Showing posts with label Pranayama. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pranayama. Show all posts

Saturday, February 25, 2017

PRANAYAMA – The Silence Of Breathing


Instructor de Kundalini yoga practicando Pranayama
Instructor de Kundalini yoga practicando Pranayama (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pranayama, also known as yogic breathing is the method of silencing the breath. Prana has been defined as the air which flows through the body. Pranayama is made up of three parts: controlled inhalations, controlled exhalations and holding of the breath. When you do all three parts, it is called sahita, while doing only the holding breath without the other two is called kevala. You should start with sahita till kevala comes into being. This is a technique that controls all that is associated with prana.

Our breathing is made of two acts of inhalations and exhalations. These acts are followed in cycles where inhalations and exhalations succeed each other, where you take in air into the lungs and then release some of it back from the lungs. In between the inhalation and exhalation, there is a short gap which usually escapes our attention. This act is called respiration and is usually completed in four seconds in the resting phase. We usually respire nearly fifteen times a minute. You can take in about 400 cubic centimeters or 0.4 liters in a minute. When you do deep inhalations, you take in additional 1.6 liters of air and 2 liters in all. At the time of deep exhalations, you throw out all these 2 liters of air but still your lungs contain another 1.5 to 2 liters of air.

Thus, the total lung capacity of the human body for a normal individual is about 5 liters. The amount of air that you can exhale through deep exhalation after a deep inhalation is called as Vital Capacity. Dividing this number by the weight of the body gives you the Vital Index, which shows the capacity to breathe as well as the vitality of the body and its efficiency in the body’s functions. Regular practice of yogic breathing has been shown to increase yogic breathing. This raises the vitality of the body and efficiency of the bodily functions.


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Anuloma-Viloma - YOGIC BREATHING For Better Health - Pranayama

Swami Kuvalyanand once said: “Yoga has a message for the human body, for the human mind and the human spirit.”

Instructor de Kundalini yoga practicando Pranayama
Pranayama (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This is a truism as a healthy body is the prime requisite for success and happiness in life. People are increasingly being convinced that yoga makes for good health, contentment and happiness in present day stressful life and is not just an exercise regimen.

In this article we will discuss Anuloma-Viloma (alternate breathing) pranayama. Pranayama simply means proper ‘management’ of the vital force - prana. Although the basic principle remains the same, many different types of pranayama have been devised, each with its own unique technique. Anuloma-Viloma or nadi shuddhi pranayama (nerve purifying pranayama) is one such kind and is considered one of the basic forms.

The practice of Anuloma Viloma is somewhat like the squad that regulates traffic on roads, looks after their cleanliness, beautification, etc and keeps the traffic moving smoothly and efficiently. The method involves breathing in (pooraka) through one nostril and vice versa. Therefore this pranayama has the name anuloma viloma, i.e. alternate breathing.

To practice this, you have to sit in any of the yogic sitting postures. To begin with, carry on normal breathing applying moola bandha (i.e. comfortable anal contraction). Keeping a stable moola bandha, breathe in and breathe out completely. Ensure that the moola bandha is not loosened during the process. Pause for a while between breathing in and breathing out. Breathe in deeply through the left nostril and breathe out through the right; then breathe in through the right and out through the left. Continue breathing this way, i.e. alternately from left and right nostrils, for one to three minutes.

After reaching a comfort level in this way, you may move to the next stage. Close the right nostril with the right thumb keeping the other four fingers together. Now, slowly breathe in through the left nostril at a uniform speed. Repeat with the other nostril. While breathing in, raise the shoulders and expand the chest taking the ribs up. The lower abdominal region, however, must be held in.

Benefits: The respiratory passage is cleaned and this prepares one well for the practice of other pranayamas. Breathing becomes easy and regulated. The mind becomes and heartbeat rhythmic. Also aids in enhancing concentration, memory and other mental faculties.



Contraindications: Severe pain in abdomen, swelling on account of appendicitis, enlargement of liver, very delicate bowels or intestines, disorders of the lungs, severe throat infections, growth in the nose (polypus) or blockage of the nasal passage due to cold, etc.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautions before following any of the asanas from this article and the site. To avoid any problems while doing the asanas, it is advised that you consult a doctor and a yoga instructor. The responsibility lies solely with the reader and not with the site or the writer.