What is pranayama why is it that so many yogis or yoga practitioner love practicing it ? Pranayama is life energy force with the techniques of breathing as a preparatory steps towards meditation and one of the 8 limbs of ashtanga yoga. It balances the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide taken in and out of the body through the respiration process and therefore, connects the mind, body and spirit into one whole by using prana .
The seven types of pranayamas :
- Anuloma Viloma
- Ujjayi breathing
- Shitali rounding tongue breath
- Sheetkari tongue upper palate
|Kapalabhati (skull cleansing)||Sit comfortably or in a crossed-legged position; hands resting on knees, spine straight and lengthened .Inhale through the nose and exhale forcefully by contracting the abdominal area completely as if being punched . Do 3 sets, 10 times for each with a short rest in between.||– Clears mind- Relieves stress
– Reduces body weight
– Strengthens diaphragm
– Increases blood circulation
|Heart problem, sinus, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers etc.|
|Anuloma Viloma||Sit comfortably without leaning against the wall with left hand resting on the left knee and right hand with index and middle finger tucked in and touching the palms. Press last 2 fingers on the left nostril.Inhale deeply on right nostril and press thumb on it holding in the breath for a few seconds.
Release fingers pressing the left nostril and exhale .
Inhale from left nostril and hold breath before exhaling again from the right nostril.
Repeat 10 times.
|– Stress relief- Constipation
– Weight loss
|Ujjayi breathing (Victory breathing)||Inhale and exhale through nose and throat . Sound of ocean waves .||Helps focus on dristi and provides stability and strength in asanas as it removes unnecessary thoughts in one’s mind.|
|Bhramari (Humming Bee)||Place one hand on each ear . Method is similar to Ujjayi breathing but requires one to produce the sound of a bee humming without any tension in the body .||Enhances throat chakra to capture the attention of listeners .|
|Bhastrika (Bellows breathing)||Lock the abdominal area and keep shoulders depressed and ribcage stable . Inhale and exhale using the lungs without moving the belly in a fast paced manner .||-Increases appetite and metabolic rate-Increases blood circulation and body temperature||Menstruation|
|Shitali rounding tongue breath||Roll the tongue and inhale slowly through the mouth. Exhale through the nose after closing the mouth. Repeat 10 times .||-Cools body down|
|Sheetkari tongue upper palate||Gently press the tongue against the upper palate, upper and lower teeth biting. Inhale through the mouth and hold before closing the mouth and exhaling through the nose. Repeat 10 times.||-Cools body down|
The practice of pranayama daily can increase the chakra energy flow and provide maintenance of health and cure many diseases . Precautions should still be considered for different individuals with medical conditions . Pranayama helps one to balance in the bumpy journey of life .
Yong Pei Che
200Hr yoga course