Almost all of us have come through phases of overwork and mental strain when relapsing into exhaustion and negative thinking every once in a while gets common and we can’t for the love of god understand what it is that is missing from life. Why it could just be breath!
Breath or prana in yoga is that eternal fire which drives the chariot of life through its courses. Our naturalization to this perpetual process of life has made us unaware of its transformative capacity. Once we become more mindful of each passing breath, our moments lived through it can be felt more gloriously. You can either take charge of your life from the most elemental level by mastering the way you breathe or let breath flow randomly regulated by forces which are not you.
Yoga breathing exercises or pranayama is the key to unlock an array of interconnecting benefits of the body and mind. Changing the breath could mean a change in the rhythm of life. Here is how you can harness its strengths for improvement in the body and mind—
Become Simply Aware
Make it a culture within yourself to stop and observe. To detach from the present state to simply a phenomenon unfold is meditation. Anchor this process on the inflow and outflow of your breath. Simply slow down and mark how the thoughts in your head become calmer as your breathing slows and how an excitable state of mind reflects in the breath as they grow short and strained at the edges.
Awareness of your breath work will make you naturally
knowledgeable about yourself. By knowing the connection between the mind and flow of breath and understanding the effect of the same on the movements in the body, you can completely own your mechanism of feeling joy and sorrow, rest and vitality.
Dirgha Pranayama or the Complete Breath
Dirgha Pranayama breathing builds a concentration of prana on three axes- the lower abdominal area, the thoracic region or the middle chest right under the sternum, and the upper chest clavicle region above the collar bones.
Sit or lie in a relaxed posture, close your eyes and focus on your breath. Inhale through the nose and observe how your torso lifts up as air fills in. Start with your hand resting on the rib cage and move to the succeeding chambers of your abdomen and chest as air fills in. Absorb deeply to the last and third chamber of your lungs and then spill out the air through a forceful exhalation.
This is one of the best pranayama yoga breathing techniques that can help achieve a handful of mind-health benefits—revitalized nerve centers, the passage of oxygenated blood to the deepest core of the lungs, correction of irregular and shallow breathing, invigorated digestive fire, along with an allayed release of wastes and toxins from the body.
Nadi Shodhana or Alternate Nostril Breathing
Owing to different reasons like stress, toxin accumulation, and unwholesome living, nadis or subtle energy channels in the body often blocks up, causing the system a lot of difficulties. Nadi shodhana or alternate nostril breathing is a great way to rid the channels of such blockage.
Sit in a seated upright position with your hands placed on your knees, opened in the Chi Mudra. Bring your right-hand index finger and middle finger between your brows as the ring finger and little finger rest on the right nostril. Press down your thumb on the right nostril and calmly exhale through the left nostril. Follow this step by doing this breathing in reverse. Remember to breathe in deeply from the same nostril after each exhalation. Keep the exercise smoothly flowing without any extra force applied.
Nadi Shodhana yoga breathing benefits include calmness and centering of the mind, a cure for circulatory and respiratory disorders, generation of necessary body heat, and founding balance between the logical and emotional sides of the brain.
Kapalbhati or Skull Shining Breathing
A marker of a healthy body is a shining forehead, it is said. Kapalbhati refers to such a state in which the Kapal or forehead shines. It is more than just a glow from the outside. It is also a sign of profoundly sharpened intellect.
This style of yoga breathing exercises must commence in a seated position with an erect spine. You need to fill up with a breath in and follow it with an exhalation, pulling in your stomach. As your navel pushes back towards the spine, feel your abdominal muscles contract. This deliberate contraction of the abdominal muscles will help fresh air waft freely into the lungs.
Does this exercise for 20 skull shining breaths. Relax and observe two more.
Kapalbhati will have you feeling more metabolically charged up, thus dynamic weight loss is a natural outcome in this. The nadis will clear up, facilitating better flow of energy. Digestive fire will be lighted with energy imparted to the innards. And psychologically, you will be feeling great peace within.
To know more about Breathing Yoga Exercises in further details, explore our Yoga Teacher Training In India.