Pranayama, most commonly known as deep breathing exercises, is a compound word with Pran and Ayama. Pran means breathing or respiration and Ayama means extension or expansion. Thus, Pranayama means extension of breath or life span. During pranayama the mind must concentrate on breathing process. According to the father of Modern Science Yoga, acquiring the skill of controlling and regulating the inhalation, exhalation and retention of breath is called “Pranayama”. Life exists in different systems (such as digestive system, nervous systems, circulatory systems etc.) and organs. Pranayama strengthens, protects and energizes them. If pranayama is practiced on a systematic and regular basis, almost all the diseases can be prevented and cured. It acts like a gateway to higher yoga and leads to realize your inner self. Also you don’t no need to spend a lot of time on making simple healthy recipes.
5 Most Effective Pranayamas : Deep Breathing Exercises
There pranayamas are simple, but very effective tool for relaxation. These simple deep breathing exercises must be done taking care of the preventive measures. Certain people suffering from delicate diseases must consult their physician before practicing these exercises. After practicing these, it is recommended to practice the acupressure therapy to enjoy all the benefits of acupressure points on your palms and feet.
In this pranayama the breathing sounds like humming of a bee.
Procedure: Close your ears with your thumbs, place your index fingers on the temple and close your eyes with the other three fingers. Slowly inhale through your nose and withhold it for a few seconds. Keeping your mouth closed, slowly exhale by making a humming sound. Repeat it for 5 times.
- Helps in stream-lining the sound production process.
- Your tone becomes melodious, delicate, soft and rhythmic.
- Prevents and cures throat diseases.
- Relieves you from tension and refreshes your mind.
In this pranayama we perform deep breath in and out without any sound
Procedure: Close the index finger and the middle finger of your right hand. Now, close your right nostril with your thumb and slowly exhale from the left nostril. After exhaling, slowly inhale through the same nostril. Withhold your breath for 2 seconds. Then close your left nostril with your ring finger and exhale through the right nostril. Now, inhale from the right one, hold it for 2 seconds and exhale from the left one closing your right nostril with the right thumb. Repeat this process for 2-5 minutes.
- Improves your memory power.
- Blocks the flow of carbon dioxide into your arteries helping in the blood purification process.
- Keeps you away from heart diseases.
- Helps to normalize your blood pressure (in case of high or low blood pressure).
- Improves your eye sight.
In this pranayama we perform forceful exhalation.
Procedure: This is a process of passive inhalation and active exhalation, where you have to inhale normally and exhale forcefully. During exhalation the stomach muscles should be moved violently (pulling it closer to your back). Continue it for 2-5 minutes.
- 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.
In this pranayama a soft hissing sound is made during inhalation process
Procedure: Start this pranayama with normal inhalation and exhale completely. Bend down your head, blocking a free flow of air and inhale as long as you can, making a sound from your throat. Withhold for 2-5 seconds. While exhaling, close your right nostril with your right thumb and breathe out through your left nostril. This can be repeated for 10-12 times (take as much time as you need).
- Raises your body heat.
- The sound vibrations clams your mind and makes it more focused.
- Clears the sound pipe and cures thyroid
- Reduces snoring.
In this pranayama breathing through nose sounds like flame burning below the furnace
Procedure: This process starts with deep breath-in where we expand our stomach. The air is completely breathed out with force, sucking your navel towards the backbone. During inhalation, your stomach should be expanded to the maximum. Do this pranayama for 1-2 minutes and rest should be taken thereafter.
- Helps to strengthen your lungs.
- Cures asthma by cleaning your wind pipe.
- Burns the excess fat from your body.
- Improves your physical and mental ability.
Caution: The last three deep breathing exercises must not be practiced by those suffering from high blood pressure problems.
Important Note: For effective results, do these pranayamas sitting crossed legs (Sukhasana), in a comfortable position. Keep your eyes closed and backbone straight. Concentrate on the breathing process and keep positive thoughts. After practicing these deep breathing exercises regularly for a week, you can increase the number of cycles for every exercise as per your convenience. Every person practicing these exercises must maintain a balanced diet for more better results.
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Deblina Biswas is a professional content writer at TheFitIndian.com. She has done her masters in English and has done her graduation from Banaras Hindu University. She has a penchant for writing on health, beauty and fashion.