your heart improves which ensures the vital organs are working in a perfect state.
Releases Chemicals in Brain
There is a release of different chemicals in the human brain that are linked with different hormones. When there is an excessive release of a particular chemical, one hormone is overused. That leads to various complications. Similarly, an under-release of a hormone could also lead to an issue.
For instance, the thyroid gland releases thyroid hormone. If there is an imbalance in this, it leads to a thyroid issue. However, you can reap the benefits of Ujjayi Pranayama benefits for thyroid with regular practice.
Practising Pranayama yoga is fairly easy. All you have to do is include different Pranayama techniques into your yoga routine. However, make sure you first learn them from a certified yoga master. If possible, learn just the Pranayama techniques so that you can master them.
In case you feel dizzy or lightheaded after practising any breathing exercises, you should stop for the day. Also, you should consult with your physician in case you need any assistance. Be consistent with your yoga practice and over time you are going to live a healthy and happy life.