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Pranayama is an aspect of Yoga, that deals with breathing. Pranayama is a method of controlling prana or life force through the regulation of breathing. It is the breathing process or the control of the motion of inhalation, exhalation and the retention of vital energy. 1. Bhastrika Pranayam
Procedure : Take deep breaths and then completely breathe out. Duration : 2 mins atleast. 5 mins maximum. Benefits : helps in heart, lungs, brain, depression, migraine, paralysis, neural system. increase aabha. More on Bhastrika Swami Ramdev Bhastrika Pranayam
Sit in a comfortable Asana. Breathe in through both the nostrils forcefully, till the lungs are full and diaphragm is stretched. Then breathe out forcefully also, but see that the abdominal cavity does not blow up due to the air breathed in. Depending upon the
capacity and health of an individual, this Pranayama can be done in three variable speeds viz. slow speed, moderate speed and at high speed. Individuals with weak lungs and heart should do this at a slow speed while performing Recak and Puraka A healthy individual and one used to doing it, should do it initially at a slow speed and then gradually increase the speed to moderate and then high. This Pranayama should be done for 5 to 10 minutes. Detailed Procedure of Bhastrika Pranayama Shiva Sankalpa (Vow ) at the time of performing Bhastrika: While inhaling in the process of doing Bhastrika make a vow and focus in your mind as if all the divine powers, purity, peace and joy, all that is good in the universe around you is entering inside your body and that you are getting filled with the divine powers. Pranayama done with this kind of vow in mind imparts a special benefit to the individual. Benefits: Diseases like cold, cough, allergy, asthma, respiratory diseases of all kinds, are cured. Lungs become strong and due to the heart and head getting adequate quantity of pure and fresh air, health is improved. Diseases of the throat like thyroid, tonsils and other ailments of throat are cured. This Pranayama brings about a proper balance of the three Doshas i.e. Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, and maintains their balance. Blood is purified and the body gets rid of foreign objects and toxins.Stabilizes Prana and calms mind, and helps the upward journey Stabilizes Prana and calms mind and helps the upward journey of Prana from Muladhara Chakra (Base Chakra) to Sahsrar Chakra(Cerebral Gland) and helpful in the Kundalini Jagran.
2. Kapal Bhati Pranayam
Procedure : Push air forcefully out. Stomach will itself go in. Duration : Start with 30 times or 1 min. increase upto 5 mins min. upto 10 mins max. Benefits : increases aabha and tej. helps in obesity, constipation, gastric, acidity, Croesus(liver), hepatitis B, ute rus, diabetes, stomach problems, cholesterol, allergic problems, asthma, snoring, concentration, and even cancer and AIDS. Tips : heart and high BP patients, and weak people do it slowly. Swamiji says "dharti ki sanjivini hai kapal-bhati pranayam" and that it "cures all diseases of world". More on Kapal Bhati Swami Ramdev Kapal Bhati Pranayam ¶Kapal· means forehead and ¶Bhati· means light. Hence, Kapal-Bhati refers to that exercise which makes the forehead luminous and lustrous. Kapal -Bhati Pranayama makes its Sadhak·s head luminous. This Pranayama is a little different from Bhastrika Pranayama. In Bhastrika Pranayama, Puraka and Recak are done with the same amountof force, where as in Kapal-Bhati more attention is to be given to the act of forceful Rechak. In Kapal-Bhati, the Puraka is to be done with normal, usual force but the Recak has to be done with as much of force as is at your command. In doing so, the abdominal area, also makes inward and outward movements and considerable force is applied to the Manipura,Svadhisthana and Muladhara Chakra. This Pranayama should easily be done for five minutes. In short, breathe in normally and breathe out
forcefully, so as to influence the organs of the abdominal area. Persons suffering from acute and chronic diseases must practice if for 15 minutes or more as per the capability. Detailed Procedure Shiva Sankalpa (Vow) at the time of performing KapalBhati While doing this Pranayama think that w hile exhaling you are throwing all the diseases out of your body. Individuals with mental aberrations like anger, greed, self-ego attachment etc.should develop a feeling of throwing out all the negative and injurious elements along with the air exhaled. In this way the feeling of getting rid of diseases while exhaling imparts a special benefit to the individual. Duration:
Do this Pranayama at the start for a period of three minutes and gradually increase it to five minutes. Initially, if you feel tired in between, take rest for a while and resume. After practice of about two months, you will be able to perform this Pranayama for five minutes at a stretch without any fatigue. This is the total duration for which it should be done. In the beginning, you may feel a little pain in the back or abdomen. But this will disappear after some practice. So do not give up. People whose glands secrete lots of bile inside the body are termed as Pitta Prakriti. They should not do this Pranayama for more than 2 minutes duri ng summer season. Benefits:
Face become Lustrous and attractive. Diseases related to Kapha like asthma, respiratory troubles, allergies, sinus, etc. are cured.
