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The Sanskrit word “pranayama” means “control of the breath” (prana).
Pranayama is a science about breathing and having control over breathing which in turn has numerous physical & mental benefits. It is an important link between body, mind, and spirit.
Breath is considered the most important form of prana or the flow of energy in the body and a link between body, mind, and spirit. Pranayama helps in getting a rich supply of oxygen to the blood. Pranayama has many benefits viz it calms you down, you are able to make proper decisions, you feel happy, stress-free. Basically, benefits are physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual level.
Natural breathing is the first step to developing a pranayama practice. You can sit in any comfortable position. Just be aware of the natural rhythm of your breath. Keep an eye on how you inhale and exhale your breath. It would be nice if you keep your eyes closed.
If you’re a beginner in Pranayama here are some useful tips & techniques for getting a maximum of its benefits.
Promotes healthy and high-quality sleep:
According to research, Bhramari pranayama (BEE BREATH), one of the pranayama techniques, works to slow down the heart rate and breathing within few minutes of practicing. This can be done before going to bed to calm down your body.
Improves Lung function:
Pranayama strengthens your lungs as you’re using more of your lungs and you’re actually giving them a workout every time you practice. It is one of the best yoga/exercises for the human respiratory system. If you are suffering from any breathing problems, asthma, or Chronic Destructive Pulmonary Disease (CPOD) Pranayama is one of the best breathing techniques to get your lungs functioning properly.
It normalizes heart rate and high blood pressure. Pranayama helps in reducing BP significantly compared to medication alone.
As it’s already mentioned that Pranayama has many benefits on mental strength also. Regular practice helps you to treat your depression and anxiety. The health benefits of pranayama are extended to mental strength also. Practicing pranayama regularly will help treat depression and anxiety.
Weight Loss and Maintenance
The health benefits of pranayama are not limited to the proper functioning of your lungs and internal organs. More can be achieved with the regular practice of pranayama. It helps to reduce your body weight. It has been observed that those who practiced yoga had lower body mass indexes (BMIs) compared with those who did not practice yoga.
Pranayama like “Kapalbhati” focuses on the abdominal part. It tones the abdomen and results in fat reduction from the belly. Reducing Belly Fat is considered one of the toughest to lose and thus Kapalbhati pranayam is very useful for it.
Improves Mental Concentration
It helps to concentrate and focus. When your energy is centralised it clears the clutter, negativity, and all the doubts in your mind, and thus the mind is well oriented. Distraction is the reason for any kind of failure whether it’s related to work, studies, or we are not able to achieve our desired outcome. But if Pranayama is done on a regular basis it helps to concentrate. This is one of the most important health benefits of pranayama.
Five Basic Types of Pranayamas are:
- Bhastrika Pranayama
- Kapalbhati Pranayama
- Nadi Shodhana Pranayama
- Bhramari Pranayama
- Sheetali Pranayama
Pranayama is also a nice way to start your day and set it up to be calm. By practicing pranayama on a regular basis you can not only reduce stress, helps let go of negative thoughts and emotions. It sends in more oxygen to the brain and thus helps in improving mental clarity, focus, concentration, and attention. It also strengthens your body.