Pranayama

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Basic Pranayama

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Pranayama

  1. 1. Pranayama Prā āyāmaṇ word is composed of two Sanskrit words, “Prana” life force, or vital energy particularly and "ayāma", to extend or draw out (Distribution of energy). (Not 'restrain, or control' as is often translated from 'yama' instead of 'ayāma'). Prana is an inactive energy. Prana is in Air, but it is not oxygen or any other Physical constituent of air. Prana is in every particle of creation. Prana is not a particle. Example electricity is an inactive energy, when given to any of the object, the object get active state of energy. Pranayama uses Breath In and Breath out Technique to distribute energy to all the cells and nerves system (through the flow of Blood). A Few Definitions • Puraka = taking an inhalation to bring in air from the outside. • Kumbhaka = holding your breath confining the breath within. • Rechaka = exhaling the confined air. • Seat of the Prana Apana anus (= heart); Samana (= navel area; Udana (= throat); while Vyana moves throughout the body. Seat of Prana The seat of Prana is heart. Though the Antahkarana is one, yet it assumes four forms, viz., (i) Manas, (ii) Buddhi, (iii) Chitta and (IV) Ahamkara according to the different functions it performs. Likewise, though Prana is one, it assumes five forms viz., (1) Prana, (2) Apana, (3) Samana, (4) Udana and (5) Vyana according to the different functions it performs. This is termed as Vritti Bheda. The principal Prana is called Mukhya Prana. The Prana, joined with Ahamkara, lives in the Heart. Of these five, Prana and Apana are the chief agents. The seat of Prana is the heart; Of Apana, the anus; Of Samana, the region of the naval; Of Udana, the throat; While Vyana is all-pervading. It moves all over the body. The function of Prana is respiration; Apana does excretion; Samana performs digestion; Udana does deglutition (swallowing of the food). It takes the Jiva to sleep. It separates the astral Body from the physical body at the time of death. Vyana performs circulation of blood. Sub-Pranas and Their Functions Naga, Kurma, Krikara, Devadatta and Dhananjaya are the five sub-Pranas. Naga does eructation (burp) and hiccup. Kurma performs the function of opening the eyes. Krikara Induces hunger and thirst. Devadatta does yawning. Dhananjaya causes decomposition of the body After death. That man is never reborn, whenever he may die, whose breath goes out of the head, after Piercing the Brahmarandhra. The Colour of Pranas Prana is said to be of the colour of blood, red gem or coral. Apana which is in the middle, is Of the colour of Indragopa (an insect of white or red colour). Samana is of the colour between that of
  2. 2. Pure milk or crystal or of oily and shining colour, i.e., of something between both Prana and Apana. Udana is of Apandura (pale white) colour and that of Vyana, resembles the colour of archil (or that Of ray of light). Kapalabhati - The word kapalbhati is made up of two words, kapal meaning skull (here skull includes all the organs under the skull too) and bhati means shining (cleansing), illuminating. Due to the process, the organs under the skull mainly the brain and the small brain are influenced in a good manner. In the process of Kapalabhati, the carbon dioxide is thrown out of the body in large quantity and similarly in the same proportion, the oxygen is absorbed into the body. This increases the oxygen in the blood, hence the need for oxygen is lessened and the messages or the encouragement to breathing center is calmed down. The center becomes calm and reduces its instructions to the breathing organs. This facilitates control of the breathing organs. If there are urgent messages from the main center, then the organs follow those messages and it is not possible to control the movements of the organs. Hence, before studying Pranayama, if Kapalbhati is practiced for 2 / 3 times, then Pranayama can be studied effectively. Breathe IN Carbon-dioxide 76% Oxygen 20% Breathe out Carbon-dioxide 96% Oxygen 4% Initially kumbhaka (holding of the breath) is performed with effort, after inhalation (antah kumbhaka) or exhalation (bahya kumbhaka). When holding of the breath becomes natural (sahaj), we call it kevala kumbhaka. Kevala kumbhaka can take place at any point between inhalation and exhalation BREATHE IN BREATHE OUT Practice: • Sit in any comfortable meditative posture. • Keep the head, spine and neck straight and hands touching the waist and hands resting on the knees. • Close the eyes and relax the whole body.
