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Pranayama To Strengthen Breathing

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Pranayama is a integral part of yoga and has several versions. Some of the basic types include Abdominal, Intercostal and Clavicular breathing. These practices should be practiced under supervision or only if you have an experience of over a year. They have several benefits when done on a daily basis, some of which include improvement in the respiratory, circulatory, digestive systems and increases brain function.

We have seen in one of the previous articles as to what is Pranayama. The meaning of Prana and that Pranayama is much wider and deeper than we know. However, what it means at a mundane level is to control, regulate and manage your breath or breathing patterns. This process helps control and calm the mind; a calmer mind in turn assists in regulating breathing. So a pattern is set up when we regularly practice Pranayama.

Benefits of Pranayama:

Pranayama has many benefits at both physiological and psychological levels. It improves functioning of all major internal organs. It aids the rhythmic expansion of the lungs and greatly improves oxygen intake. The circulatory systems improve greatly. In addition, it helps eliminate many diseases and also strengthens immunity. Pranayama helps quieten the mind and senses. This assists in reduction of desires and brings a feeling of bliss. It helps drive away fear from the mind and improves the functioning of the brain in all respects. The list is practically endless of the benefits of Pranayama. This is the reason why it has become very popular these days.

Types Of Pranayama:

There are many types and methods of Pranayama. Most of these are to be practiced only under supervision or after practicing asanas for at least a year. This is because breathing is a subtle yet high impact process. A lot of damage can occur to the mind and body if done incorrectly. Most of the Pranayamas are advanced in nature but many have been simplified by gurus and acknowledged Yogis like Madhavdasji, Shri Yogendra, Swami Kuvalyananda, Swami Sivananda, Shri Krishnamacharya, Shri Iyengar and many others.

4 Main Types of Pranayama:

-Puraka; inhalation -Kumbhaka; retention after inhalation -Rechaka; exhalation & -Shunyaka; suspension after exhalation There are guidelines around each of these and one should prepare properly before practicing any of these.

Preparing Yourself For Pranayama

If you have no experience with asanas, pranayama or have not been practicing for a while, there are three pranayamas or breathing techniques that are very beneficial for everyone. These have no side effects at all and can be done by everyone. We have forgotten how to breathe properly over the years. We breathe normally and correctly till the time we are children. Once we hit puberty, we start breathing incorrectly. We need to train ourselves to breathe correctly through daily practice. This will brings us great benefits.

Abdominal Breathing

This is a type of breathing technique, isolates the diaphragm and only makes use of our abdominal muscles. Initially, one may find this exhausting but when the diaphragm starts functioning correctly, you will breathe like a baby.

Intercostal Breathing

In this type of breathing we do not move the diaphragm and shoulders at all. We only make use of the chest cavity and intercostal muscles to breathe. We do this by expanding our muscles sideways and not outwards or upwards.The following video explains this.

Clavicular Breathing

The clavicular muscles are the least utilized muscles for breathing. These are really tiny and require some training to function when required. When a great amount of oxygen is required, these muscles come into play. The video below demonstrates this technique. Practice ten rounds of each, twice a day, seven days a week for a few months and you will feel the difference in your life.  

Gaurang Chandarana
Star Expert

Gaurang is the Founder of wellzee.com and is a certified Yoga teacher, dietitian, Counselor, Soft Skills trainer and Six Sigma Black Belt. He has had a long association with The Yoga Institute, Santacruz as a teacher & Kaivalyadham as a practitioner. He has taught, trained or counseled a few thousand individuals in the areas of disease management, health, lifestyle, stress and rehabilitation. In a previous avatar he had a long career in the Banking & Finance Sectors post his MBA.

Gaurang Chandarana
Star Expert

Gaurang is the Founder of wellzee.com and is a certified Yoga teacher, dietitian, Counselor, Soft Skills trainer and Six Sigma Black Belt. He has had a long association with The Yoga Institute, Santacruz as a teacher & Kaivalyadham as a practitioner. He has taught, trained or counseled a few thousand individuals in the areas of disease management, health, lifestyle, stress and rehabilitation. In a previous avatar he had a long career in the Banking & Finance Sectors post his MBA.

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Kamala Chalam
Kamala Chalam 5pts

Really its a wonderful experience with sudharshanakriya from Ravi Shankar guruji

Pam Knapp
Pam Knapp 5pts

My absolute favorite! Hard to do when you're all snotty with tears, but, the neti pot and some dancing helps to clear things out.

Mircea Dan Simon
Mircea Dan Simon 5pts

the real role of pranayama is to control the prana not to strengthen breathing......

Ayurveda
Ayurveda 5pts

It is! Do give it a try! :)

Mansukh Vadher
Mansukh Vadher 5pts

Hi good morning think you for show this in morning bye

Barry Anderson
Barry Anderson 5pts

Meditation Through proper breath is important for stress reduction that Chef Barry practices every day out side in nature near some negative ions like in a garden near the sea or water falls in a park .

James Mokarry
James Mokarry 5pts

Excellent practice! Prana=LIfe=Transformation!

Arzitha Cherukuri
Arzitha Cherukuri 5pts

I love to do this!!!!!! My breath would feel better. My nostrils would be clear when I do this aasana :) (Y)

Eli Hernandez
Eli Hernandez 5pts

The weirder the breathing,the crazier the results