Diseases of heart, lungs and brain get cured. Obesity, diabetes, flatulence, constipation, acidity and diseases pertaining to kidneys and prostate glands etc. are cured. If done regularly for five minutes daily, it relieves constipation, Blood sugar becomes normal and weight in the abdominal region reduces considerably. Blockages in the arteries are also cleared. Peace and stability of mind are achieved. No negative thoughts occur. Troubles like depression are cured.
Chakras are purified and ¡¡chakras from Muladhar Chakra to Sahsrar Chakra are filled with pious Cosmic Energy. Organs in the abdominal cavity viz. stomach, pancreas, liver, spleen, intestine, prostrate and kidney function more efficiently and develop immunity towards diseases. This is the best exercise; benefits accrued by this cannot be obtained by several other asanas. It strength ens the intestines and improves digestion.
3. Baharya Pranayam
Procedure : Breathe air out, touch chin to chest (Jalandhar Bandh ?), squeeze stomach completely and hold for a while. then release chin, breathe in slowly. Duration : 3 times to 5 times normally. maximum upto 11 times. And extremely max upto 21 times (in winters). Benefits : Helpful for stomach(udar), hernia, urinal, uterus Tips : not for heart and high BP patients. More on Bahaya Swami Ramdev Bahaya Pranayama (The external breath) This pranayama technique is applied in the state of "Bahya kumbhaka (suspension of breath after exhalation). Bahya Pranayama is referred to elsewhere as "Uddiyana Bandha," which includes the abdominal lock, root lock (mulabandha) and the chin lock (Jalandhar bandha). SRDM refers to Uddiyana bandha simply as the abdominal lock. When all three locks are applied, SRDM calls it "Bahya Pranayama." Duration: Beginners should perform Bahya Pranayama 3 to 5 times. Advanced practitioners can do 11 repetitions.However, in the winter, advance practitioners can do up to 21 repetitions. Technique: Swami Ramdev Maharaj defines the three locks in this manner:
Contracting the abdomen and drawing it in all the way to the back (abdominal contents float up i nto the lower chest) is called "Uddiyana bandha." Bringing the chin to the pit of the throat is called "Jalandhar Bandha." Contracting and pulling up the region below the navel (pelvic and pubic area) and sustaining the hold is called "Mulabandha.
Begin with exhaling rapidly and completely, hold the breath,apply chin lock (Jalandhar bandha) by lowering the chin and join it with the pit of the throat. Apply abdominal lock (Uddiyana bandha) by bending forward a little and press hands on the knees for leverage. Contract the abdomen and draw it in all the way to the back. Apply root lock (mula bandha) by pulling up the pelvis and hold it up there. Still holding the breath and the three locks in place, bend forward slightly and pull the abdominal organs as far up as you can, straighten the trunk, holding it as long as you comfortably can. When you are ready to release, bend again, release the abdominal lock and the abdominal organs (while raising the chin to exhale.) and raising the chin inhale. This completes one round. Do 3 or more rounds of Bahya Pranayama. Benefits: Good for hernia, stomach ailments, uterus prolapse and all urinary and prostate problems. Channels the energy of the root lock Caution: People with hypertension and heart problem should avoid performing Bahya Pranayama. *Author's Note: Read carefully "Author's Note" in the Caution section of Bhastrika and Kapalabhati. Before you proceed with Bahya Pranayama, make sure you can suspend you r breath after exhalation for at lest 10-15 seconds because it takes time to apply the chin lock and root lock, pull in the abdomen towards the back and push the abdominal organs into the chest cavity, then release them and inhale slowly. Notice how much time it takes to just say it (it took me 10 seconds to say it); doing it will take at least that much
time. Do not tire yourself out. Don't do more than 4 or 5 repetitions. Also, when you release the locks and are ready to inhale, inhale slowly. If you desperately rush into inhale, in certain conditions, you run the risk of collapsing your airways. People with gastric and intestinal disorders should use caution
4. Anulom Vilom Pranayam
Procedure : Hold your right nasal with thumb, breathe in from left. Now open right nasal and close left nasal with middle and ring finger and breathe out from right nasal. Now breathe in from right nasal. Now close right nasal and open left and breathe out and in fro m left nasal. and so on. Duration : atleast 10 minutes. Benefits : Helpful for heart, high BP, heart blockage, vat-cuf-pit, arthritis, cartilage, bent ligaments, sinual fluid reduced, parkinson, paralysis, neural related, depression, migraine pain, asthma, sinus, allergy Tips : breathe into lungs not to stomach. no organ in stomach absorb oxygen. Do not hurry. Do it slowly. Rest whenever needed (in any pranayam). More on Aulom Vilom
