In sanskrit pranayam means
Prana - "life energy"
Yama - "control"
Ayama - "expansion"
My dear friends, Pranayama is a vast & never ending topic. But I will try to explain some of the basic things which are required to be done before doing pranayama and during paranayama. This will help you to understand the basic concepts and procedures. Friends feel free to ask me questions about pranayama.
Try to do pranayama under proper guidence of your yoga teacher.
What is Pranayam?
It is a control of breath.
1) It is a series of exercises to keep the body in vibrant health.
2) These techniques have also proved to help the prevention of major diseases and cure minor illnesses.
Preparation for Pranayama-
The process of Pranayama is concerned with the breathing, which is the indicator of life. And therefore, if it is done wrongly, it may do harm. This fear dissuades many from taking pranayama. The second reason for its unpopularity is the absence of teachers who can teach it scientifically.
But it does not mean that it is such a difficult process, that it cannot be done by a common man. On the contrary, if it is learnt and practiced properly one will experience the wonderful and even unimaginable benefits of pranayam.
These are the breathing techniques, which
1) Strengthen the immune system
2) Calms and steadies the mind
3) Improves focus and concentration
4) Increases the rate of metabolism (to aid with weight loss)
5) Increases lung capacity
Different types of Pranayam
1) Anulom vilom pranayam
2) Bhastrika pranayam
3) Kapal bhati pranayam
4) Shitali pranayam
5) Shitkari pranayam
6) Bhramri pranayam
Note: For all the procedures below one count is close to one second.
1) Anulom vilom pranayam
1) Inhale through the left nostril, closing the right nostril with the right thumb, to the count of four.
2) Hold the breath, closing both nostrils, to the count of sixteen.
3) Exhale through the right nostril, closing the left nostril with the ring and little fingers, to the count of eight.
4) Inhale through the right nostril, keeping the left nostril closed with the ring and little fingers, to the count of four.
5) Hold the breath, closing both nostrils, to the count of sixteen.
6) Exhale through the left nostril, keeping the right nostril closed with the right thumb, to the count of eight.
Breathe in --- through left nostril
Breathe out --- through right nostril
Breathe in --- through right nostril
Breathe out --- through left nostril.
This completes one cycle
1) It produces optimum function to both sides of the brain.
The left side of brain is responsible for logical thinking and the right side is responsible for creative thinking to function properly. This will lead to a balance between a person's creative and logical thinking.
2)It calms the mind and the Nervous System.
Do 2 sets of 15 cycle each.
You can increase it by 2 sets of 30 cycle each.
2) Bhastrika pranayam
1) Sit in padmasan or in sukhasan.
2) Keep back erect.Take support if you want or sit on the chair.
3) Bhastrika is a Sanskrit word meaning the bellows (the instrument to blow air) of a blacksmith.
4) Air is drawn in and out forcefully like a bellows, so it is known as Bhastrika Pranayama.
5) In this pranayam inhalation is passive (without force), but exhalation is active with a little force. Start slowly ,then increase the speed.
6) Inhale and exhale quickly in short and shallow breaths through both nostrils for four to ten times.
7) Then exhale completely, holding the breath for a while.
8) After this, inhale through the right nostril and retain the breath for a while and then exhale slowly.
9) Again, inhale and exhale through the nostrils contracting the middle and lower portions of the abdomen .
1) Bhastrika supplies a plentiful supply of oxygen to the lungs.
2) It produces heat in the body and increases appetite.
3) Removes disorders of the respiratory system, improves efficiency of the nervous system
4) Reduces fat in the abdominal region and enhances purity of consciousnes.
5) Bhastrika is useful for digestive function, diabetes, sinus, etc.
1) Do one round of 30 strokes,then rest for 1 min
2) Repeat it for 2-3 times.
3) Kapalbhati Pranayam-
In a Sanskrit Kapal means skull and Bhati means to shine. The term ‘Kapalabhati’ means an
exercise that makes the skull shine.
1) Sit in sukhasan or padmasana.
2) Inhale slowly, relaxing the abdomen allowing the air to return gently to the lungs.
3) Exhale with a quick, strong blast of air. Contract the abdominal muscles quickly causing the diaphragm to rise and force the air out of the lungs.
4) Retain for a split second and repeat for four to eight blasts.
5) This completes one cycle of Kapalabhati. Relax and take few slow and deep breaths in between the cycles.
Nerves gets reverberate in this exercise. In this exercise our cells, neurons and nerves vibrate rapidly. In the beginning, exhale only once per second. Increasing your speed slowly then exhale twice per second.
1) Initially practice a cycle of ten exhalations. Increase the number of exhalation slowly.
