What you need to know about pranayama?

Elvis Elvis

Without correct breathing, or pranayama technique, Yoga is just a series of stretches and acrobatic positions.

To realize the full benefits of yoga you have to breathe.

…and I don’t mean breathing to live. It is a deep breathing technique that will -

  • Assist in the absorption of nutrients.
  • Eliminate carbon dioxide.
  • Decrease tension.
  • Increase your state of relaxation.
  • Improve energy levels.
  • Help you to focus.

Prana, a sanskrit word, translates to the english equivalent of life force. You may be more familiar with the chinese word chi, which means the same thing.

What is life force?

“May the force be with you, Luke”

A famous quote from a famous movie. It might give you an inkling to the answer.

It is a mixture of spiritual and physiological worlds. The air that you breath is the source of prana, or life force.

So Pranayama technique is a means of controlling your breathing to influence both you physical and emotional state. Mastering breathing is essential to benefit from the health effects of yoga.

When was the last time you focused on your breathing? Have you ever paused to concentrate on how you breathe?

What you need to know about pranayama?

Most people don’t. This is understandable as your breathing is second nature.

I bet you don’t get up in the morning and write a note to yourself along these lines -

“I must remember to breath today!”

You don’t have to, because it is an automatic, unconscious activity that you don’t give a second thought to.

And that’s the problem. You have probably developed bad breathing patterns.

Bad breathing patterns include -

  • Fast breathing.
  • Irregular breathing.
  • Shallow breathing.
  • Breathing high in the chest.

Breathing has a direct affect on mental status. So bad breathing habits are likely to be the source of -

  • Feeling of anxiety.
  • Loss of energy.
  • Feeling of stress.
  • Tension.
  • Tiredness.

Pause for a couple of seconds and focus on your breathing. Are they short, shallow breaths? Do you tend to only feel movement in the upper chest?

Short, shallow breathing will not deliver the oxygen your body needs. Shallow breaths will cause a build up of carbon dioxide in your system, leading to a feeling of lethargy. Unwanted toxins are going to gradually build up in your body compounding the problem.

On the other hand deep, calm, diaphragm breathing, will bring plenty of oxygen to the body. It will help with the removal of carbon dioxide and other harmful compounds.

Deep, slow breathing will improve your vitality, energy and health!

Try this following exercise.

1. Place two fingers on the underside of your wrist to feel your pulse.

2. Now hold you breathe for a little while.

What is happening to your pulse?

Your pulse rate will start to increase. This is a sure sign of increased tension.

When you start to breathe again, your pulse rate decreases and muscle tension relaxes.

Conversely, deeper breaths will increase oxygen to your body. Resulting in a lower pulse rate and decreasing tension.

Next time you are feeling tense or stressed, try some long and deep breathing. You won’t stay tense for long.

Try another exercise. Sit is a quiet room and practice some deep and slow breathing. Feel your pulse.

You may start to notice the pulse rate decreasing.

…and breathe from the diaphragm which is the area at the bottom of your lungs.

An efficient and calm pranayama technique will bring a higher willingness to focus.

Pranayama technique is all about mastering your breathing so both your mind and body benefits.

Life force, or prana can offer significant benefits and yoga is a great exercise to take advantage of what is on offer.

Combined with the positions of yoga, Pranayama technique will assist in achieving a state of mind and body beyond what you are used to.

But don’t leave your Pranayama technique just for your yoga practice.

You sow what you reap!

Use it in your day to day living. Don’t wait until you hit the yoga mat for Pranayama technique. Start to immediately benefit from deep breathing exercises.

Hands up those who would like less stress, healthier respiratory system and better looking skin?

What is the one of the day to day activities that causes you the most stress?

Peak hour traffic! Sitting in your car and moving nowhere. The stress levels start to rise…frustration starts to kick in…and as soon as you start to feel your blood boil, breathe…

…and keep breathing, slow, deep, methodical breaths.

Take it from me…

…It works!

“May the force be with you…”