  3. 3. • Inhale deeply through both nostrils, expanding the abdomen and exhale with forceful contraction of the abdominal muscles. • Focus on forceful exhalation, inhale passively by relaxing the abdominal muscle at the end of each exhalation. • Repeat the forceful exhalation 40-60 strokes or maximum of 120 strokes if you can do effortlessly per minute and at the end of the one minute stop the practice. • Rapid breathing used in this technique should be from the abdomen, not from the chest. • When you stop the practice, observe (KEVLA_KUMBAK) an automatic suspension of breath. • Experience and feel the state of deep rest and freshness. Note: • Keep the head, neck and spine straight throughout the practice. • After the rapid exhalation, relax the abdomen muscles so that passive inhalation will happen automatically. • Regular practice can increase the rapid exhalation speed to 60-120 strokes per minute. Benefits: • Purifies the frontal region of the brain. • Good preparatory technique for Pranayama and meditation. • Balances and strengthens the nervous system and tone the digestive organ. • Recommended for asthma, diabetes, weight reduction, digestive disorders and tuberculosis. • Reduces the stress. • Increases the memory. • Thyroid can be solved. Bhastrika Pranayama Practice: • Sit in any comfortable meditative posture. • Keep the head, spine and neck straight and hands touching the waist and hands resting on the knees.
  4. 4. • Close the eyes and relax the whole body. • Inhale deeply through both nostrils, forceful expanding the abdomen and exhale with forceful contraction of the abdominal muscles. • Focus on forceful Inhalation raise the hands straight (lifting up some weights) and Repeat the forceful exhalation (lifting down some weight) 40-60 strokes or maximum of 120 strokes if you can do effortlessly per minute and at the end of the one minute stop the practice. • Rapid breathing used in this technique should be from the abdomen, not from the chest. • When you stop the practice, observe (KEVLA_KUMBAK) an automatic suspension of breath. • Experience and feel the state of deep rest and freshness. Note: • Keep the head, neck and spine straight throughout the practice. • After the rapid exhalation, relax the abdomen muscles so that passive inhalation will happen automatically. • Regular practice can increase the rapid exhalation speed to 60-120 strokes per minute. Benefits: • Acidity and gastric gets cured. Sectional Breathing This is a preparatory breathing practice for Pranayama. Through this Pranayama we can correct the wrong breathing pattern and increases the vital capacity of the lungs. It will slow down the respiratory rate and help to calm down the mind. Awareness of breath is very important during the practice of the Pranayama. Full yogic breathing is a combination of all the three sections of the section breathing. BENEFITS: The purpose of this practice is to make the practitioner aware of the three different component of respiration (Abdominal, Thoracic and Clavicular) and incorporate them into full yogic breathing. • It will enhance more power and vitality. • Daily activity can be done in relaxation without stress or tension. • Improves the clarity of thought and thinking. • It will help in calming down your mind and revitalizing it. • Anybody can practice this breathing. Mudra: NOTE: The purpose of this practice is to make the practitioner aware of the three different component of respiration (Abdominal, Thoracic and Clavicular) and incorporate them into full yogic breathing. • Mudra should be tight (stretched). • Practice should be done in relaxed way, without any tension in the facial muscles. • Breathe through the nose which is very important. • Regular full yogic breathing practice will help to keep the mind and body healthy.
