Types of pranayama and its benefitsYoga is a practice or discipline that symbolizes practices such as physical, mental and spiritual and is observed in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. The birth of Yoga has been considered to date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions.
The chronology of ancient manuscript recounting yoga practices is uncertain but is credited to Hindu Upanishads. While native to Indian sub – continent, yoga was introduced to the world only after the 18th century, after the recognition of Swami Vivekananda.
Yoga though is looked upon as spiritual and mental discipline in Indian culture, the west considered it more as a physical discipline and exercise. Though inconclusive and unclear, countless studies have tried to conclude the efficiency of yoga as a harmonizing interference for cancer, schizophrenia, asthma, and heart disease.
Few suggest yoga could possibly decrease threat factors and assist in a patient's mental therapeutic process.
Pranayama is one such part of Yoga which helps one in mental and spiritual healing process. Pranayama is a Sanskrit word which means the life extension or in literal sense “extension of the prana or breath”.
The Pranayama process involves a series of regulated breathing exercises that is used to purify the Pranic nadis by controlling, regulating, and channelizing the Prana or the life force in the body.
Many people have accounted that Pranayama techniques are advantageous in taking care of a variety of stress-related disorders, mitigate the symptoms of asthma and dropping signs of pressure.
The continuous practice of Pranayama develops a steady mind, strong will-power, and sound judgment, and also, persistent Pranayama practice extends life and enhances perception.
Habitual practice of different types of Pranayama develops breathing pattern, cleanse the blood, boosts resistance power and gives physical strength.
Types of Pranayama
The various types of Pranayama are the Bhastrika Pranayama, Anuloma / Vilma, Kapalbhati, Bhramari, Sheetalee, Sheetakari, Ujjayini, Vedhene Bandh. The most important Pranayama is the Bhastrika Pranayama.
Pranayama heals and prevents cancer, blood pressure, stress, anxiety, stomach disorders, depression, diabetes, heart problems and other various health problems. Morning is the most excellent time to carry out Pranayama.
The holding place of Prana or the breath is the heart. Though Prana is one, it presumes five outlines viz., Prana, Apana or the breath we release, Samana, Udana and Vyana according to the diverse tasks it executes.
Of these five, Prana and Apana are the key agents. The place of Prana is the heart; of Apana is the anus; of Samana is the region of the navel; of Udana is the throat; while Vyana is omnipresent. It travels all over the body.
Hence, Pranayama is considered to be an overall treatment of body vital organs needed to survive and stay healthy.
There is a total of six kinds of Pranayama in practice: Bhastrika, Anuloma – Viloma, Kapalbhati, Bhramari, Bahia, and Sheetalee – Sheetakari.
Pranayama: A Science And Art
Pranayama is both the science and art of cleansing the nadis or the nervous system. Through synchronized breathing to be exact changing the rhythm of inhalation and exhalation, it is possible to control the prana, vital force in the body.
Pranayama is the procedure by which conscious control is accomplished through harmonized breathing. Cleansing the nerve channels along which the life stream of 'prana' flows, aids in preventing and even curing a range of physical and mental ailments.
The nervous system includes the central and autonomic nervous system. The central nervous system consists of the brain, twelve pairs of cranial nerves, the spinal cord, and thirty‐one pairs of spinal nerves. The cranial and spinal nerves spread all over the body.
These nerves send out and send into the brain pain and motor urges. Prana flows throughout these pathways. It also flows through all the nodes, or energetic pathways, which have been studied by ancient yogis and associate with many of the meridian paths explained in the literature about acupuncture techniques.
The practice of Dirgha or prolonged Pranayama inculcates right diaphragmatic inhalation, calms down the mind and body, excellently oxygenates the blood and cleanses the lungs of lingering pollutants.
In Pranayama, the inhalation and exhalation are controlled by closing the nostrils with the right fingers and thumb to control the right and left nostrils, unless one is otherwise naturally left-handed. The general rule is that the inhalation time should be half that of exhalation. Breathing must be slow and steady, in and out of the nose.
Uses and Benefits of Pranayama
Alternating nostril breathing or Nadi Shodhana is a practice of breathing in which the person breathes in and out through one nostril and another one at a time. This kind of breathing helps in directing the flow of prana or the life force of the body through the entire body.
This technique benefits by bringing about a state of deep repose, clearing the mind, and calming the body. This breathing method also helps in balancing the right and left hemispheres of the brain.
While the nerves are purified by Pranayama, the body turns slim and radiant, gastric fire boots, inner sounds are heard and exceptional health is accomplished.
Surya Bhedana, another technique in yoga purifies the sinuses, cures Vata disorders and removes worms. Ujjayini technique is known to cure the disorders of phlegm.
Sheetakari generates a desirable state of body where there is no hunger, thirst, sleep or weariness. Sheetalee relieves indigestion, splenomegaly, fever and bile disorders.
Memory, intellect, and imagination are improved through observing of Pranayama. Breathing through single nostril also increases the spatial score, speed of mental processing and nimbleness of the tasks.
Pranayama generates a perfection of neural function at both central and peripheral levels of the nervous system and also constructs a balance between the sympathetic and Para – sympathetic features of the autonomic nervous system.
Emotion and breath are known to have a deep association. Conscious, deep and regular breathing are able to coordinate and strengthen innate cardiovascular beats. This can be achieved by the practice of Pranayama such as Ujjayini and other methods.
In breath exercises, as one controls the breath, the body tremors, itches and discomforts and other problems disappear as the mind becomes calmer. The breath is the bond between the mind and the body. The breath is like a thermometer or gauge which measures the conditions of the mind and body.
Hence, one can conclude that Pranayama has immense therapeutic potential in a wide range of mental disorders and can be used either as an immunotherapy or in combination with Asanas and other aspects of Yoga.
Significance must be sited on precise diet and correct outlook while practicing Pranayama, as the body requires raw materials such as vitamins, minerals, and water to cure itself through Pranayama.
Some Of The Major Advantages One Can Achieve Through Pranayama
Improved breathing: Breathing is the sign of life. But the manner one breath shows the person’s health. Pranayama assists in improving breathing when breathed in, the oxygen is taken to right places so that the inner cells are keyed up to function properly.
Anti-aging effects: Pranayama is a way that offers us the inner glow and charm that no other cosmetics can offer no matter how costly the cream or the treatment is.
Since Pranayama is centered to breathing activity, it improves the cardiovascular health of the person who practices Pranayama. All the body cells get invigorated and thus achieving the immunity required by the body as well along with incredible enhancement in the blood circulation.