Pranayama is one of the important vital components of Yoga that affects the functioning of different systems of the body.
It is said that pranayama cleanses 72,000 nadis or channels in the body. It helps to purify the blood and the respiratory system. The deeper breathing enriches the blood with oxygen.
The word “Prana” means life force and this is considered to be the vital energy or life force that encompasses the body.
This also serves as the link between the consciousness and the mind.
It was believed that once the breath starts to become unsteady, the mind also starts to wander. And when the breath is still, your mind is still also.
The Benefits of Pranayama:
- Increases Lifespan:
Based on the philosophy of Yoga, longevity of life depends on the breathing rate. As you lower your breathing rate, you also increase your life.
- Mental Health improvements:
This practice provides people the freedom from any harmful and negative mental conditions such as depression, anger, lasciviousness, arrogance, excessive want for money and more. By practicing pranayama, you can control mind fluctuations and prepare yourself for deep meditation. You will experience inner peace, better concentration, better memory, better sleep, lightness of the body and more.
- Reduced Rate of Breathing:
With pranayama, you can teach yourself on how to breathe deeply and slowly.
- Improves Blood Circulation:
Breathing lets the fresh and oxygenated blood during the inhalation travels from the lungs and then, to the heart”. Because of this, the blood circulation can be improved. More prana, cosmic energy, or oxygen can reach the various parts of the body.
- Heart Health:
One of the most hardworking organs is the heart. Heart beats almost one-hundred times daily and it pumps blood “day in” and “day out” nonstop throughout your life. This is the one that determines your life quality and expectancy in old age. Having enough oxygen in your blood means more oxygen to be found in the heart’s muscle.
Kapalabhati Pranayama aka skull-shining breath
Contraindications: If your pregnant, have high blood pressure, abdominal pain, acid gastric issues or heart disease..
Visualize: Imagine your head filling up with a warm, bright light as you breath.
To practice Kapalabhati, sit upright on your yoga mat with a bolster or wall behind you if you feel any discomfort.
Your inhale is passive, so it will come naturally and you won’t have to consciously focus on it, while your exhale will be forceful and controlled.
Inhale deeply, and then release your breath in short, quick, forceful bursts, using your stomach muscles to direct the flow of air out of your body.
Start off by doing 10 exhales at a time rest and repeat as many times as you want!
- Reduces belly fat.
- Helps in quick weight loss.
- Balances the sugar levels in your body.
- Improves blood circulation.
Improves the functioning of all the abdominal organs likes stomach, liver, pancreas and kidneys
Bhastrika involves both rapid inhalation as well as exhalation. This helps to increase the circulation of blood in the entire body. During rapid and forced exhalation, the chest is compressed, thereby pushing the blood towards the head. During the inhalation, the reverse takes place.
Contraindications: Heart problems, lung problems
Steps for Bhastrika Pranayama
- Sit comfortably on flat ground. Those who can’t sit on ground can sit on chair because this pranayama is related to the breath.
- Take a deep breath through both nostrils and fill the lungs with air and then exhale with hissing sound
- Inhale deeply and exhale completely.
Do this for 2 min to 5 minutes max and see the result in a few days.
Bhastrika pranayama increases the oxygen content in the blood. Extra oxygen replenishes the entire body.
- It removes blockages in the nose and chest.
- It is good for asthma patients and removes inflammation of the throat.
- Bhastrika increases the gastric fire and improves appetite.
- Bhastrika when practiced with Kumbhaka can generate heat in the body and keep it warm in cold weather.
- Bhastrika improves general health and activates all the organs Bhastrika purifies the nadis or the energy (pranic) channels in the body, ensuring free flow of prana to all the organs in the body.
Book in for my Melbourne Pranayama Workshop on the 22nd of May!