“Pranayama” means “breath management.” “Prana” is the Sanskrit word for “breath” or “powerful emotions” in the body. Prana describes the pranic strength necessary for survival or spiritual power on a subtle basis, and “ayama” means stronger. Pranayama literally means “breathing techniques.”
Pranayama – Definition
Ayama refers “to stretch or pull out,” and Prana refers to “life power or breath that sustains the soul.” Breath extension or regulation is what these particular words actually mean when used together.
What is Pranayama And Its Benefits?
Pranayama is becoming increasingly popular with people from all backgrounds of life. Yoga is for something other than asanas. It’s a total way of leading life that encourages overall wellness. Prana is a critical factor that keeps life going. The words “pran” and “ayama” both mean “order” or “regulation.” There are several different forms of Pranayama, and its advantages in everyday life are numerous.
Pranayama can be beneficial to your wellbeing in a number of different ways. Let’s take a closer look at seven of these advantages.
- Reduces Burden: For stable younger people, pranayama lowers potential stress levels. According to the experts, pranayama relaxes the internal organs, which enhances your stress response. Individuals that performed pranayama were less anxious. During pranayama, the body takes in more oxygen. And major organs, such as the brain and nervous system, mostly depends on oxygen for strength.
- Improves The Standard of Sleep: Pranayama’s stress-relieving properties can also improve sleep.When a procedure known as Bhramari pranayama was performed for 5 minutes, it was found to reduce the speed of heartbeat and breathing. This will aid in the relaxation of the mind and in preparation for sleep. People who suffer from sleep disturbance apnea benefit from pranayama as well. Pranayama practice reduces snoring and difficulty concentrating, implying advantages for improved quality of sleep.
- Improved Mindfulness: Breathing comes naturally to everybody. We use it without ever thinking about it. During pranayama, though, you must be conscious of your breath and how much it happens. You often work on concentrating on the current time rather than the present or future. This is referred to as mindfulness.
Many who performed pranayama were more attentive while those who did not. Control of feelings was also improved in the very same way. This was linked to pranayama’s soothing influence, which promotes the desire to become more attentive.
Pranayama also aids in the removal of carbon dioxide and increases oxygen levels in the blood, which boosts brain cells. This could help you be more conscious by enhancing your ability to concentrate.
- High Blood Pressure is Reduced: When the blood pressure rises to an unacceptable amount, it is known as high blood pressure or hypertension. It raises the risk of certain possibly fatal diseases, such as heart failure and paralysis.
High blood pressure is linked to a number of factors, including stress. Pranayama, which promotes relaxing, may help to reduce this possibility.
It will help to relax your internal organs if you focus on your every breath. As a result, the stress and increase in blood pressure could be reduced.
- Enhanced Lung Function: Pranayama is a form of deep breath that will help the lungs get stronger. Practicing pranayama for an hour a day for one month could have a positive impact on your lung function. Pranayama can help to improve the lungs in a variety of cases, including:
Tuberculosis and Pneumonia
- Improves Mental Ability: Pranayama, beneficial for the lungs, can also improve your brain activity. Slow or rapid pranayama for 2 months increases managing skills, including working memory, emotional ability, and thinking abilities. The practice of pranayama will help you reduce tension and increase your response time. Such advantages were related to pranayama’s stress-relieving properties. High oxygen absorption that energises brain cells is also likely to be playing a part.
- Smoking Cravings Are Reduced: There is also proof that yogic meditation, or pranayama, can help smokers quit by reducing cravings. Simple nicotine cravings were reduced after just a few mins of pranayama breathing. The detrimental effects of smoking were reduced by yoga breathing.
What are The Different Types of Pranayama?
Prana, Apana, Vyan, Udana, and Samana are the five forms of prana that are essential for multiple pranic practices throughout the body. Prana and Apana seem to be the most common of these. Prana flows forward, while Apana flows downward. Pranayama practice brings all pranas into harmony, resulting in a balanced heart and brain.