Swami Ramdev Anulom Vilom Pranayam
To be done by closing the nostrils one after another, close the right nostril by the right hand thumb, and likewise close the left nostril by the 2nd and 3rd fingers (Madhyama and Anamika) fingers keep the palm of the hand in front just above the Nose. Prana breathed in through left nostril represents energy of the moon, which symbolizes peace, and has a cooling effect. Hence for purification of Nadis, beginning of this Pranayama has to be made by the left nostril. Close the right side nostril with the right hand thumb. Inhale slowly through the left nostril till the lungs are filled. Then close the left nostril with the second and third fingers. Open the right nostril and exhale through it. Repeat this exercise slowly in the beginning, and with practice, increase the speed. When you are able to practice this exercise for a long time, inhale with as much force as is possible for you, then exhale also forcefully. This practice of inhalation and exhalation alternatively through the right and left nostril, as indicated above with force, should be done for 3 minutes. If you feel tired, rest for sometimes and resume. Regular practice will enable you to do this Pranayama for 10 minutes. After some practice being established, this Pranayama should be done for 5 to 10 minutes daily, depending upon one·s capacity. However, in summer season it should be done for duration starting from 3 minutes and up to a maximum of 5 minutes. If you practice this Pranayama for five minutes regularly on a daily basis, the coiled energy called Kundalini Shakti lying in the Muladhar Chakra begins to awaken.This is known as Kundalini Jagran.. While doing this Pranayama, mentally repeat the mantra ´OMµ so the mind becomes fit for meditation.
Detailed Method: Shiva Sankalp(Vow) at the time of performing Anulom Viloma Pranayama While performing this Pranayama there develops a feeling in mind that as a result of friction and churning of breath in Ida and Pingala Nadis, there is awakening in Susumna Nadi. A divine light is rising upwards from the eight Chakra to the Sahsrar Chakra.
There is a feeling that the whole body is being enlightened by a divine light.Imagine a divine light on the outside and the inside of the body and try to visualize ¶Om Kham Brahm·. Imagine that the supreme power is showering divine energy and divine knowledge, that the supreme power is filling you with divine energy. Try to get the initiation of the divine energy by yourself. A Guru(teacher) just inspires you for the divine energy and links the student to divine feelings. Actually the divine energy is showered by the supreme power himself. Anulom-Viloma Pranayama done with these kinds of divine feelings gives better results and benefits to the individual in all the spheres viz. physically , mentally and spiritually. A divine light will appear from the Muladhara - Chakra on its own and there will be Kundalini Jagran, you will feel the rise within yourself and you will be blessed with the initiation of the divine energy in yourself. Regular practice of this Pranayama has the capacity of cleansing all your innumerable Nadis, which makes the body healthy lustrous and strong. All kinds of diseases occurring due to the disturbance of ¶Vata Dosha· like rheumatism, gout, diseases pertaining to urinary and reproductive organs are cured. Besides, regular practice of this Pranayama also cures diseases like cold, cataract, sinus, etc. which have reached a chronic stage. The three Doshas of Vata, Pitta, Kapha regularise themselves and assume proper propor tions. Blockages in the arteries of the heart are removed and the arteries become clean, making the circulation unimpeded. If this Pranayama is practiced for 3 or 4 months regularly,
30 to 40% of blockages in the arteries are dissolved and removed, preventing the phenomenon of heart attack. Pathogenic cholesterol, triglycerides, H.D.L. and L.D.L. also get controlled, making the arterial channels clear for effective and unimpeded flow of blood in the heart. Negative thinking is replaced by positive approach to life. It increases enthusiasm and spirit, the Sadhak becomes fearless and feels blissful. In short, this Pranayama has the effect of cleansing the body, and the mind and cures almost all the diseases from which the Sadhaka has been suffering. If this Pranayama is practiced for 250 to 500 times a day, Kundalini Shakti turns its face upward and begin to rise above through the susumna Nadi. It means that the phenomenon known as Kundalini Jagran begins.
