International Yoga Day 2022: Everyday breathing exercises to ensure optimal health

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International Yoga Day – 2022: Breathing is the essence of life, how you breathe can make a big difference to your overall health. Deeper breathing can increase the delivery of oxygen to the body’s organs, while shallow breathing is often a sign of problems brewing inside your body. In addition, deep breaths can also bring your mind into a state of harmony from stress and suffering. When your body and mind are at rest, optimal health is ensured and immunity is boosted to fight infections and chronic diseases. (Also read: International Day of Yoga 2022: Practice this 60-minute yoga every day to stay healthy)

“Breathing technique in study and practice yoga called pranayama. These techniques can be performed anywhere and do not require special equipment. Pranayama is extremely favorable for protection against any diseases. Pranayama exercises, when done regularly, can be effective in keeping your body in optimal condition. Breathing exercises help detoxify your body, keeping it strong and filled with vital prana vitality,” says Himalayan siddha Akshar in an interview with HT Digital. (Also read: International Day of Yoga 2022: Can CBD Improve Your Yoga Experience? Here’s what the experts say)

Akshar says that beginners should start the pranayama technique at slow speed or shaant gathi, and as they master the technique they can move up to madhyam gathi or medium speed before gradually progressing to tivra gati or fast speed. Each of these levels has a profound effect on the mind and body.

Here are some breathing exercises for beginners according to Akshar:

Bhastrika Pranayama

Method

• Sit in any comfortable position (eg Sukhasana, Ardhapadmasana or Padmasana).

• Straighten your back and close your eyes.

• Place your palms on your knees face up (in Prapti mudra).

• Inhale and fill your lungs with air

• Exhale completely

• Inhalation and exhalation should be done in a ratio of 1:1. For example, if you inhale for 6 counts, you should do 6 counts as you exhale.

Bhramari Pranayama

Method

• Sit in any comfortable position (eg Sukhasana, Ardhapadmasana or Padmasana).

• Straighten your back and close your eyes.

• Place your palms on your knees face up (in Prapti mudra).

• Place your thumbs on the tragus, the outer flap on the outside of the ear.

• Place your index finger on your forehead; middle finger on the medial canthus and ring finger on the corner of the nostril

• Inhale and fill your lungs with air

• As you exhale, slowly make a buzzing sound like a bee’s, ie, “mmmmmmm…”.

• Keep your mouth closed at all times and feel the vibration of the sound spread throughout your body.

Duration

You can start by practicing this breathing technique for five minutes a day and gradually increase it over time.

Chakravati Pranayama

• Fill your lungs with air as you inhale

• Do not touch the abdomen

• Visualize circles in front of your face

• With your right hand, draw imaginary circles next to the nose.

• Imagine air entering your nose like a spring.

• In one breath, draw 3 circles clockwise in front of the nose, and then exhale.

• Start with a few circles and gradually increase to 100 as you become an expert in this technique.

“Some of the benefits of daily pranayama practice are that it cleanses the entire body and removes toxins, improves the breathing capacity of the lungs. Pranayama reduces excess fat in the body as it improves digestion. It helps to regulate the nervous system, purifies the blood, energizes the body and reduces laziness,” the yoga master concludes.

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