Prana, which is the ancient Hindu language Sanskrit means energy or life force (breathing), and ayama, which means control or regulation in Hinduism. Thus, prana and ayama (pranayama) create breath control.
PRANAYAMA BREATHING HISTORY
People have been pranayama-based yoga breathing techniques for thousands of years. This is according to the Atharva Veda an ancient Indian religious text that dates back to 1000-900 BCE.
These breathing techniques have had a multitude of benefits over the past three millennia. Yoga classes often include pranayama (yogic breath) as part of their practice. However, it is possible to do it independently.
HOW DOES IT WORK
Pranayama breathing and deep breathing yoga both focus on the key element of the human body that can be controlled and automatic: breathing.
Yoga breathing allows people to harness the power and potential of their breath, establishing a connection between the mind and body. This can dramatically change your way of thinking, feeling and acting.
Pranayama (or prana breathing) is the goal of pranayama. It is the ability to maintain steady breathing patterns while performing asana, the sanskrit term for yoga poses. Every inhale should feel deep and slow. This activates the vagus nervous. Your brain runs the vagus nerve from your abdomen to your brain. It activates the relaxation response and switches off our fight or flight reflex, which is often associated with stress.
The bottom line is that calm the mind and body will help you relax. This is possible by deep breathing.
PRANAYAMA IN YOGA
Yoga focuses heavily on breathing. Yoga instructors often make breathing the main focus of their teaching. This is because yoga cannot be done without paying attention to breathing patterns. These can be developed by pranayama techniques in a Hatha or Vinyasa class.
What are the benefits of PRANAYAMA?
Pranayama benefits include better sleep, less muscle tension, and a more focused and clear mind. These are just a few of the benefits that pranayama breathwork can bring to your life.
- Better sleep (longer and better quality sleep)
- Focus and concentration are improved
- Better respiration and cardiovascular health
- More controlled metabolism and digestion
- Cognitive performance is enhanced
- Stress and anxiety can be reduced
- Easier mood stabilization
- Lower blood pressure
- Immune system improvement
- Increased vital energy
Is it difficult to learn?
No! Pranayama is easy to learn.
Some types of pranayama breathing are more difficult and take longer, but beginners can add a simple pranayama technique into their daily life.
This deep breathing technique can be used in many different ways, including:
- Bhastrika pranayama (Bellows Breath)
- Kapalabhati pranayama (Skull shining Breath)
- Ujjayi pranayama, also known as ocean breath, victorious breath, or ujjayi breath.
- Bhramari pranayama
- Dirga pranayama
- Simhasana pranayama
- Alternate nostril breathing
Pranayama yoga or pranayama breathing beginners should be aware of the excellent introductory deep breathing techniques.
DIRGA (THREE-PART BATH)
Dirga’s goal is to make the belly balloon-like. It expands during inhalation, and then retracts towards the spine during exhalation.
To practice Dirga, you must first be comfortable. You can either sit in a chair, or lie down on a yoga mat. Stand straight up and raise your head. Start by taking a few regular breaths. Then, observe your inhales and exhales.
Next, slow down and breathe slowly. This will allow the belly to expand and balloon-like shape. Continue to expand your rib cage by inhaling a little more. Let the air rise through the collarbones and chest.
Now, exhale slowly. First, exhale from your chest and collar bones. Next, slowly exhale the air from the belly and rib cage. To exhale fully, the belly should retract inwardly towards the spine. You can repeat this three times.
SIMHASANA (LION’S BREATH).
Inhibitions can be released by Simhasana (Lion’s Breath), which is a power breathing technique. Simhasana is associated with a unique pose, but the focus is still on breathing.
Place your feet on the ground or in a chair to get into a comfortable, relaxed position. Inhale through your nose. Inhale and exhale. Next, expand your mouth wide and say “HA!”
Inhale again. Next exhale. In addition to saying “HA”, stick your tongue out, pointing the tip toward the chin.
Inhale again. Next, exhale hard. Now, look up toward the ceiling with your eyes. For three more cycles of breathing, do all three of the above on your exhale.
PRANAYAMA BREATHING – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the purpose of breathing exercises?
Pranayama means breath control. Pranayama is the art of controlling your breathing and harnessing its power. It is especially useful during yoga practice. Pranayama and yoga breathing techniques may be done independently, however, it is possible to do them both in tandem.
Pranayama breathing exercises slow down the rate of respiration. Pranayama is a practice that slows down the breathing and deepens it.
What is the difference between meditation and pranayam?
Both meditation and pranayama can help you reduce stress, calm down, and increase your concentration. The two techniques are slightly different.
Meditation is a practice that trains the mind to be more aware and attentive. Meditation is a practice that helps you to be more present and clear your mind. It also allows you to disconnect from thoughts and emotions and focus on pure observation.
Pranayama, however, is all about breathing. Pranayama is the art of using the breath to bring calmness to the body, and then to the mind.
Both can be done alongside yoga and pranayama, just like meditation.
PRANAYAMA – Is it a danger?
A doctor is recommended before you start any new practice, especially if you have chronic conditions. Pranayama breathing techniques are safe for most people. However, there are exceptions.
Pranayama should not be done immediately after eating. Give yourself at least four hours to rest before you attempt pranayama. Ensure that you don’t overtrain while pranayama exercises are being performed.
Unless otherwise instructed, you should always inhale through your nose and take it slow. Don’t hold your breath. Instead, maintain a steady flow in the air passageway.
PRANAYAMA’S BREATHING CAN ALLEVIATE STRESS.
Sitting comfortably and listening to a rhythmic sound can help you feel calm in your body and mind. This practice of breathing will positively impact the parasympathetic nerve system.
Slowly inhale and exhale. The calmness you feel throughout your body will be felt with each inhale as well as every exhale. Focusing on your normal breathing through this yoga practice will help you to reduce stress and anxiety. This is the main objective of pranayama. If you’re trying to improve your sleep quality, it can also be used as a means of improving your overall health.
Breath control can also be described as prana (pranayama), and ayama (pranayama).
People have been pranayama-based breathing techniques for thousands of years. It is specifically mentioned in the Atharva Veda an Ancient Indian religious text, which dates back to c. 1000-900 BCE.
These breathing techniques have provided a multitude of benefits over the past three millennia.
There are many pranayamas that you can choose from. They are most commonly used in yoga classes, but can also be done on their own.