  5. 5. Chin Mudra (Creative Force) ON both Hands ABDOMINAL BREATHING: Position: Vajrasana or any comfortable sitting position. Practice: Index finger and Thumb finger should touch the tip, rest of the fingers stretched • Sit in any comfortable position and relax the whole body. Keep the head and spine straight. • Place the hands resting on the thighs in Chin Mudra such that both the hands touching the waist. • Observe the natural breath for some time. Inhale slowly, deeply and continuously observe which part of the body expand more (the abdomen region should expand). • Exhale slowly, deeply and observe which part of the body compress more (the abdomen region should compress). • One inhalation and one exhalation complete one round. • Repeat the practice for 30 to 40 rounds. • Focus on breathing and practice it in smooth and relaxed way which is very important. • In abdominal breathing the air fills the lower lobes of the lungs. • Avoid movement of chest region. Benefits: • Stomach problem/lower stomach problem cures. • Leg Pain and knee Pain cures. • Naval to Leg pains get cures. Chinmaya Mudra (Sustain Force) On both Hands THORASIC BREATHING: Position: Vajrasana or any comfortable sitting position.
  6. 6. Practice: Index finger and Thumb finger should touch the tip, rest of the fingers closed on the palm • Sit in any comfortable position and relax the whole body. Keep the head and spine straight. • Place the hands resting on the thighs in Chinmaya Mudra such that both the hands touching the waist. • Observe the natural breath for some time. Inhale slowly, deeply and continuously observe which part of the body expand more (the chest region should expand). • Exhale slowly, deeply and observe which part of the body compress more (the chest region should compress). • One inhalation and one exhalation complete one round. • Repeat the practice for 30 to 40 rounds. • Focus on breathing and practice it in smooth and relaxed way which is very important. • Avoid the movements of abdomen region. • With total awareness breathe slowly and deeply through the chest. Benefits: • Chest problem/lungs problem get cures. • Respiratory problem get cures. Adi Mudra (Destructive Force) on both hands CLAVICULAR BREATHING: Position: Vajrasana or any comfortable sitting position. Practice: • Sit in any comfortable position and relax the whole body. Keep the head and spine straight. • Place the hands resting on the thighs in ADI Mudra such that both the hands touching the waist. • Observe the natural breath for some time. Inhale slowly, deeply and continuously observe which part of the body expand more (the neck region or above shoulder should expand). • Exhale slowly, deeply and observe which part of the body compress more (the neck region or above shoulder should compress). • One inhalation and one exhalation complete one round. • Repeat the practice for 30 to 40 rounds. • Focus on breathing and practice it in smooth and relaxed way which is very important.
  7. 7. • Try and avoid movements of the abdomen and chest region. Benefits: • Neck problem/ENT problem get cures. • Neck and shoulder above problem get cures. Brahma Mudra (It is used for all kinds of body Pain) Position: Vajrasana or any comfortable sitting position. Practice: • Sit in any comfortable position and relax the whole body. Keep the head and spine straight. Place the hands resting on the abdomen at the navel region in Brahma Mudra. • Observe the natural breath for some time. Inhale slowly, deeply and continuously. While inhaling, first abdomen muscles will bulge, keep on Inhaling bring the Brahma Mudra backwards. This sequence will occur sequentially. • Exhale slowly, deeply and continuously. While exhaling, first abdomen muscles will compress, keep on exhaling bring the Brahma Mudra forward. This sequence will occur sequentially. • The entire movement should be harmonious and rhythmic. Merudanda Mudra On both hands Position: Vajrasana or any comfortable sitting position.
