The body determines the existence of life. But besides it, even the breath we take is also involved. Yoga Breathing Exercises are designed for that sole purpose.
We all are breathing continuously and ignore it.
But if you start paying attention to it and make some improvement, you can increase your life? This increase is not of days or months but years.
Yes, you have read correctly; you can live for longer just by improving the process you are doing every time without any effort.
Let us see them in detail.
I) Try to take a long deep breath ANYTIME, ANYWHERE. You may have a question about how it can be beneficial.
You can understand its importance by just a tiny example.
You may know that tortoises live longer. They have an average life of 250 years, which is much more than that of humans.
But do you know why there is so much gap? It is the breathing process only. Tortoises breathe very slowly compared to that of a man. So now, you may have got an answer to your query.
The other reason to take a long deep breath is that those who do simple breathing have most of their lungs unused.
By taking deep breaths, you can maximize the use of your lungs. Also, oxygen will be more absorbed, circulated, and reach every part of your body. This will also remove toxins from your body.
II) If you do some yoga or exercise and make postures without taking care of your breath, you must follow these tips.
(a) In any posture when you are bending forward, then exhale
(b) When you are opening your chest or lifting your chest, then inhale
(c) When doing some twisting, then first inhale while preparing for the posture and then exhale out as it will make twisting easy.
III) There are some other breathing exercises that are pretty helpful.
Yoga Breathing Exercises
You must be aware of the different yoga breathing exercises (Pranayama), such as
- Bellows breath (Bhastrika pranayama),
- Shining forehead breath (Kapalbhati),
- External breath (Bahya pranayama),
- Bee breath (Brahmari),
- Alternate nostril breath (Anulom Vilom, also called as Nadi shodhan).
Now let’s understand how to do these breathing exercises and some precautions while doing them.
1. Bellows breath (Bhastrika Pranayama)
- In this type of breathing, sit in a lotus pose (Padma asana) or in a kneeling pose (vajra asana).
- Close your fists and fold your arms upwards and place them near shoulders.
- First, inhale as much as you can while rising your hand upwards. Then open your fists.
- Then, exhale through the nostrils forecefully such that your lungs get empty completely while bringing your hands to the levels of your shoulders..
- Repeat this process again and again for 20 times..
- Take more time in inhalation than exhalation.
- Do this with an empty stomach or after two hours of taking a meal.
2. Forehead illumination breath (Kapalbhati pranayama)
- In this type of breathing exercise, first, inhale through nostrils.
- Then exhale through nostrils, but this exhalation should be done forcefully.
- While exhaling, try to pull your stomach muscles inside as it will help in better exhalation.
- In this breathing, more focus is paid while exhaling.
- This type of breathing can be done while sitting on a chair, or in an easy pose (sukha asana), kneeling pose (vajra asana).
- Also, do this only on an empty stomach or after 4 hours of taking meals.
- Women should avoid this during their menstruation periods.
- You can repeat it 200 times or more.
- The speed of doing this can vary from beginners to professionals. Beginners can take a rest in between.
- Those suffering from high blood pressure should do this slowly, while those suffering from low blood pressure can do it quickly.
- Those who do not have any blood pressure-related problems can do it at a normal speed which is 200 breaths in 10 minutes.
3. External breath (Bahya pranayama)
- Sit in any pose, then take a deep breath through nostrils.
- Now do a forceful exhalation such that your lungs are completely empty.
- Now bring your chin in contact with your chest and then pull your abdomen inside.
- Hold it for a few seconds.
- Repeat this 3 to 5 times.
4. Bee breathe and Chanting Breath (Bhramari followed by udgeeth pranayama)
- Sit in an easy pose, cover your eyes with your hands, and close your ears with the thumb.
- Then take a deep breath through the nostrils and then exhale through the nose.
- While exhaling produces a humming sound from your throat. Repeat this 3 to 5 times.
- To do chanting breath (udgeeth pranayama), keep your eyes shut and place your hands on the knees such that your palm is facing the sky.
- Take a deep breath and then chant OM and exhale slowly along with it. (2/3 part of O and 1/3 part of M).
5. Alternate nostril breath (Anulom Vilom or Nadi Shodhana)
- It is one of the best breathing exercises (pranayamas).
- First, sit in an easy pose, close your eyes.
- Place the left hand on the knee, palm facing the sky.
- Close your right nostrils with the right thumb.
- Take a breath with your left nostril.
- Then close this left nostril with the index finger of the right hand and exhale through the right nostril.
- This is a single cycle. Do this for 10 to 30 minutes.
You can do these breathing exercises on an empty stomach or after 2 hours of taking a meal.
- These simple techniques when followed can greatly improve your life.
- Currrently our lifestyle has a major effect on health. Besides, thhe pollution also affects us tremendously.
- However, by just breathing, one can improve their health.
- Hence, one should practice breathing exercises daily for at least 5 days in a week.
- One can do it in the morning or evening. But, the morning time is the best.
- If you are suffering from any diseases, it is advised to consult your physician before doing them.
For example, one suffering from fever should not do yoga. Similarly, in any chronic disease, it might have a negative impact.
Usually, it is always best to do yoga and concentrate on breathing.
Just follow this, and you will find that you are no longer the same person. Because yoga is not about self-improvement, it’s about self-acceptance.