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तस्मिन्सति श्वासप्रश्वासयोर्गतिविच्छेदः प्राणायामः ॥ २. ४९ ॥ 

tasminsati śvāsapraśvāsayorgativicchedaḥ prāṇāyāmaḥ || 2.49 ||

- Patanjali Yoga Sutra

That (āsana) having been perfected, regulation of the flow of inhalation and exhalation is prāṇāyāma.

Pranayama: Breathing Exercises 

The Sanskrit word prana is a combination of 2 syllables, pra and na, and denotes constancy- a force which is always in motion. Prana is the vital force that sustains not only the body but also creation at every level.

The science of Pranayama was developed by highly evolved yogis through an intuitive and experiential understanding of prana and its influence on the human mechanism at various levels.

Note: Learning the right way of Yogic Breathing is important before one starts practicing techniques of Pranayam.

Yogic Breathing

Deep Yogic Breathing enhances Lung Capacity, allows more air inhalation and thus more oxygen for the blood. Yogic  Breathing establishes calmness in body and mind.

It involves 3 sections- Abdomen, Chest and Clavicular/collar bone area. The inhalation starts with expansion of the abdomen, moves upward with chest expansion and then the collar bone expanding. Exhale is contracting the lungs, abdomen and other muscles throughout the body. 

Both inhale and exhale is through nostrils. 

Kapalbhati- Cleansing Technique

Passive Inhale, Forceful Exhale-> Abdomen movement

  • Enhances lung capacity and respiratory function.

  • Boosts circulation and oxygen supply to the body.

  • Increases metabolism and aids in weight loss.

  • Promotes digestion and relieves constipation.

  • Improves focus, concentration, and cognitive function.

  • Reduces stress, anxiety, and depression

Invigorating Pranayama: 
Surya Bhedana

One Nostril Breathing- Right to Right, Right to Left

  • Improved  Cardiovascular Health

  • Activates the sympathetic nervous system

  • Clears Sinuses, Helps digestion

  • Purifies blood

  • Enhances mental alertness, Energizes the body

  • Reduces phlegm in the body

  • Cures respiratory problems

Balancing Pranayama:
Nadi Shodhana

Alternate Nostril Breathing- Right to Left and Let to Right

  • Infuses the body with oxygen, Clears and releases toxins

  • Calms and rejuvenates the nervous systemReduces stress and anxiousness

  • Helps to balance hormones, Balances solar and lunar, masculine and feminine energies

  • Helps to alleviate respiratory irritantsSupports clear and balanced respiratory channels

  • Enhances the ability to concentrateFosters mental clarity and an alert mind

  • Brings balance to the left and right hemispheres of the brain

Calming Pranayama

Chandra Bhedana (One Nostril Breathing- Left to Left, Left to Right), Sitalu, Bhramari

  • Calms and quiets the mind, Releases cerebral tension

  • Stimulates the pineal and pituitary glands, supporting their proper functioning

  • Soothes the nerves, Relieves stress and anxiety

  • Dissipates anger, Lowers blood pressure

  • Bhramari: Bolsters the health of the throat, Strengthens and improves the voice

  • Supports the healing of bodily tissues

  • Induces sound sleep

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