  8. 8. Practice: • Sit in any comfortable position and relax the whole body. Keep the head and spine straight. • Place the hands resting on the thighs in Merudanda such that both the hands touching the waist. • Observe the natural breath for some time. Inhale slowly, deeply and continuously observe which part of the body expand more (the spinal cord region should expand). • Exhale slowly, deeply and observe which part of the body compress more (the spinal cord region should expand). • One inhalation and one exhalation complete one round. • Repeat the practice for 30 to 40 rounds. • Focus on breathing and practice it in smooth and relaxed way which is very important. Specialty: This Mudra activates the spinal cord and the muscles around it. Benefits: Circulates the prana along the spine and helps relive back pain. Practice Tips: Use to strengthen the back and relive back pain. Urdhva Merudanda Mudra On both hands Position: Vajrasana or any comfortable sitting position. Practice: • Sit in any comfortable position and relax the whole body. Keep the head and spine straight. • Place the hands resting on the thighs in Merudanda such that both the hands touching the waist. • Observe the natural breath for some time. Inhale slowly, deeply and continuously observe which part of the body expand more (the upper back region should expand). • Exhale slowly, deeply and observe which part of the body compress more (the upper back region should expand). • One inhalation and one exhalation complete one round. • Repeat the practice for 30 to 40 rounds. • Focus on breathing and practice it in smooth and relaxed way which is very important. Benefits: Circulates the prana along the upper back. Practice Tips: Use to relive upper back pain
  9. 9. Adho Merudanda Mudra On both hands Position: Vajrasana or any comfortable sitting position. Practice: • Sit in any comfortable position and relax the whole body. Keep the head and spine straight. • Place the hands resting on the thighs in Merudanda such that both the hands touching the waist. • Observe the natural breath for some time. Inhale slowly, deeply and continuously observe which part of the body expand more (the low back region should expand). • Exhale slowly, deeply and observe which part of the body compress more (the low back region should expand). • One inhalation and one exhalation complete one round. • Repeat the practice for 30 to 40 rounds. • Focus on breathing and practice it in smooth and relaxed way which is very important. Benefits: Circulates prana in the pelvis and low back. Practice Tips: Use to relive low back pain Surya Bhedana (Right Nostril Breathing or Revitalizing Breath) Surya means “SUN” indicates Pingala Nadi. Bhedana means pierce or purifies or passing through USE right hand for Nasika Mudra Nasika Mudra (Right hand Elbow facing the Earth)
  10. 10. In Surya Bhedana Pranayama, the breath is inhaled through the right nostril. In other words the Prana passes through the Pingala or Surya Nadi and the breath is then exhaled through the left nostril which is the path of the Ida Nadi. Position: Sit in any meditative posture or any comfortable sitting posture with the head and spine straight. Close the eyes and relax the whole body. Practice: • When the body is comfortable and relaxed, focus on your breath for a few minutes effortlessly. • Adopt Nasika Mudra with your right hand (folding index and middle fingers towards palm). • Place the Left hand resting on the thigh and hand touching the waist • Close the Left nostril with the tip of the ring and small finger. • Slow and deep inhalation through Right nostril (should be close Half with the tip of the THUMB) • Slow Exhalation through the Left nostril. • One cycle of inhalation and exhalation forms one round. • Exhalation should be longer than inhalation. • Repeat 9 to 40 rounds. BENEFITS: • This Pranayama gets rid of all impurities from your body. • People suffering from asthma, cold and gastric problems can get relief from Surya Bhedana. • Your immune system will get stronger. • Digestion improves. • Surya Bhedana helps release heat from your body. Chandra Bhedana (Left Nostril Breathing)
  11. 11. Nasika Mudra (Right hand Elbow facing the Earth) Chandra is the moon. Bhedana means passing through. In Chandra Bhedana Pranayama inhalation is done through the left nostril and exhale through the right. It is said that energy passes through Ida (Chandra) Nadi on the inhalation and through Pingala or Surya Nadi on the exhalation. Position: Sit in any meditative posture or any comfortable sitting posture with the head and spine straight. Close the eyes and relax the whole body. Practice: • When the body is comfortable and relaxed, focus on your breath for a few minutes effortlessly. • Adopt Nasika Mudra with your right hand (folding index and middle fingers towards palm). • Place the Left hand resting on the thigh and hand touching the waist • Close the RIGHT nostril with the tip of the THUMB. • Slow and deep inhalation through LEFT nostril (should be close Half with the tip of the ring and small finger) • Slow Exhalation through the RIGHT nostril. • One cycle of inhalation and exhalation forms one round. • Exhalation should be longer than inhalation. • Repeat 9 to 40 rounds. BENEFITS: • Reduces the COLD
