types of pranayama and their benefits pdf

Types Of Pranayama And Their Benefits Pdf

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Yogic wisdom has been around since the ancient civilizations. A very important part of the practice is breathing. Here is everything you will need to know about Pranayamas; the benefits, the cons, the different types, and how to perform them. It is a practice in yoga that involves the regulation of your breathing through specific techniques and exercise. The purpose is to relax the mind and body through a combination of inhaling, exhaling, and retaining of breath.


Pranayama uses the breath to direct and expand the flow of prana in our energy channels — the Nadis. Swami Satyananda Saraswati describes the techniques as providing:.

In The Heart of Yoga, Desikachar explains that when we are unwell, feeling stuck, depressed or lacking in drive we have too little prana within the body — we have more of it outside our body instead. So by practising pranayama we are clearing the obstacles in our bodies, allowing breath and energy prana to flow freely. Our breathing is improved, our bodies function better and we clear and calm the mind.

The exhalation is said to be the most important part of the breath — only when we can exhale and empty fully can we take a full new inhalation. Also known as Ocean Breath or Victorious Breath. Ujjayi creates heat in the body and it also creates stability. Using Ujjayi breath during asana practice can be a reminder and an indicator not to rush through poses and not to sacrifice the breath for the sake of getting into an idealised shape of the pose.

Returning to Ujjayi in Tadasana after a strenuous pose or sequence, or in times of stress, can help lower our heart rate back down again. Sitting, spending time with deep Ujjayi breathing increases the awareness of our breath. We can use this time to learn how to breathe fully using our full lung capacity, instead of shallow breathing as most of us have a tendency to do.

This technique balances two of the most significant nadis or energy channels, Ida and Pingala, which criss-cross the central nadi, Sushumna and each of the chakras running up the spine. It balances the breath through both nostrils — we usually have one which is more blocked and this will change through the day. Nadi Shodhana also balances the two hemispheres of the brain.

It is an excellent relaxation technique, calming the mind and generally bringing balance to the whole system. It improves concentration and mental focus as it clears out blocked energy channels in the body. The emphasis is on the exhalation through strong, fast abdominal contractions and so has a cleansing effect on the breathing pathways.

The inhale follows naturally after the strong exhale. It improves circulation especially to the brain which gives the skull shining effect; energizing the mind and waking up your system. Kapalabhati also creates heat and increases and stimulates the digestive fire agni by strengthening, massaging and toning the abdominal muscles and digestive organs. It has many of the same benefits for the abdominal organs and muscles but is often taught using one nostril at a time and at a slower pace.

The pace makes it more accessible to people starting out with Pranayama. Pranayama techniques are sometimes taught differently depending on the teacher and style of yoga. It is also sometimes taught by expelling the breath fully, applying Jalandhara Bandha throat lock , then contracting and expanding the abdomen quickly while still retaining the exhalation comfortably. This variation also raises energy levels, stimulates the appetite and improves digestion.

Bhastrika is also known as Bellows Breath. It differs from Kapalabhati and Agni Sara in that the focus in on the inhalation just as much as the exhalation. The abdominal muscles are used to strongly contract exhale and expand inhale bellowing the breath in and out.

Like the previous two pranayama techniques, it produces heat, detoxifying and energizing the body. It tones the abdominal muscles and the digestive system. Bhastrika is said to balance the doshas and their associated humours — phlegm from Kapha, bile from Pitta and wind from Vata.

It balances the nervous system, calming the mind ready for meditation. Nauli is a technique of abdominal massage or churning. From a standing position, with hands on thighs, the breath is expelled as much as possible through the mouth.

Then, during the retention of the exhalation, the bandhas are applied and the muscles of the abdomen are contracted. First the rectus abdominii RA muscles — forming an arch down the centre of the lower torso. Then the left RA muscles are isolated and then the right, eventually making a churning motion. Watch Andrew explain Nauli Kriya. Nauli is an advanced practice which massages and tones the entire abdominal area — the muscles and nerves, and the organs of the digestive, excretory and reproductive systems.

Samavritti means equal ratio and is sometimes called Square Breath. In this pranayama the focus is on all four parts of the breath equally and its aim is to balance them all so that they are equal length. This is incredibly calming and balancing for the body and teaches us awareness of breath and prana flow. Samavritti focuses the mind helping to remove distractions as so making it easier to concentrate and move on to meditate.

