Yogic breathing or pranayama consists of simple yet effective breathing techniques that offer immense benefits. In this article, we reveal the steps of yogic breathing and its benefits.
Step 1 – Abdominal Breathing
Have you noticed your natural breathing technique. You must have noticed that when you inhale your abdomen or your stomach rises and falls when you exhale. Spend a few seconds checking the flow of your breath. Now try to take deep breaths allowing your abdomen to rise to its last limit during inhalation and allowing your abdomen to fall completely while exhaling. Remember, keep your chest still during this exercise and move your abdomen only. Repeat the process for 20 breaths and relax.
Step 2 – Chest Breathing
Observe your natural breathing again. In the first step you had focused on your abdomen, now focus on your chest. As you breathe your chest will be moving very slightly up and down with exhalation. Now try lifting the rib cage as much as you could while inhaling so that the lungs get filled up completely. Now let the lungs deflate completely and let the chest sink to its limit. Keep your abdomen still and repeat the process for 20 breaths. Relax.
Step 3 – Full Yogic Breathing
The Full Yogic technique of breathing is a combination of both the first and second steps. Inhale and first fill your abdomen, continue to inhale and expand your chest. Now exhale and deflate the chest first and then the abdomen. The pattern would be inhaling in to the abdomen first and then chest and exhaling from the chest first and then abdomen. Remember do not strain. Try to practice this as smoothly and effortlessly as possible.
If you keep practicing the Yogic breathing regularly, you will start breathing in this manner over time.
Benefits of Yogic Breathing
- Effectively treats respiratory diseases such as emphysema and asthma.
- Stimulates and improves the cardiovascular system.
- Alleviates anxiety and stress, and brings calmness to the mind.
- Detoxifies the body and improves the normal breathing process.
- The endocrine system is boosted with greater energy flow.
- Relieves chronic and acute muscular tensions around the digestive organs and heart.
- Improves the overall functioning of the lungs.
- Boosts oxygen supply to the body to improve its health.
- Yogic breathing purifies blood and energizes the heart.
- The mind becomes aware and alert and begins to function spontaneously.
- Nerves, intestines and veins are cleaned of toxins.
- Pranayama boosts appetite.
- Negative feelings and emotions are eradicated. Your thoughts become positive and pure.
- Regular practice of yogic breathing aids spiritual growth and can even lead to self-realization.
- Pranayama extends the life span of the practitioner.
- It cures headache, cough and cold.
- Reduces excess fat and trims pot belly.
- Throat diseases are cured and your voice becomes melodious.
- High blood pressure is controlled.
- Teeth can be strengthened.
- Asthma patients can get relief.
As you have realized, the benefits of yogic breathing are numerous. Learn the proper techniques from a qualified teacher and practice them at home to gain lifelong benefits.