Pranayama And How It Revitalizes Your Body And Mind

Pranayama And How It Revitalizes Your Body And Mind
Sukanya Awasthi
Aug 14, 2018
Updated On Dec 5, 2018 12:56

You are not the only one who feels stressed with the continuous overload of work and pay bills. The only difference is that others have found an effective stress management system and you are still looking.

But doesn’t it make you overwhelmed with stress and exhaustion? Stop, take a deep breath and exhale. Calm your mind. Concentrate as you breathe in and breathe out.

Feel at ease now? This is what Pranayama does to you.        

Pranayama yoga             

What Is Pranayama Yoga?

The Sanskrit word ‘Pranayama’ means the extension of breath or ‘prana’ – the life force, through control or restrain (‘ayama’).

Pranayama is the fourth of the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga as described in the Yoga Sutra. A 6000 years old practice, it saves you from stress disorders and improve your vital organs.

Years of research have proved Pranayama to be a scientific process. Pranayama is the control and manipulation of breaths that rejuvenates your body systems.     

Pranayama

How Does Pranayama Influence Your Breath Control?   

Unlike your other visceral functions, breathing involves both voluntary and involuntary mechanisms, namely:

Metabolic Control: Involuntary breathing is controlled by the respiratory center. It is located in the medulla oblongata (brain stem near the spinal cord) and pons.

The respiratory center controls your breathing by depending upon metabolic variables. These variables are:

  • The rate at which you breathe and,

  • The concentration of carbon dioxide, oxygen, and acidosis in the arterial blood.    

Behavioral Control: Behavioral or voluntary control center of breathing is in the frontal cortex of the brain. Physical activities like swimming, speaking and singing involve controlled breathing.   

The use of voluntary and involuntary breathing in Pranayama influences the balance in the breathing pressure. It increases the concentration of oxygen which in turn affects cellular metabolism and thereby lowers stress.

To experience the positive effects of pranayama yoga, practice regularly and consistently.

Here are 3 important pranayamas that you should do every day.

Anuloma Viloma Pranayama/Nadi Sodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing)

Anuloma Viloma Pranayama

1.  Pranayama Yoga Steps:

  • Maintain a straight posture.

  • Rest your index and middle finger on your forehead.

  • Press the right nostril with your thumb.

  • Exhale all the air from the left nostril, inhale and hold the breath for some seconds.

  • Release the right nostril. 

  • Press the left nostril with your ring and little finger.

  • Now, exhale from the right nostril.

  • Continue the alternate breathing for 9 – 10 times.  

Benefits Of Pranayama:

  • Nadi Sodhana detoxifies the bodily systems and, lowers anxiety.

  • Hormonal balance is restored.

  • Stress or anxiety is visibly reduced.

  • The pranayama improves the respiratory system.

  • It even develops mental clarity and concentration.

Ujjayi Pranayama (Ocean Breath):

Ujjayi Pranayama (Ocean Breath):

2.  Pranayama Yoga Steps:

  • Seat yourself in a meditative pose.

  • Bring your chin towards your chest.

  • Slowly inhale and exhale deep audible breaths slowly.

  • Expand your chest as you inhale and draw the navel inwards.

  • Relax as you release your breath.  

  • Don’t exert too much pressure on your throat to create audible breaths.

  • Try to equalize the time taken to inhale and exhale.

  • Continue this pranayama for 10-20 breaths.

Benefits Of Pranayama:

  • The Ujjayi pranayama prevents cardiac problems.

  • Your memory and concentration get enhanced.

  • Improves the immune system.

  • It revamps your nervous system.

  • It lowers your susceptibility to respiratory diseases.

Kapalbhati Pranayama (Skull Purification)

Kapalbhati Pranayama (Skull Purification)

3.  Pranayama Yoga Steps:

  • Sit straight in the meditative pose of Suhasana or Vajrasana.

  • Keep your hands on the knees with open inverted palms.

  • Exhale with force and pull your navel inward.

  • As you relax the abdominal muscles, inhalation will happen naturally.

  • Do it on empty stomach. 

  • Take 20 breaths to complete one round.

Benefits Of Pranayama:

  • Kapalbhati Pranayam increases metabolism. 

  • Lose weight and get toned abs with Kapalbhati.

  • This pranayama keeps diabetes in check.

  • It enhances your blood circulation, digestion, and neurons.

In this fast-paced life, it is important to pause and take a moment. Just sit down, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Strengthen yourself inside out and conquer the ailments that have bogged you down till now.

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