Samavritti is also great because you can practise it anywhere without people noticing! Bhramari or Bee Breath , uses sound and breath to calm the mind and nervous system. It directs the mind inwards as the eyes and ears are closed. Bhramari is beneficial if you are feeling anxious or unsettled and helps concentration and memory.

It relieves tension in the brain so can help with headaches and reduces anger or irritability. This is a really good technique to practise if you are studying or doing some other kind of intense brainwork.

Sitali and Sitkari are two related pranayama techniques where the breath is inhaled through the mouth rather than the nose. In Sitali the sides of the tongue are curled up and the breath is inhaled slowly through this straw-like shape.

Not everyone can make this shape with their tongue; however they can practise Sitkari which has the same benefits. In Sitkari Hissing Teeth Breath the breath is inhaled through closed the teeth lips open. Both these techniques are cooling for the body so are good to practice in the summer or if you have a lot of Pitta. They are also cooling for your temperament — reducing drives of hunger and thirst.

By including pranayama as part of your yoga practice you will see benefits on a physical, psychological and energetic level. You can practice these techniques online with EkhartYoga in our Ten days of Pranayama program. Articles Practice. Clearing the path for prana Pranayama uses the breath to direct and expand the flow of prana in our energy channels — the Nadis. Pranayama techniques focus on one or more of the four parts of the breath: Inhalation puraka Internal retention antara-khumbaka Exhalation rechaka External retention bahya-khumbaka The exhalation is said to be the most important part of the breath — only when we can exhale and empty fully can we take a full new inhalation.

Join us for unlimited online yoga and meditation classes and programs Start your day free trial. Andrew Wrenn doing Nauli Kriya.

Marlene Henny practicing Sitali. Share article. She first started yoga at the age of 15 and took her teacher training with Esther Ekhart in She has a background in Health Psychology, community mental health work, and health and wellbeing research. Try for free Classes Programs Playlists.

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Yoga is more than asanas. Prana is the vital component that sustains life. There are various types of Pranayama, and their benefits in daily life are unlimited. Most people go through life without even being aware of how many breaths they take in one minute. Breathing of such people is generally slow and erratic. Daily pranayama trains the lungs and improves the capacity of respiratory system immensely.

Pranayama - Breathing exercises

The breath and mind are very closely linked. By the practice of Pranayama, you can effectively control your physical and mental state. All other pranayamas that we do in yoga merely modified variations of these traditional techniques. To know the better classification of pranayama techniques, one can break down breathing into its 3 basic components, Inhale-exhale, and retention.

14 Types of Pranayama and Their Effects on Body

If you are new to yoga, you must have heard the word pranayama. In Western countries, it is also known as yoga breathing exercises or breath yoga. There are many types of pranayama and the benefits of all these pranayamas are almost the same but the way to practice them is different.

Coping With Stress by Pranayama

In my previous blog The Importance And Benefits Of Pranayama I explained the concept and meaning of pranayama, if you have not read it, I suggest to read it first to understand the nuances. In this part of the blog, I will discuss the techniques and benefits of each type of Pranayama. Pranayama is known as a Hatha Yoga practice to control and expand the vital energy prana. In traditional texts such as Hatha Yoga Pradipika and Gherand Samhita, there are many different types of pranayama and their benefits are immense. Each technique of pranayama is used specifically to bring about a specific change and benefits in the body-mind complex. Broadly speaking all the different pranayama techniques are categorized under four different categories-.

Pranayama is the practice of breath control in yoga. In modern yoga as exercise , it consists of synchronising the breath with movements between asanas , but is also a distinct breathing exercise on its own, usually practised after asanas. In texts like the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali , and later in Hatha yoga texts, it meant the complete suspension of breathing. It is defined variously by different authors. Pranayama is mentioned in verse 4. Pranayama is the fourth "limb" of the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga mentioned in verse 2.

On subtle levels prana represents the pranic energy responsible for life or life force, and "ayama" means control. So Pranayama is "Control of Breath". One can control the rhythms of pranic energy with pranayama and achieve healthy body and mind. Patanjali in his text of Yoga Sutras mentioned pranayama as means of attaining higher states of awareness, he mentions the holding of breath as important practice of reaching Samadhi.

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Pranayama uses the breath to direct and expand the flow of prana in our energy channels — the Nadis. Swami Satyananda Saraswati describes the techniques as providing:. In The Heart of Yoga, Desikachar explains that when we are unwell, feeling stuck, depressed or lacking in drive we have too little prana within the body — we have more of it outside our body instead.

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