The 14 types of pranayama are listed below:
- Natural Breathing
- Basic Abdominal breathing
- Thoracic breathing
- Clavicular breathing
- Yogic breathing
- Deep breathing with ratios
- Fast breathing
- Viloma – Interrupted Breathing
- AnulomVilom – Alternate Nostril Breathing
- Cooling Breath – Sheetali, Sitkari, Kaki mudra
- Ujjayi – Victorious Breath
- Bhramari – Humming Bee Breath
- Bhastrika – Bellows Breath
- Surya Bhedan – Right Nostril Breathing
Prayanam – Who Can Do
There are no restrictions on who can practice Pranayama. The Pranayam that you need the most are the steps you can choose first.
For example, If you have high blood pressure, you should avoid Kapal Bhaati. Ujjayi, Anulom Vilom, and Bhrahmari are the only things you can do. After the BP issues have been resolved, you can choose from a variety of vigorous activities.
As a result, Yoga doesn’t really place restrictions on age; rather, you must choose Pranayama based on your ability and requirements.
Prayanam – Good for Old Age or Not
It’s the fact that pranayama is beneficial in minimising depression. According to the studies, Pranayama was successful in reducing stress in senior citizens. Below are the simple steps for a senior citizen.
- The tree pose could allow you to keep your balance and prevent you from falling.
- Standing on both legs together and arms raised above your shoulders, palms together, is a good way to start.
- Lift your right leg off the ground marginally such that your heels remain on the ground and your foot touches the inside of your ankle.
- If necessary, stabilize for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Repeat on the opposite side. If possible, grab anything.
When Do You Practice Pranayama?
Breathing is what we all do every day. If we are active, sleeping, or consciously working, the body breathes in a lively manner. Breathing is the same as living. It is a necessary part of life. This is known as pranayama in yoga. Prana is a Sanskrit word meaning life force, and ayama is a Sanskrit word meaning stretching. As a result, the term “pranayama” means “power of life energy.” This is also recognized as breathing expansion.
Let’s find the 4 powerful Pranayama practices:
Nadhi Sodhana aka Anuloma Viloma: Additional nostril breathing, often recognized as Nadhi Sodhana, is really quiet, balancing breath which is used to help calm the internal organs and assist in a relaxing good rest. Every breath purifies the blood, relaxes the mind, reduces depression, and increases positive thoughts by supplying oxygen absorbed into your body.
When To Do It : Nadhi Sodhana is a relaxing, calming breath which can be practised at a certain time of day. When you’re feeling stressed, nervous, or have trouble sleeping, use this strategy.
Pranayama Kapalabhati: Kapalabhati is a Sanskrit word that means “skull sparkling breath.” It’s both a pranayama and an inner kriya, or cleaning procedure. Kapalabhati practitioners claim that such a breath can remove mucus from the airways, alleviate pressure, minimise bloating, and increase lung capability. Kapalabhati is an energising breath which can increase body heat.
When To Do it: Whether you’re feeling cold or slow in the morning, Kapalabhati is a good choice. You should even do it if you’re feeling bloated or crowded, but not on an empty stomach. If you’re pregnant, have high blood pressure, or have a heart disease, you should avoid this procedure.
Pranayama Ujjayi: Ujjayi is a word that means “victory breath” and is also known as “ocean breath” because of the sound it makes. Particularly in ashtanga and vinyasa yoga, this breath is frequently used in asana (posture). Ujjayi supports complete lung expansion which will help to relax the mind by concentrating your energy on your breathing.
When To Do it: At a certain time of day, you should exercise this breath for up to a few minutes. It’s also worth a shot for an asana lesson.
Pranayama Sitali: Sitali often indicates “cooling,” which describes its mental and physical effects. This breath facilitates the removal of heat by the use of coolness. It’s particularly useful in the summer and in warm environments.
When To Do it: Sitali is an ultimate platform to help you cool down and relax when you’re overheated, depressed, or finding yourselfs anxiously waiting in warm temperatures.
Yoga and meditation core features are pranayama, or breath management. Yoga and mindfulness are commonly used in this practise.Pranayama’s aim is to reinforce the relationship within your heart and brain. It will help people relax and be more attentive. It’s also been shown to help with a variety of physical medical problems, such as respiratory capacity, blood pressure, or brain activity. Even if you’ve never tried pranayama previously, you should consider enrolling in a yoga class or finding an instructor who will show you how to do breathing techniques properly.