5. Bhramri Pranayam
Procedure : Close ears with thumb, index finger on forehead, and rest three on base of nose touching eyes. Breathe in. And now breathe out through nose while humming like a bee.
Duration : 10 minutes Benefits : tension, hypertension, high BP, heart, heart blockage, p aralysis, migraine pain, confidence, concentration. More on Bharamari
Duration/repetitions: Beginners may practice Bhramari three times and advanced practitioners for 11 -21 times. Technique: Breathe in and out with the nose only. Close the ears with your thumbs, place index fingers just above the eyebrows at the sinuses and the remaining three fingers on the eyes with finger tips slightly pressing the ridge of the nose on each side. Inhale deeply and while exhaling make a humming sound like that of th e black beetle. Say "Om' in a soft humming sound while making the humming sound. Mental focus: Concentrating on the center of the eyebrows (ajna chakra) visualize light in the center. Feel that your body, mind and soul are radiating with light. Try to experience inner joy and bliss. Benefits: Good for sinus problem, hypertension, heart blockage, etc. Vibrations created by humming destroys negative energy, reduces stress/tension, depression, fears and doubts. it is better to do soft humming that gently reverberates in the sinuses and the skull rather than powerful vibration. Four to five repetitions of Bhramari is plenty. People with epilepsy, head trauma or tumor, migraine, severe or persistent headaches should avoid Bhramari.
6. Udgeeth Pranayam
Procedure : Breathe in deeply, and chant 'Om'kar. OOOOOOm ( long O and small m ) Duration : 10 minutes or more Benefits : meditation, peace of mind and relaxation. More on Udgeeth Udgeeta Pranayama ("Om" chanting)
Udgeeta Pranayama is often referred to as, "Omkari japa," that is, chanting of Om. "Udgeeta" means singing in a loud pitch/note. Thus, Udgeet pranayama means chanting of Om in a loud pitch. While chanting, the sound of "O" should be 3 times longer than the sound of "makar" (mmm), which is often transcribed in Samskrita as "O3M." Duration/repetitions: Minimum 3 times. For the maximum limit, SRDM once said, "Keep chanting until you feel tired or reach the state of absorption in the sound of Om." Technique: Inhalation and exhalation should be long, slow, soft and subtle. Inhale slowly and when ready to exhale, chant Om slowly and steadily. With practice, lengthen each breath to one -minute, that is, to say inhalation and exhalation should total one -minute of time. Visualize the breath entering and moving inside the body. Beginners may feel the breath just in their nose but with practice and proper concentration, they may feel the "touch" of the breath inside their whole self. While chanting, feel the joy and remain in the spirit of surrender (to
the higher power). Feel that the sound of "Om" has filled the entire space from inside and outside. Focus on the "agnya" center (the command center") that is, the point between the two eyebrows.
7. Pranav Pranayam (Meditating on AUM/OM or on your God/Primary Deity/Guru)
Procedure : Close your eyes and sit quitely. Concentrate the mind on inhaling and exhaling and think of god. God has created our eyebrows, eyes, nose, ears, lips, heart etc. in Aum shape (Hindi word). Imagine the presence of god in every particle and meditate. Deepe r the experience, deeper the physical, mental and spiritual energy. Pranayam overcomes the physical disorders, gives good health and the devotee proceeds on the path of spirituality. Breathe in naturally. Duration : 2-3 mins or more. Purpose: Spiritual development and to widen your perspective so that you begin to realise the One In All and the All In One - the constant universal vibration AUM/OM, which is found in every single minutest atom. Duration: From 1 minute up to 1 hour as per your available time. No maximum as this is meditation (either contemplate on a Form - Rupam Dyanam - or on the Sound of OM / the Formless Supreme Energy).
