In yoga practice, an entire branch is devoted to the breathing practice, a technique to control the breath and correct it. Explore the blog to know the best types of Pranayama Yoga.
Breathing correctly, off and on the mat enhances the practice. The breath is the bridge between the mind and body and is also liable for laying the foundation of attaining a healthy being. An essential part of yoga, breathing techniques or Pranayama brings us to a peaceful state of mind. Pranayama is a Sanskrit word that means Prana or ‘life force’ and Yama implies ‘control’.
The practice is a natural therapy that cures various ailments, Pranayama is of many types, and the diverse breathing techniques are used differently to practice a particular flow. All the types of breathing confer enormous benefits. Here is to mention the top 8 of those:
Kapalbhati Pranayama (Skull Shining Breathing)
Kapalbhati Pranayama brings mental clarity and enhances the brain functioning. This is one of the most practiced types of yoga breathing to brighten the intellect and for bringing overall well being. A regular practice improves kidney and liver functioning, reduces stress and depression, enhances blood circulation and metabolism, stimulates abdominal organs, cures asthma, sinus, and hair loss, improves memory, etc.
To Practice: Begin with a deep inhalation, pulling the belly towards the spine, and then exhale forcefully and quickly making a hissing sound. Practice the process for 15 minutes.
Nadi Shodhana (Anulom Vilom) Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing)
Nadi Shodhana Pranayama is one of the best yoga breathing types to clear the mental chatter, relax the body, calm the mind, and purify the nervous system. The practice lets you have a good night sleep and enhances the memory.
To Practice: Close your eyes and then close the right nostril with right-hand thumb and inhale from the left nostril. Close the left nostril from the right-hand ring finger and then exhale from the left nostril. Now inhale from the right and exhale from the left. Do this sequence for 5-10 minutes.
Ujjayi Pranayama (Victorious/Ocean Breath)
One of the most used breathing techniques during the asana practice, Ujjayi calms the mind and nervous system both on and off the mat. The pranayama cools one down instantly providing a deeper sense of relaxation, soothing effect to the entire body, and is great for the emotional health as well.
To Practice: Take a deep breath from both the nostrils and contract the throat making a peculiar sound. Now close the right nostril and exhale from the left while producing ‘hhhaaa’ sound. Repeat the same on the other side and practice it for 2-3 minutes.
Sheetali Pranayama (Cooling Breath)
One of the best breathing types for cooling the mind and body, Shitali is great to practice during summers. It also reduces bad breath, regulates blood pressure, elevates mood, cools the temperature down, and makes you feel better overall.
To Practice: Begin with curling up your tongue forming a tube-like shape and breathe through your mouth while keeping the tongue curled. Now, close the mouth and hold for a few seconds and then exhale from the nose.
Bhramari Pranayama (Bee Breath)
Bhramari Pranayama makes you free from the anxiety, frustration, and elevates the mood. Practicing daily helps improve the metabolism, balances hormones, reduces weight, and enhances oxygen flow in the body.
To Practice: With fingers, close your eyelids and ears with the thumb. Put gentle pressure on the sides of the nose and close the mouth. Breathe gently and perform the technique for 1-2 minutes.
Simha Pranayama (Lion’s Breath)
While practicing the asana, you feel amazing and the pranayama cools down the body, relieves stress and tension, stimulates the muscles, and is great for children.
To Practice: Breathe through your nose and strongly exhale through your mouth while making ‘HA’ sound. Exhale with the mouth wide open and tongue sticking out towards the chin. Repeat it 8-10 times.
Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellows Breath or Breath of Fire)
Practicing Bhastrika Pranayama stimulates the abdominal muscles and warms them up to ignite heat or Tapas in the organs. This way the body detoxifies itself and flushes the toxins out from the body.
To Practice: Take a deep breath through the nose and exhale the same way. Inhale again and now exhale more forcefully and quickly. Do this for 2-3 minutes.
Dirga (Three-Part Breath)
The three-part breath or a complete breath, Digra Pranayama is one useful and great breathing exercise. Practicing it regularly opens the chest, calms the soul, increases oxygen flow, improves focus, treats insomnia, reduces stress and anxiety, and soothes muscles.
To Practice: Inhale through the nose and fill the belly, then chest, and at the end, your lower back. Exhale starting from the back, then chest, and finally from the belly.
Pranayama bestows deeper benefits to the body and mind, changes the emotional health. Practicing it correctly enlivens the entire being to live healthily.