Add years to your life by incorporating these breathing exercises in the daily routine. Explore in length the five pranayama breathing exercises here.
In the midst of a change and challenge, practice Pranayama for managing the stress response and thriving a fast-paced lifestyle. Since the breath touches every aspect of our being: physical, mental, spiritual, and is the door to the human nervous system, the pranayama breathing techniques are the safest and natural methods of enhancing the prana.
The dedicated practice of yogic breathing exercises on an everyday basis triggers the body’s relaxation response, creates a sense of calmness that reduces high blood pressure, muscle tensions and decreases heart rate. As the emotional experiences felt are closely linked to the breath, a daily deep breathing act can help in connecting the body-mind, thereby promoting mental awareness, and healthy emotional patterns.
So, get started with the five best pranayama breathing exercises for yogis of all levels to live a calmer and blissful life:
1. Victorious Breath (Ujjayi Pranayama):
The Ujjayi Pranayama is also known by the name of ‘Ocean Breath’ because of the soft hissing sound involved during the practice. It is one of the regarded breathing techniques for calming the mind and for linking the yoga asana movements for depth. The Ujjayi breathing changes emotional health patterns making you cool from within even in the most arduous situations and further helps in strengthening the physical yoga practices.
• Sit in an upright manner with relaxed shoulders and neck
• Deeply inhale and exhale through the nose. Make your inhale last as long as the exhalation.
• As you breathe in, drag the breath along the back of the throat to create a soft hissing sound.
2. Alternate Nostril Breathing (Anulom Vilom Pranayama):
It is one of the best pranayama breathing exercises for the beginners to ignite their focus and discipline. Focus on the inhalations and exhalations to have a calmer effect on the brain and body. There are numerous variations of practicing this technique. Here’s a simple and effective one:
• In this pranayama, place the right thumb on the right nostril and inhale through the left. Now, rest the ring finger on the left nostril and exhale through the right.
• Make exhalations longer than the inhalations for a deeper effect.
• Repeat the same with the left nostril.
3. Bellows Breathing (Bhastrika Pranayama):
Bellows Breathing is an invigorating practice and a wonderful way to welcome the mornings, to intensify the rewards of the yoga asanas, and to stimulate the mind in the middle of a hectic day.
• In this breathing technique, inhale through the mouth and upon exhalation make an ‘HA’ sound from the bottom of your diaphragm.
• Make sure the inhalations and exhalations are strong and the ‘HA’ sound is loud assisting in the release of pent-up emotions and frustrations.
4. Cooling Breath (Sheetali Pranayama):
For all those who get frequent bouts of anger, practice the Sheetali pranayama breathing technique that effectively cools the body and mind. This breathing exercise soothes the body-mind by activating a cooling mechanism upon inhalation and delivering cooling energy to the tissues of the body.
• Sit with your legs crossed on a yoga mat
• Take your tongue out and roll it in a tube-like shape
• Breathe deeply through the tube taking it in and close your mouth
• Breathe out through both the nostrils
5. Skull Cleansing Breathing (Kapalbhati Pranayama):
As the name suggests, this pranayama technique is focused on detoxifying and raising the mind-body energy levels. In this exercise, play with the hand gestures like raising your hands straight up for boosting lymphatic circulation in the upper body or folding hands in Apana Mudra for invoking future. Place a larger emphasis on the exhalations.
• Sit straight on a yoga mat with hands in Apana Mudra
• Inhale gently through the nose and then exhale vigorously through your nose while pulling your navel in.
• Make your each exhale and inhale is more forceful and deeper than the previous one.
Along with these five pranayama breathing techniques, novice practitioners can try Lion’s Breath, Three-Part Breathing, and Equal Breathing. Feel calm, invigorated, and healthy with these Pranayama methods. Share with us your favorite beginner pranayama and the corresponding reasons.