Prāṇāyāma is a Sanskrit word alternatively translated as “extension of the prāṇa (breath or life force)” or “breath control.”
The ancient Indian system of yoga identified the power of breath and strove to maximize its efficiency by developing special breathing techniques. It was discovered that the quantity and quality of prana and the way it flows through the nadis (subtle energy channels) determines one’s state of mind.
When the prana level is high and its flow is continuous, smooth and steady, then the mind is calm, positive and enthusiastic. Most of us breathe from the chest – such shallow breathing sends a signal to the brain that all is not well – we are stressed. The energy channels in the average person may be partially blocked, making the flow of prana broken and jerky. This results in increased worry, fear, uncertainty, conflict, tension and other negative qualities.
Our breath is lined to our emotions. When we are angry we breathe faster, when we are serene breath is softer and slower. Through our birthing rhythm we can win over any negative emotions like anger, jealousy, greed, and we’ll be able to smile more from our heart, which alone can be a life changing fact…
- Enhances the quantity and quality of life force
- Clears blocked energy channels
- Harmonizes the body, mind and spirit
- Boosts the immune system
- Detoxifies our body by 90 percent
- Rejuvenates the body and mind
- Slows down the ageing process
Some Popular Breathing Techniques are
Bhramari pranayama (Bee breath) – applies brakes in the buzzing mind. This breathing technique is a boon for those with hypertension
Kapal Bhati (Skull Shining breath) – is considered the most important and effective for detoxifying the body and clearing the energy channels
Bhastrika pranayama (Bellow breath) -will get your energy levels soaring!
Nadi Shodhan pranayama -calms and centers the mind by bringing into harmony the left and right hemispheres of the brain which correlate to the logical and emotional sides of our personality
The key to healthy and happy living lies in right breathing.
“Breath is the link between the body and mind. If the mind is a kite the breath is the thread. The longer the thread, the higher the kite can go.” – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
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Yoga practice helps develop the body and mind bringing a lot of health benefits yet is not a substitute for medicine. It is important to learn and practice yoga postures under the supervision of a trained Yoga teacher. In case of any medical condition, practice yoga postures after consulting a doctor and a Yoga teacher.
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