Every day brings new challenges whether they are on professional front or handling kids,family etc . And these bunch of hurdles stress us out completely. When we are stressed our breathing becomes short,irregular and shallow.T his in turn raises anxiety and frustration.
Thus relaxation of mind is utmost important to again rise above new challenges and lead a happy meaningful life. So, here’s an ancient technique to fight stress, anxiety and has multiple other benefits as well – “Pranayama”.
What is Pranayama?
Pranayama word is derived from Sanskrit. “Pran” means breath and “ayama” means control. So, Pranayama means extension/control of breath. The skill of controlling inhalation and exhalation or breathing is called Pranayama. It protects, strengthens and energizes different organs of the body. Breathing is the only way through which oxygen is supplied to all parts of the body.
Benefits of Pranayama
- It helps in better functioning of lungs and respiratory system.
- Purifies the blood as the organs gets more oxygen. Also detoxifies the body and helps in leading a healthy life.
- Reduces the stress, helps in maintaining the balance in life.
- Regularly practicing Pranayama extends the life.
- It helps in filtering the thoughts and promotes positive thinking.
- Pranayama also strengthens the immune system.
- Studies says that regularly practicing breathing exercises helps in weight reduction and weight maintenance.
There are many types in Pranayama. Here I am going to talk only about Anuloma-Viloma. In this type we practice alternate nostril breathing. It is efficient in healing both the mind and body.
Steps For Anuloma-Viloma
- Use the right hand in Pranav mudra (folding index and middle finger while keeping thumb,ring and small finger straight).
- Inhale slowly through the left nostril, while closing the right nostril with thumb and fill up your lungs to maximum.
- Hold your breath.( initially practice only inhalation and exhalation).
- Do not hold breath at all if you are suffering from hypertension, asthama.
- Exhale through the right nostril very slowly, rhythmically.
- Inhale again through the right nostril, while closing left nostril with ring finger.
- Exhale again through the left nostril.
- This is one set. Repeat five sets and gradually increase the sets.
- With practice, your inhaling and exhaling time will increase as you will start breathing more deeply, breath will become more smooth.
- Strengthens the heart. Improves blood circulation and is ideal for heart.
Pranayama should be practiced with care. It is not recommended during menstruation, and pregnancy. Or when suffering with any medical condition(physical illness or mental disorders).If you feel little bit of discomfort then you can reduce the ratio of breathing or no. of sets. People who have undergone any surgeries should consult the medical expert.
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