Need to simplify Pranayama
A fit body is prerequisite of a fit mind.
– Swami Vivekananda
A fit body is prerequisite of a fit mind.
The regular Pranayama mentioned in Yoga is for totally healthy people. It has yoga prerequisites namely –Yama, Niyama and Asana. It means, the regular Pranayama would require one to follow dietary & mind restrictions and to have proper training in the Asanas.
Also inhaling and exhaling through a single nostril alternatively is quite confusing for beginners. Straining excessively while doing Pranayama, causes giddiness and difficulty in breathing.
Tips for the right Pranayama Experience:
Best Time for Pranayama:
Early morning, on empty stomach or 15 minutes after tea / coffee. Preferably after bath. Pranayama is a technique to fill mind & body with fresh air and energy. So, morning is the right time for it. After bath, we feel fresh and adds to the benefits of Pranayama. It becomes easier for the mind to get cleansed with the Prana (breath).
Best Place for Pranayama:
The place should be spacious, with sufficient air and light and should be noise free. Better to keep the windows open. If done in a closed room, it often causes giddiness. So fresh air is very necessary.
Right Pranayama Posture:
Sit on a mat on the floor, with legs crossed. Spine (back) erect & straight. Head straight. Face looking forward. For those with knee problem, and who can’t sit on the floor, a chair can be used.
Eyelids closed with eyes pointing towards the tip of the nose. You need to close the eyelids with eyes pointing to nose tip. This way, when you close the eyes, the eyes will automatically concentrate on centre point of two eye brows.
Right Pranayama Mindset:
Be relaxed and in no hurry. No extra thoughts. If possible, remember your favorite Deity. If you can not relax your mind, or if you are in a hurry, it is better to skip the Pranayama session for that day, rather than doing it half heartedly.
The Simple Pranayama Technique
Sit quietly for one minute. Breathe deeply, breathe easily. During this one minute,think that you are going to receive energy to make your body and mind healthier, to become robust & strong. Think that you are going to throw out all the impurities of mind and the body through exhaling breath and think that you are going to have fresh and pure energy by inhaling the fresh Prana – the breath fully filled with life, strength, positivism and energy.
Once the eyes are closed and are pointing to nose, back erect, mind relaxed, start the Pranayama. It has three phases;
1. Slow Inhale – Take a deep breath (as deep as possible), very slowly and steadily, without hurrying up. The mind should think that you are taking the energy of God into your body.
2. Hold – Hold the breath for as long as comfortable. During this time, think that the Prana (energetic breath) that you have taken in is cleansing the whole body from tip of the brain to tip of your leg. Imagine as though the air is moving all over the body and cleansing all the organs and mind.
3. Slower Exhale – Exhale slowly. Exhaling period should be longer than inhaling period. While exhaling, think that all the impurities of your body and mind that were cleansed are now let out of the body.
Repeat the same steps from 1 to 3, three to ten times, based on your convenience. After Pranayama, you need to sit peacefully at the same place, for at least five minutes. During which time, you can say a prayer or simply meditate.
Duration of Pranayama:
A typical Pranayama cycle should not exceed more than two minutes and should ideally be done daily. Avoid it when the mind is too occupied with worries or thoughts, or when you are too busy. Don’t worry if you miss it for a few days due to some pressing situations. Restart when possible.
Benefits of Pranayama:
Apart from being the best among the stress relieving techniques, Pranayama has numerous health benefits. Here are the health benefits of adopting Pranayama as a daily routine.
– Improves concentration and memory. Activates brain functions.
– Stimulates all body organs.
– Increases oxygen-rich blood supply to all parts of the body.
– Relaxes muscles and relieves pain.
– Calms symptoms of stress, depression, anxiety, etc.
– Instills confidence and courage.
– Useful in healing speech related problems.
– Triggers healing in chronic degenerative diseases such as diabetes.
Precautions while doing Pranayama:
– Stop immediately if you feel giddy or have difficulty breathing or have excessive sweating or a temporary feeling of darkness. Rush to a place with plenty of air, lie down and breathe easy. Do not attempt it again or without the guidance of an expert yoga instructor.
– Not suitable for pregnant woman or children below 12 years of age.
– Not suitable for people with respiratory problems such as asthma, chronic cough, etc.
– Not suitable for people with severe illnesses such as heart conditions, cancer etc.
– It is highly recommended to learn Pranayama from a qualified Yoga teacher than to follow this method.