  12. 12. Chandra Anuloma Pranayama Nasika Mudra (Right hand Elbow facing the Earth) Position: Sit in any meditative posture or any comfortable sitting posture with the head and spine straight. Close the eyes and relax the whole body. Practice: • When the body is comfortable and relaxed, focus on your breath for a few minutes effortlessly. • Adopt Nasika Mudra with your right hand (folding index and middle fingers towards palm). • Place the Left hand resting on the thigh and hand touching the waist • Close the right nostril with the tip of the thumb. • (Left nostril should be closed Half with the tip of the ring and small Finger) Inhale and exhale slowly through the left nostril (Chandra nadi) only. • One cycle of inhalation and exhalation forms one round. • Exhalation should be longer than inhalation. • Repeat 9 to 40 rounds. • Anxiety patients should practice this Pranayama 27 rounds before breakfast, lunch, dinner and before sleep (4 times a day). Important Note: If you practice Chandra Anuloma Pranayama for 40 rounds then you need to practice Surya Anuloma Pranayama for at least 10 rounds Benefits: • It lowers the high blood pressure. • Beneficial for anxiety and mental tension. • It is a cooling breathing practice. • The body becomes cool.
  13. 13. • It will help to calm down the mind. Surya Anuloma Pranayama Nasika Mudra (Right hand Elbow facing the Earth) Position: Sit in any meditative posture or any comfortable sitting posture with the head and spine straight. Close the eyes and relax the whole body. Practice: • When the body is comfortable and relaxed, focus on your breath for a few minutes effortlessly. • Adopt Nasika Mudra with your right hand (folding index and middle fingers towards palm). • Place the Left hand resting on the thigh and hand touching the waist. • Close the Left nostril with the tip of the ring and small finger. • (Right nostril should be closed Half with the tip of the THUMB) Inhale and exhale slowly through the right nostril (surya nadi) only. • One cycle of inhalation and exhalation forms one round. • Exhalation should be longer than inhalation. • Repeat 9 to 40 rounds. • Depression patients should practice this Pranayama 27 rounds before breakfast, lunch, dinner and before sleep (4 times a day). If you practice Surya Anuloma Pranayama for 40 rounds then you need to practice Chandra Anuloma Pranayama for at least 10 rounds Benefits: • It increases the heat in the body. • Purifies the blood and improves digestion. • Cures the problem of gas in the abdominal region. • Beneficial for depression patients and weight reduction.
  14. 14. • Low BP Cure Nadi Suddhi Pranayama Position: Vajrasana • Sit in any meditative posture • Adopt Nasika Mudra (Right hand Elbow facing the Earth) Practice: • Gently close your eyes and focus on your breath for few seconds. • Place the Left hand resting on the thigh and hand touching the waist • Close the right nostril with the right thumb and exhale completely through the left nostril. Then inhale deeply through the same left nostril. • Close the left nostril with your ring and little finger of the Nasika Mudra, release the right nostril. Now exhale slowly through the right nostril. • Inhale deeply through the same right nostril. Now close the right nostril and exhale through the left nostril. This is one round of Nadisuddi Pranayama. • Practice 9 to 40 rounds. Benefits: • Increase vitality and lowers the stress and anxiety. • It is recommended for respiratory disorders such as Bronchial asthma, Nasal allergy. • Keeps the blood sugar at normal level. • Brings the balance in sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. • It has no limitations. Anybody can practice this Pranayama Ujjayi Pranayama
  15. 15. Ujjayi Pranayama or the psychic breath soothes the mind and induces a meditative state. Ujjayi means to ‘lift up’. In Ujjayi Pranayama, the chest is slightly lifted up as if the inhalation is done from the throat. Ujjayi involves a deep inhalation from both nostrils with a half closed glottis, so that a faint hissing snoring sound is made during the inhalation. Then there is retention of breath followed by exhalation. • Sit in a comfortable meditative pose. Padmasana, Siddhasana, Swastikasana, Sukhasana or Vajrasana can be used. • Contract the glottis, so that the passage of the throat is partially closed. • Roll the tongue up and let the lower side of the tongue touch the upper palate. • Breathe in slowly through the throat, making a slight hissing snoring sound. During inhalation, the chest is slightly lifted up and the abdomen contracts a little. OR • (USING chin lock) Breathe in slowly through the throat, making a slight hissing snoring sound. During inhalation, the chest is slightly lifted up and the abdomen contracts a little. • Exhalation making a slight hissing snoring sound through both the nostrils. • This is one round of Ujjayi Pranayama. Can do9 to 40 rounds as you are comfortable. Note: • Maintain the hissing sound at the throat both while inhalation and exhalation. • Inhalation and exhalation should be long, slow and continuous. • Partial contraction or closing the glottis can be practiced by making a swallowing movement and feel the gentle pressure in the throat region. Benefits: Recommended for the people who is suffering from high blood pressure and thyroid. Helps to relieve insomnia and calm down the mind.