2) 30 exhalations= 1 set
3) Do 2-3 set.
1) Kapalbhati clears your skull, respiratory tract and the sinus.
2) Destroying the cough that clogs the trachia Kapalbhati leads to the cure of asthma.
3) By practice of Kapalbhati, air cells in the lungs receive ample amount of life giving oxygen, hence germs or diseases like tuberculosis cannot harm them.
4) Carbon dioxide, the gaseous waste of respiration process is exhaled out in large amount thus purifying the blood.
5) This process also activates the heart and enhances the capacity of the respiratory system, circulation system and digestive system.
4) Shitali Pranayam
This breath cools the body so it is best done in hot weather or at the end of a vigorous
1) Sit in sukhasana or padmasana.
2) Take two or three deep inhales and exhales through the nose to prepare.
3) Roll the tongue, curling the sides in towards the center to form a tube. Stick the end of the tongue out between your pursed lips. If you can’t roll your tongue, just purse the lips making a small “o” shape with the mouth.
4) Inhale through the tube of the tongue.
5) Exhale through the nose.
6) Repeat 5-10 times as you feel the cooling effect.
Do not Practice more than ten rounds at a time. While practicing Shitali for the first time, some practitioner would catch cold or get a sore throat. In such case it is better to stop further practice.
1) It cools the whole body and the nervous system.
2) It will have a pacifying and relieving effect for various troubles such as headache, fever etc.
3) It activates the liver and spleen, improve digestion and relieve thirst.
4) Shitali pranayama is highly recommended as an immediate remedy for nervousness.
5) Shitkari Pranayam
1) Open the lips and keep the teeth together
2) Lightly press the tip of the tongue against the lower front teeth.
3) Inhale through the mouth over the tongue with a kind of hissing sound like the sound of the letter 's'.
4) After filling the lungs completely, close the mouth and exhale through both nostrils without retention.
1) Practice Shitakari for one to five minutes, increasing the time one minute each week.
2) Like Shitali, it should be practiced in the summer.
3) Although those who are subject to excess bile can do it in any season.
1) It reduces heat, clears the complexion and helps in controlling thirst, hunger and sleep.
6) Bhramri Pranayam
The original word in the term Bhramari is Bhramar (humming bee). This pranayam relates to
the word bhramar, i. e. the sound that bhramar emits. The characteristics of this pranayama is to create a sound like that of the humming bee.
1) Sit in padmasana or sukhasana.
2) Raise bent arms to shoulder level & close external earcanals with thumbs .
3) Place index & middle fingers gently on closed eyes which look upwards.
4) Place ring fingers gently on the sides of the nostrils.
5) Place little fingers on upper lip to feel flow of air through the nostrils.
7) Try to produce sound of the humming bee through larynx (sound box) while exhaling through nostrils.
8) Return to original position & gently open the eyes.
1) Initially do it for 5 to 7 times.
2) Gradually increase up to 15 times.
1) It makes the voice sweet and gently, and helps clarity of speech.
2) Breathing becomes deep and subtle.
3) It is useful for hypertension and depression and aids brain cells.
Use of Pranayam to cure disease
Please follow the below table accordingly.
Disease -- Pranayam
Digestion Disorder --Anuloma-viloma Pranayama
Eye weakness --Anuloma-viloma Pranayama, Deep breathing, Shitli Pranayama
Insomnia --Shitli Pranayama, Shitkari Pranayama,
Constipation --Anuloma-viloma Pranayama, Deep breathing.
Acidity --Shitli Pranayama, Bhramari Pranayama.
Joint pain --Bhastrika Pranayama,Deep breathing,
Weak Memory -- Anuloma-viloma Pranayama - 5 minutes
Diabetes --Anuloma-viloma Pranayama, Shitli Pranayama, Shitkari
Harnia --Anuloma-viloma Pranayama (Avoid Retention)
Piles --Anuloma-viloma Pranayama, Bhastrika Pranayama.
Gas Trouble --Anuloma-Viloma Pranayama
High Blood Pressure --Shitli Pranayama,Shitkari Pranayama
Low Blood Pressure --Bhastrika Pranayama-5 minutes
Mantel Disorder --Anuloma-viloma Pranayama, Shitali Pranayama,Shitkari
Common Cold --Anuloma-viloma Pranayama
Tonsil --Bhramari Pranayama
Fever --Anuloma-viloma Pranayama.
Back Ache --Bhastrika Pranayama
Spinal Disorder --Bhastrika Pranayama, Anuloma-viloma Pranayama
Skin Diseases --Bhastrika Pranayama, Anuloma-viloma Pranayama
Sunday, March 4, 2007