Yoga originated in India 4000 years ago. Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means union. Hence the aim of yoga is the union of the mind, the spirit and the body with truth. Yoga takes into account the mental, emotional and physical aspects of life.
Yoga can be practiced by everyone; it can be done by teenagers, housewives, sports people and also the aged. There are various postures called asanas, breathing exercises called Pranayama, and meditation, which is called dhyana.
Yoga is becoming more popular these days because of the stressful life in the modern world. Initially doctors were skeptical about yoga, but after seeing the benefits they have also started prescribing it to their patients. Yoga has cured a lot of serious diseases like Parkinson’s, blood pressure, heart diseases, asthma, diabetes etc.
Yoga is vast – in this article, we will concentrate on Pranayama. Oxygen is very vital for our system, without which we cannot survive. Though there is abundant oxygen, we don’t know how to make the correct use of it. Hence we don’t supply our system with sufficient oxygen.
Pranayama is a breathing technique which gives our body enough oxygen. Breathing is not a conscious process, Pranayama regulates the breathing. There are four types of breathing exercises. They are Kapalbhati, Bhastrika, Anuloma viloma and Bhramari Pranayama.
In Kapalbhati Pranayama, you pull the abdomen while forcefully exhaling. Inhaling is done normally. This should be done thirty times. It cannot be done for more than 10 minutes. In Bhastrika Pranayama you breathe in and out at your fullest capacity. The time limit is 2-5 minutes.
The Anuloma viloma Pranayama is complicated, but it has abundant benefits. Close the right nasal opening with the thumb and take a deep breath with the left nasal opening. Then close the left opening with the ring and middle fingers and exhale completely through the right nasal opening. The next step is to breathe in deeply through the right nostril and exhale through the left nasal orifice. This has to be done for a minimum of ten minutes.
In Bhramari Pranayama you have to use the thumb to close your ears while the index fingers are on the forehead. The other 3 fingers must cover the eyes. Deeply breathe in and make a humming sound when you breathe out. This can be done ten times.
The advantages of practicing Pranayama every morning are increased breathing efficiency, improved blood circulation that helps in setting right many cardio vascular diseases.
Stabilized blood pressure, improved immunity system, augmented energy level, strengthened nervous system, improved sleep, reduced depression, improved performance of the digestive and excretory system. It also massages the internal organs, helps in weight reduction and works wonders for the complexion and skin tone.