  16. 16. Regulates the metabolic rate and improves concentration. Strengthens the diaphragm and lowers the blood pressure. Reduces the migraine head ache. Bhramari Pranayama The word "Bhramari" comes from the Sanskrit name bhramar which is humming black bee. The practice of Bhramari breathing calms the mind, reduces the stress or fight - flight response. It reduces celebral tensions, anger, anxiety, insomnia; the blood pressure is also lowered. This Pranayama is very effective in speeding up the healing of body tissues and may be practiced after surgeries. Position: • Sit in any meditative posture or sitting on a chair. • Keep the spine, neck and head straight. Hands resting on the knees. • Gently close the eyes and relax the whole body.
  17. 17. Practice: • Sit in a comfortable meditative pose. Padmasana, Siddhasana, Ardha Padmasana, Swastikasana or even Sukhasana can be used as a sitting posture. Keep the spine erect. Do not do this in a lying down position. • Breathe normally and relax the whole body. • Keep the mouth closed and the teeth apart. • Take a slow deep breath and fill the lungs fully. • Then exhale slowly, making a continuous humming sound from the throat. The sound should reverberate in the head. • Feel the sound vibration in the head. Be aware of only the continuous drone that the sound produces. This drone is similar to the humming sound of the bee. • This is one round. • Practice 9 to 20 rounds. Benefits: • Gives soothing effect to the nervous system. • Vibration and resonance of Bhramari Pranayama calms down the mind. • Recommended for the people suffering from insomnia, anxiety and high blood pressure. • Strengthens and improves the voice and eliminates throat ailments. • Blood Cancer/tumor gets cured.
  18. 18. Yoga and Pranayama Yoga is nothing but controlling the actions of the mind. Patanjali quotes this in his Sutras as "Chiththavruththi Nirodhaha". There are 8 organs of Yoga. Those are: The following Eight Limbs are a progressive series of steps or disciplines which purify the body and mind. Yama - It comprises of Truth, Non-violence, Non-stealing, not accepting in return for the action, Celibacy. Niyama - It comprises of Rules like Cleanliness, Happiness, Penance, Self-Analysis and Surrendering to the Almighty. Asana - The physical postures which renders our body more comfortable, flexible & active is Asana. Pranayama - The Control of Breath there by increasing the metabolism rate in the body is Pranayama. Prathyahara - This deals with the appropriate way of selection & intake of food. Dharana - It is the concentration on a particular object, matter or event for 12 seconds. Dhyana - The process of continuous concentration is called Dhyana (Meditation) which amounts to 12 Dharanas or 144 seconds. Samadhi - The process of attaining the state of the object on which we concentrate is Samadhi. It’s a state of equilibrium of the mind. 12 Dhyanas or 1728 seconds make 1 Samadhi. The body can be kept in a perfect condition by following these 8 folds of Yoga. Yoga taught by us is a blending of all these folds of Yoga.

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