Importance Of Pranayama - Prana And The Body

Pranayama - prana and the body, is an ancient practice that consists of different breathing techniques. Pranayama is a Sanskrit term made up of two words, 'prana' meaning life force or energy and 'ayama' meaning control. The main aim of these asanas is to revitalize the body through controlled breathing. Since, prana is the life force it is considered that an unhealthy person has less prana than a healthy person. By practicing these controlled breathing techniques, a person can increase the flow of prana in the body.

All About Pranayama

There are different types of Pranayamas. The most popular ones are

Kapalbhati is a term comprised of two words, 'kapala' meaning forehead and 'bhati' means shine. This breathing exercise helps to expel toxins from the body. A person practicing it therefore experiences health benefits like improved concentration, increased energy levels, and good immunity. Since in Kapalbhati, a person inhales deeply and then exhales repeatedly by contracting the abdomen, it also helps in strengthening the abdominal muscles.

Bhastrika is a Sanskrit word meaning 'bellows'. This is a 'breathe-in' and 'breathe-out' exercise. To practice it, you should sit in a comfortable position and inhale deeply. Then, exhale forcefully. This breathing exercise is good for people suffering from sinus problems, migraines, hypo or hyper thyroidism and depression.

Nadi Shodhana
Nadi Shodhana is a simple Pranayama and therefore ideal for the beginners. This asana helps to cleanse the body and remove blockages inside it. To practice this asana, you should sit straight in a comfortable position. You should be calm and relaxed. Close your right nostril by putting your thumb gently and then inhale deeply through the left nostril. Then, close your left nostril and exhale through your right nostril. You should breathe in and exhale through left and right nostril alternately.

This is also known as loud breath, deep breath and ocean breath. To do this breathing exercise, you should sit in a comfortable position and then inhale and exhale while constricting your throat. Due to constriction, a sound is heard when you inhale or exhale. In this asana, the inhalation and the exhalation should be slow.

Pranayama - The Seven Chakras
Chakras are the energy centers located in the body. The chakras are the main centers of prana. They help in the flow of prana in the body. If any of the chakras is overactive or under active, it can cause health problems. Pranayama - prana and the body helps in awakening the mind and thus helps in integrating and balancing the chakras. Nadi shodhana is a pranayama that is used for balancing the chakras.

Pranayama - Prana and the body can help you to stay healthy. If you are new to Pranayama, you should do these asanas under the supervision of an experienced trainer. While doing all these exercises, you should remember that inhalation, holding breath and exhalation all are important. Some people exhale quickly and abruptly which is not the right way to do these asanas. You should understand the importance of exhalation. Always exhale smoothly and slowly.