Pranayama (conscious breath work) For Relaxation
Pranayama is the Sanskrit word meaning “extension of breath”. Prana is the life force/energy that exists in everything. The Sanskrit meaning for Prana is vibration. Everything in the world has a vibration or frequency if you like and practicing pranayama breathing techniques helps your vibration to resonate on a harmonious frequency. Combining Pranayama and yoga helps to calm your body and mind.
Would you believe that most of us only breathe half a litre of air into our lungs when our full lung capacity is over 10 times that amount? Imagine the amount of oxygen you could provide your organs, muscles and cells if you learnt how to breathe at full lung capacity? Pranayama provides breathing techniques to help restore balance in the mind and body giving you a sense of inner peace and providing amazing benefits for your wellbeing and general health.
- Stimulates the vagus nerve putting you into a parasympathetic state (rest & digest)
- Lowers your blood pressure
- Reduces your stress levels
- Increases your energy levels
- Reduces anxiety
- Keeps the mind calm, happy and peaceful
- Improves concentration and mental focus
- Clears blocked energy channels
- Improves digestion
- Calms the nervous system
- Oxygenates the cells in your body
Different types of pranayama
There are many different types of breathing techniques in Pranayama, each producing their own beneficial results. I have listed a few below for you to consider however there are many more breath-work techniques that you may wish to explore.
- Kapalabhati – internal cleansing, removing toxins from the brain
- Mukha Bastrika – cleansing breath – removes excess carbon dioxide
- Adham Pranayama – abdominal breathing – helps with anxiety & digestion
- Mahat Yoga Pranayama – full yoga breath – helps with heart health
- Sukha Purvaka – equal rhythmic breathing – improves digestion & respiration
- Nadi Shodhana – alternate nostril breathing – balances the body and mind