What Is Pranayama And Its Various Types?

Pranayama basically means expansion of the life force energy. You can also say, that it is the expansion of breath. Life force energy, which is also called ‘Prana’ works on the physical as well as the subconscious layers. The ‘Prana’ nourishes the body and mind, and keeps life moving. If you have fresh life force energy circulating through the body, then you will always feel happy and rejuvenated. The Benefits of Pranayama are huge, but only if you know, how to do it.

Going by Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, Pranayama is the fourth limb of yoga. You have to practice it along with yoga asanas. Both are complementary to one another. Rather, you can also say, that even if you do not do asanas, you have to do Pranayama. It is equal to doing yoga. So, people who see you will often feel that you are not doing anything. However, the act of doing nothing also has huge repercussions. When you learn how to manipulate breathing, then you can also cleanse the body and help it to get a fresh burst of oxygen. In Pranayama, there are three stages. One is inhalation, then there is retention, and finally exhalation. Let us get deeper into the realm.

Is Prana The Same As Breath?

You might feel at this point in time, that Prana and breath are the same thing. Many people actually tend to use these terms interchangeably. However, they are not the same. Prana is the energy that flows through the astral body. It mainly circulates through the nadis, among which the three central ones are Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna. It creates an aura around the body. However, if you are not breathing well, the Prana will not be able to circulate properly.

When breath is not flowing in the way, it ought to, several blockages crop up. You will be suffering from stress, anxiety, nervousness, and conflict within yourself. The problems with the body or your very existence first starts from the subconscious level, and then manifests itself in the form of physical symptoms. So, now that you have a fair idea, of what ‘Prana’ is, in reality, it is time to move into the different kinds of Pranayama, which may prove useful for you. In this article, you will also learn about the benefits of Pranayama.

Benefits Of Pranayama With Types

You will learn in the course of time, that there are various types of Pranayama. Each one has different benefits. If you join a yoga school in India, you can learn about them in complete detail. Moreover, the right supervision also matters.

  • Bhramari Pranayama –It is a Pranayama, which you can do today. Any beginner can also start with such Pranayamas, but initially, you might want to learn it under a guide. As the name suggests, the Pranayama emulates the sound of the bee. If your mind is restless and always buzzing with activity, then this is for you. You can apply brakes to your buzzing and wandering mind, with the help of this Pranayama. Humming Bee Breath is a yogic breathing, that you can practice today. It can help in calming your frazzled nervous system. You can do it anywhere. However, it is always advisable to choose a calm and quite place. You have to sit in the meditative pose, to start with. Position all the fingers on your face, in the Shambhavi mudra. The thumb should be on the cartilage of the respective ear. Inhale and keep the mouth shut. You need to exhale the air, but while making a sound like gurgling, from behind the throat. The sound will seem like a bee humming, in the background.
  • Nadi Shodhana Pranayama –It is another equally effective Pranayama, that you can first learn and do properly. You can try nine rounds with some practice, after which you can take some rest in between. The Pranayama calms the mind and brings in balance between the two hemispheres of the mind. The main goal of this breathing practice, is to cleanse and balance the mind. It also has the power to balance all the three doshas. You have to retain the breath for some time, in Nadi Shodhana, and that makes it all the more effective. It is Bahya retention, that you need to practice. Many people address it as Alternate Nostril Breathing. It also helps to cleanse the Pranic channels and also restores the Ida and Pingala nadis’ balance. It has the power to open the dormant Kundalini Shakti, that lies at the base of the spine. You are also bound to feel relief from stress.
  • Shitali Pranayama –It is another kind of Pranayama, which can provide you with instant relief. It is a refreshing breathing technique. All the yogis ideally do it in the summer months. You need very less, apart from your enthusiasm and a desire to do this, for your own good. The breathing technique, requires you to sit comfortably in the cross-legged position. Take a few inhalations and exhalations. Roll the tongue in the shape of an ‘O’. It should stick out through the pursed lips. Slowly, you have to take in air from the mouth and then hold the breath, along with the engagement of the body in Jalandhar bandha. Exhale through the nose after some time has elapsed. You can do 8 times at least, to begin with. If you practice this regularly, in the hot summers, your body will be cooler than usual. Additionally, it can promote digestion. It is also known to soothe skin aberrations.

These are a few of the Pranayamas that you have known about. Earn these under the aegis of a good school in the Himalayas. The benefits of Pranayama are too many. You just have to know, how to do them in the correct manner. That is the reason, why, it is important to do them under experienced Gurus, initially. Later you can practice them at home. So, enjoy a good life, with the best Pranayama techniques today.


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