Pranayama is a set of breathing exercises that help to remove physical and emotional obstructions from our bodies. Prana is the word for breath, and Ayama means the energy of life and control individually. As a result, pranayama means learning to hold your breath to enrich your body. As one of the Eight Limbs of Yoga, Pranayama is mentioned in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. It is also regarded as an essential step on the journey to enlightenment.
Seniors who practise pranayama benefit from improved blood circulation, mind and body relaxation, concentration, stress relief, and relief from various diseases. These benefits can be even more beneficial for the elderly because they improve their general wellness and quality of life. But unfortunately, the majority of people do not know how to breathe correctly. Improper breathing can lead to chronic stress, reduce flexibility and interfere with concentration.
Anulom vilom is a popular pranayama. It is classified as a type of pranayama (or controlled breathing). There are several advantages to anulom vilom pranayama for seniors. It helps improve the respiratory system, the functions of the lungs, and the endurance levels of the senior. It also helps to relax the mind and increases immunity.
To practice this form of pranayama breathing technique, follow the following steps:
Step 1: Close your eyes and sit in a comfortable position. Make sure your spine is straight.
Step 2: Tuck your right middle and index fingers into your palms and bring them towards your nose. Place your thumb on the right nostril and your ring finger on the left.
Step 3: Close your left nostril with your ring finger before slowly inhaling through your right nostrils for 3 counts.
Step 4: When you feel your lungs filling up with air, close your right nostril with your thumb while closing your left nostril. Hold your breath as long as you possibly can.
Step 5: Exhale for 6 counts while moving your ring finger away from your left nostril.
Step 6: Now, reverse the inhaling through your left nostril and exhaling through your right.
Step 7: Once you’ve completed this cycle, repeat it for 3 to 5 minutes, breathing for as long as possible.
For healthy seniors, there are no restrictions on pranayama. Many yoga practitioners affirm that it aids in living a long and healthy life. However, suppose you are practising pranayama for the first time. In that case, it is always best to do so under the supervision of a certified practitioner.