Pranayama – the practice of breath control

Health and Wellness

by | Apr 12, 2021

Breath is an integral part of our life, the catalyst for our body’s metabolism. The word Prana in Sanskrit means life force and ayama means extending or stretching. Pranayama, the Yogic technique of breath control, therefore, helps in extending and strengthening one’s breath.

One can control the rhythms of Pranic energy with Pranayama and achieve a healthy body and mind. Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras has described Pranayama as a means of attaining higher states of awareness. According to Patanjali, holding the breath is an important practice towards reaching Samadhi (a state of intense concentration).

Pranayama practices are known to reduce stress, improve digestion, reduce sleeplessness and for physical and mental wellbeing. Let us take  a look at four Pranayama practices that are worth following daily for our overall wellbeing.

Nadi Sodhana aka Anulom Vilom

Nadi = subtle energy channel; Shodhan = cleaning, purification; Pranayama = breathing technique

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama is the breathing technique that helps clear the blocked energy channels and calms the mind. It is also known as the Anulom Vilom Pranayama or alternative nostril breathing.

Alternative nostril breathing is a very relaxed, balancing breath that is used to help calm the nervous system and aid in a restful night’s sleep. By increasing the amount of oxygen taken into the body, it is believed to purify the blood, calm the mind, reduce stress and promote concentration.

Kapalabhati Pranayama

Kapal = forehead; bhati = shining; Pranayama = breathing technique

Kapalabhati means ‘skull shining breath’. It is a Pranayama exercise as well as an internal kriya or cleansing technique. Practitioners of Kapalabhati believe that this breath will help clear mucus in the air passages, relieve congestion, reduce bloating and improve lung capacity. Kapalabhati is an invigorating breath that can build heat in the body.

Ujjayi Pranayama

Ujjayi = one who is victorious; Pranayama = breathing technique

It is also referred to as ocean breath due to the sound created during its practice that reminds us of the sea. Ujjayi Pranayama is often used in Asana (posture) practice, especially in Ashtanga and Vinyasa classes. Ujjayi encourages full expansion of the lungs, and by focusing your attention on your breath, it can assist in calming the mind.

Sitali Pranayama

Sitali = cooling; Pranayama = breathing technique

This breath technique cools an over-heated body. The Sitali Pranayama is practiced mainly in summers. Its cooling effect helps have a corresponding effect on your mind and body.

Pratimoksha provides a signature program for breath control — Prana & Beyond. This is a comprehensive course that initially introduces a student to various breathing exercises, moving on afterwards to Yogic breathing techniques including those listed above.

By breathing better, you will be giving a huge boost to your body metabolism alongside balancing your mental health.

Call us at 050 3955613 today for more information on the program.

Take care of your breath and it will take care of YOU.

 

 

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