Types of Pranayama

Pranayama pose

ňúPrana’ is the universal life force that flows inside all of us. Pranayama stimulates prana and helps it reach the inner recesses of the brain, thereby expanding our faculties and preventing degeneration. The various types of pranayama are explained in detail below.

Types of Pranayama

Several types of pranayama are taught by yoga gurus. Each has its own method and benefits. In this article, we look at a few popular types of pranayama.

Deep Breathing
This method slows down the rate of breathing, which lessens the body’s need for oxygen, which in turn further reduces the rate of breathing. Keep your body relaxed and stable while doing deep breathing. You can use any sitting meditation pose for this type of pranayama.

Nadi Shodhan Pranayama
This method is also called saral pranyama or anulom/vilom pranayama.

Benefits of Nadi Shodhan Pranayama

  • Cures headache, cough and cold
  • Relieves tension and promotes tranquility and peace
  • Cleans nerves and nose
  • Regular practice slows down the breathing rate and elongates lifespan

Bhastrika Pranayama
In this type, the breath is expelled with force with a loud noise akin to a bellow which provides air to the furnace.

Benefits of Bhastrika Pranayama

  • Excess fat is reduced and pot belly is trimmed gradually
  • Increases appetite, reduces phlegm and raises body heat
  • Purifies blood and cures asthma
  • Sharpens thinking and enhances mental and physical capacity

Bhramari Pranayama
In this type, the breathing sounds like the humming of a bee.

Benefits of Bhramari Pranayama

  • Streamlines the production of sound
  • Makes the tone rhythmic, smooth and delicate
  • Throat diseases are cured and prevented
  • Releases tension and makes the mind fresh

Sheetali Pranayama
The tongue is used to take in air which is held inside for a period of time and then released through the nose.

Benefits of Sheetali Pranayama

  • This is a useful technique for people who have high blood pressure
  • Prevents and controls diseases of the skin, tonsils, throat and mouth
  • Reduces the heat in the eyes
  • Cools down the body and reduces thirst

Seetakari Pranayama
A hissing sound is produced while practicing this pranayama.

Benefits of Seetakari Pranayama

  • Keeps the mouth cool and clean
  • Strengthens the teeth

Surya-bhedi Pranayama
This technique generates heat energy in the body.

Benefits of Surya-bhedi Pranayama

  • Very useful for those suffering from low blood pressure
  • Cures asthma, cold and cough
  • Increases body strength
  • Improves mental alertness and concentration

Chandra-bhedi Pranayama
This method cools down the body.

Benefits of Chandra-bhedi Pranayama

  • Reduces anger and high blood pressure
  • Makes the mind pleasant and full of joy

Ujjayi Pranayama
The mind is maintained in a subtle state by practicing this pranayama.

Benefits of Ujjayi Pranayama

  • Stimulates the heart, lungs and throat
  • Prevents diseases of the throat, nose and ear
  • Controls blood pressure, asthma and cough
  • Eliminates depression, anxiety and negative thoughts
  • You can practice this pranayama in Savasana (corpse pose) to get sound sleep

The above are the various types of pranayama and their benefits.

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