In this post I am trying to focus on power on breathing, breathing is something we do on a regular basis but in yoga, we refer to this as pranayama. Pranayama is a Sanskrit word “PRAN” which means life force and “AYANA” means extending and stretching thus the word tells that it one should have control over life force over. I have been observing people and think about what can be the first thing people do when they get up. Unlike the old me snoozing the alarm, checking phone with messages and social media. If this is true and you are one doing that you might want to take a break from the habit and introduce some good habits to your lifestyle.
Yoga gives you mindfulness, you might want to ask me to want to happen when I made mindfulness my priority. Are you too not done with daily mundane chores? Aren’t you seeking peace? Do you want to connect with yourself and strike a balance in your life? There is absolutely no doubt that there is a growing interest in the mindfulness theses days, the only key is to need to stop a little, take a slow deep breath, observe your body and your emotions then proceed with what you were doing with an attitude of gentleness and kindness. Also having the intention of integrating this mindful awareness into your activity as it is holy detox to your soul it heals your heart. While some yoga forms of exercises may focus on the body some over mind and spirit.
Yet, Yoga basically cleanses and if you are new to yoga it would be best to start off with gentle pranayama and move to easy Asanas involving forward and backward stretches. Refrain from intense Asanas until your body has paced itself to the practice and rhythm. Yoga and humans share a deep relation. Since its inception of deep In the pre-Vedic ages. The world is changing rapidly and so are our lives. At this juncture take a moment to breathe and make some major adjustments so that the rest of it is smooth! To start off let’s shed some light on the start of my day and how ideally should it be so it keeps us geared up till night. The first thing when I wake, I get up slowly not like some panic attack, without rushing and ensuring that I rub my palms together and let my face feel the heat, next I practice my meditation and concentrate on my breathe for 10 mins first slow then fast further topping with enchanting Om and performing Kapalabharti, anulom vilom AND FINALLY Bhramari Pranayama. Remember, It’s not about how many asanas you do it’s about how well you perform. Then, I like to hydrate myself I have a childhood following where my dad used to drink a glass of lukewarm water before I head for my morning ablutions. It not only cleanses but keeps me refreshed throughout the day. Next, I perform is stretching after I am fully awake and alert which includes joint movements, basic stretches which I will share it in my next blog the types of asanas I perform to increase energy levels that it does not make me feel the lazy and lethargic full day.
Anuloma Viloma AKA NOSTRIL BREATHING
It is known as alternative nostril breathing, is a very relaxed, balancing breath that is used to help calm the nervous system and aid in a restful night’s sleep. By increasing the amount of oxygen taken into the body, it’s believed that this breath can also purify the blood, calm the mind, reduce stress, and promote concentration.
It can be done seated or lying down. To start, empty all the air from your lungs. Using the thumb of your dominant hand, block your right nostril and inhale through your left nostril only. Be sure to inhale into your belly, not your chest. Once you are full of breath, seal your left nostril with the ring finger of the same hand, keeping your right nostril closed, and hold the breath for a moment. Then release your thumb and exhale through your right nostril only. Be sure to exhale all the breath out of the right side and pause before inhaling again through the same side. Seal both nostrils once you’ve inhaled on the right side and exhaled through the left side. A complete cycle of breath includes an inhalation and exhalation through both nostrils.
If you’re just starting out, you can do a four-count inhale, holding your breath for four to eight counts, then exhale for four counts. Perform up to ten cycles and notice how your body responds. You may feel more relaxed and calm in both your mind and body. It is a calm, soothing breath that can be done at any time of day. Try practicing this technique when you are anxious, nervous, or having trouble falling asleep.
Kapalabhati Pranayama AKA SKULL SHINNING BREATH
This is a skull shining breath. It’s a pranayama exercise as well as an internal kriya, or cleansing technique. It is believed that this breath will help clear mucus in the air passages, relieve congestion, reduce bloating, and improve lung capacity. Kapalabhati is an invigorating breath that can build heat in the body.
Start by sitting in a comfortable seat with a tall, straight spine, and exhale completely. Inhale briefly through both nostrils, then sharply exhale (again out of your nose) while pulling your navel in toward your spine. The exhalation is short and quick, but very active, while the inhalation is short and passive. Again, pull your navel in as you exhale and soften it on the inhalation. Do one round of 30 (counting your exhalations) and rest for a minute with some deep breaths in between. Repeat. If this seems strenuous, start with 15 and gradually work your way up. This is great to do in the morning if you’re feeling chilly or sluggish. You may also try it when you’re feeling congested or bloated, but don’t try it on a full stomach. Avoid this technique if you are pregnant, or suffer from blood pressure issues or heart conditions.
Bhramari Pranayama AKA Humming Bee Breath.
It is a calming breathing practice that soothes the nervous system and helps to connect us with our truest inner nature, Start by Sitting up straight in a quiet, with your eyes closed for some time. Observe the sensations in the body and the quietness within. Place your index fingers on your ears. There is a cartilage between your cheek and ear. Place your index fingers on the cartilage. Take a deep breath in and as you breathe out, gently press the cartilage. You can keep the cartilage pressed or press it in and out with your fingers while making a loud humming sound like a bee.
You can also make a low-pitched sound but it is a good idea to make a high-pitched one for better results. Breathe in again and continue the same pattern 3-4 times. It works on calming the nerves and soothes them especially around the brain and forehead. The humming sound vibrations have a natural calming effect.
By including Pranayama as part of your practice, you will begin to see the many benefits on a physical and psychological level. We have discussed just a few of the many different techniques for practicing Pranayama. Breathing exercise does not seem complicated, but they are just as important as adopting a proper pose in yoga. If you do nothing else, practice your breathing exercises everyday and relax your mind as with these easy exercises you’ll surely feel stronger and healthier.
Author- Neerja Biwalkar