Pranayama can be translated as prana or breath control. The ancient yogis developed many breathing techniques to maximize the benefits of prana. Pranayama is used in yoga as a separate practice to help clear and cleanse the body and mind. It is also used in preparation for meditation, and in asana-the practice of postures, to help maximize the benefits of the asanas, and focus the mind. Here are some of Pranayama techniques that have lot of therapeutic benefits.
Bhastrika Pranayam:Take deep breaths in such that your lungs are fully filled in with air and then completely breathe out. The duration should be 2 minutes at least and 5 minutes maximum.
Benefits: heart, lungs, brain, depression, migraine, paralysis, neural system, etc.
Kapal Bhati Pranayam: Push air forcefully out through your nose in such a way that your stomach will itself go in. Start with 30 times or 1 minute. Increase up to 5 minutes up to 10 minutes maximum.
Benefits: obesity, constipation, gastric, acidity, liver, uterus, diabetes, stomach problems, cholesterol, allergic problems, asthma, snoring, concentration, etc.
Baharya Pranayam: Breathe air out, touch chin to chest, squeeze in stomach completely and hold for a while. then release chin, breathe in slowly. It should be done 3 times to 5 times normally, maximum up to 11 times.
Benefits: stomach, hernia, urinary system, uterus, etc.
Anulom Vilom Pranayam: Close your right nostril with thumb, breathe in from left. Now open right nostril and close left nostril with middle and ring finger and breathe out from right nostril. Now breathe in from right nostril. Now close right nostril and open left and breathe out from left nostril. This completes one cycle. Start with 5 minutes duration and go upto 10 minutes.
Benefits: Heart, high BP, heart blockage, arthritis, cartilage, bent ligaments and those suffering from Parkinson’s disease, paralysis, neural related disorders, depression, migraine pain, asthma, sinus, allergy, etc.
Bhramri Pranayam :Close ears with thumb, place index finger on forehead, and rest three on base of nose touching eyes. Breathe in. And now breathe out through nose while humming like a bee.
Benefits: Those suffering from stress, high BP, heart diseases, heart blockage, paralysis, migraine pain and restores confidence, concentration.
CAUTION:These pranayamas should be done only under expert guidance-these done wrongly can do more harm than good.