8. Ujjayi Pranayam Procedure : Sit erect in any comfortable posture. Keep spine erect. Inhale, slowly drawing air by both the nostrils in such a way that while inhaling the touch of air is experienced in the throat and some sound is produced. During inhalation do not allow abdomen to b ulge out, let the chest expand. After completing inhalation slowly exhale. During exhalation chest should go inside and abdomen should remain steady. Benefits : raises body heat, the sound vibrations calm and focus the mind, letting you relax more. Lower blood pressure and slow heart rate. Effectively used for pain reduction, insomnia, and migraines. More on Ujjayi Pranayam Ujjayi Pranayam
Ujjayi breathing is the foundation of pranayama , and is practice in nearly every form of pranayama. Ujjayi itself literally means 'victoriously uprising,' which refers to the expansion and movement upward of the energy of the breath -- the prana -- through the central channel of the body (located just in front of the spine) known as the 'sushumna nadi.' Duration/repetitions: 3 times. But for relief of thyroid problem, you may practice up to 11 times. Technique: Bring your mind to the throat and contract it (referring to glottal contraction). Throat contraction is just like when you close the fist by contracting your hand. Beginners should first simply practice inhaling and contracting the throat and making short sounds like "oo" "oo" several times during one inhalation. Having acquired the awareness of t hroat contraction and some voluntary control over throat contraction, you are ready to practice Ujjayi. Deeply inhale while contracting the throat and making a sharp shrilling sound like "OO." Stop at the half or three-fourth point of your inhalation capac ity. Avoid filling air all the way into the upper chest without close supervision of a teacher. Apply chin lock (Jalandhar bandha) and hold the breath to your comfortable capacity. Close the right nostril with the right hand and exhale from the left nostril. Each time when you are ready to exhale, exhale from the left nostril.
Benefits: Modifies thyroid problems, snoring and asthma. *Author's Note: Please always end the pranayama sequence with Nadi Shodhana or soft Ujjayi so the breath slows down and inh alation and exhalation is equalized. When you end your practice with soft, slow and equalized breathing, you minimize the chances of ending your practice with too much carbon dioxide (hypercapnia) or too little oxygen (hypoxia) in your system.
9. Nauli Kriya Procedure : Stand with legs apart. Bend and hold the thighs with the corresponding hands. Exhale deeply and retain breath outside. Pull up abdominal muscles inward, as far as possible. Maintain this lock as long as the breath is retained outside. Benefits : Prevents all abdominal ailments. Eliminates constipation by encouraging intestinal peristalsis. Keeps sexual organs in good condition and prevents sexual disorders. Agnisar Pranayam Agnisar Pranayam,reintroduced by Swami Ramdev as an essential component of pranayama package. It is necessary part of pranayama along with other seven types of pranayama i.e. Bhastrika, Kapalbhati, Bahaya, AnulomVilom, Bharamri,Udgeeth and Pranav.
Method of Practice: 1. Sit in Padmasana and keep the hands on the knees in a comfortable position. Close the eyes slightly and concentrate on the mind with normal breathing. 2. Exhale slow, deep and stable breathe. Stop the breathe outside, i.e., do Bahirmukh. Stretch both the hands straight and keep them on the knees with slight pressure. Contract and expand the stomach. Try to touch the navel deep inside the stomach. 3. Keep the stomach and hands normal before doing poorak i.e., inhale. Now take deep, stable and slow breathe. 4. This is one cycle of Agnisar pranayama. In one cycle contract and expand the stomach at least ten times. Increase the number to 30. In the beginning practice it for 5 times and then slowly increase is it up to 15 cycles. During winters you can practice it for 25 cycles. Breathe normally, rest for sometime and then do shavasana.
Precautions during Agnisar Pranayama:1. This pranayama should be done in the morning hours after passing bowels and getting free from the morning chores. Those who want to practice it in the evening should do after four hours of having meals. 2. During winters, Agnisar pranayama should be done as per the procedures. This is the best time for this pranayam. During summers after doing this pranayama ten rounds of Shitali pranayama should be definitely practiced.3. During the practice period the person should eat simple, pure food. Avoid eating heavy, oily, fried and
non- vegetarian food. Smoking and alcohol should be completely avoided. 4. The patients of intestinal problems, hernia, high blood pressure and other diseases should not practice it. 5. If you have undergone stomach operat ion recently then this pranayama should not be practiced. It should be done under the guidance of some yoga expert after few months. 6. Stop the practice immediately if you experience tiredness and practice it the other day. 7. Practice it according to your physical capacity. Do not do kumbhak in excess of your body capacity. Make sure that during Bahirkumbhak slightest air should not get inside. 8. Patients suffering with ear, nose and eye problems should not practice agnisar pranayama.
Benefits of Agnisar Pranayama: Agnisar pranayama increases the internal energy and gives vitality. Those who are suffering with constipation, indigestion and loss of appetite they should get good benefits with its regular practice. People with excessive fat on the stomach should practice it regularly to reduce the fat. This pranayama overcomes laziness, disinterest and strengthens the internal organs, muscles, nerves and blood veins. People suffering with lung problems can gain a lot. This pranayama cures asthma, tuberculo sis and other serious diseases. It also cures the entire throat related problems and old kapha problems. It cures sleepiness and circulates inner energy.
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