Benefits of Pranayama – The Yoga of Breath

In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, we learn the fourth limb of Raja Yoga is pranayama. Pranayama yoga is one of the five yoga principles that focus on breathing properly. Breathing is an important factor in yoga. Yet, pranayama is the systematic cultivation of prana (vital energy of life or breath).

When someone practices pranayama, the ratio of breath is important for controlling the amount of energy one draws in. It consists of a series of exercises, which are intended to keep the human body in vibrant health. Usually, it is a series of exercises for yoga practitioners as preparation for meditation.

Pranayama yoga goes hand-in-hand with performing the Asanas & Yogatic principle. When combined, these two are considered the most privileged form of self-discipline and cleansing of both mind and body. A particular pranayama technique that is practiced can bring about some different benefits, which improve the quality of life.

Different benefits of pranayama, which is the energy control (Yogic breathing), practiced in all forms of Yoga. Those, who practice Yoga regularly, can help you relieve stress, tension, and overall inner peace. The benefits of pranayama are very rewarding to our mind and physical body.

Pranayama for Longevity

According to Yoga, longevity or Increased life span is based upon an individual’s rate of breathing. Since breathing is controlled, in all types of Yoga, a student learns to control his or her breathing rate, which slows from an average of 15 breaths per minute to about 5 to 4 breaths per minute. This decreases one’s overall breathing rate by about one-third. Within some rounds of Yogic philosophy, it is believed that your life expectancy depends on the number of breaths you take in the course of life. Therefore, the slower you breathe, the longer you will live.

Pranayama for Emotional Health

This decreased breath rate leads to lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, healthier internal organs and a relaxed body. In fact, pranayama for drug rehabilitation is well worth and less expensive than standard drug rehabilitation methods; and when practiced correctly, it has no side effects.

Pranayama for Mental Health

Pranayama improves your mental health. The breathing process requires that you free your mind of negative thoughts. As you free your mind through breathing, you will lessen stress. It prepares your mind for meditation and helps you to gain control over your mind. You will experience a feeling of inner peace and sleep that is more restful.

Pranayama for Heart Health

Pranayama practice promotes better blood circulation. As you take in deep, controlled breaths, more oxygen enters your lungs and is transported through the blood stream to each cell in your body. By better blood circulation, it will improve your heart health. The heart is the hardest working of our important organs. By some estimation, the heart beats approximately 100,000 times per day. The amount of oxygen reaching your heart is important in maintaining a healthy heart and a prolonging life.

Pranayama progresses the functions of your body organs. It helps to improve our digestive system and decreases the chances of a digestive system-related disease. It decreases fatigue that will make you feel more energized, improve your mood and strengthen your immune system. Therefore, pranayama necessitates deep controlled breaths where you can take in large amounts of oxygen; so that your internal organs are getting the proper amount of oxygen to function properly. This also helps to remove toxins from the body and prevention of diseases.

Pranayama for Holistic Health

Pranayama develops your memory and concentration levels. As we grow older, our lung capacity naturally decreases. Pranayama can improve lung function, as we grow old. It can reduce, and even reverse, some effects of old age – such as joint pain, loss of vitality, less flexible joints, stiffening muscles, headaches, rheumatism, sluggish diaphragm, backaches, and hardening of the arteries, which leads to poor blood circulation.

 

If this is your first time to perform pranayama or any type of yoga, you must join a professionally supervised class. Beginners should always be guided by teachers to ensure that they are doing exercises perfectly and without feeling any negative effects. No matter how worthwhile the benefits of pranayama yoga are, doing it incorrectly may cause serious harm. You should also come in prepared as guided by your instructor.

How Meditation and Yoga Can Help You to Get A Good Night’s Sleep

The fast rate of modern life leaves many of us to regularly deal with anxiety and stress—two huge contributing factors for all types of emotional and physical health issues as well as the inability to get a good sleep. Sleeping illness, i.e. Insomnia can be very difficult to treat, and those who suffer with it are often eager to try just about anything. But, you might not have to look on your yoga mat! Among many people if you are one who have facing difficulty in sleeping, practicing a bit of yoga or meditation for sleep might be just what you need to add some charm back into your sleep.

Yoga Proven as a Sleep Aid

According to the survey in 2017 found that, approx. 50% of Americans suffering from sleeping disorder. Out of those only 29.8% are use mind-body medicine such as meditation and yoga to manage their sleep problems. Another study found that yoga can helps to progress lower stress levels and sleep during pregnancy.

Yoga for Sleep and Other night Tips

Attending an evening yoga class is the best way to relax your nervous system right before bed, mainly if you choose a less dynamic yoga style like yoga nidra, restorative or gentle yoga or yin.

On the other hand, if you are a beginner or short on time who feels nervous about going to a class, there are several simple ways that you can incorporate meditation, yoga, and mindful breathing into your night routine and progress your sleep hygiene right from home.

Connection between Meditation and Melatonin

People who meditate regularly feel that the practice has positive health effects such as calm your mind and improve energy level. But there is also initial research suggests that meditation may boost melatonin levels, a hormone that helps regulate sleep and appears to control other hormones in the body.

Melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland in the brain. Meditation before going to bed increased melatonin levels for that night. If participants did not meditate then there are no increases in blood melatonin levels on nights. Meditation techniques are used to direct energy flow through seven energy centers in the body, and carefully suppress or activate their associated glands. The pineal gland related to a chakra situated at the top of the head and is believed to influence happiness. This suggests that regular practice of meditation is necessary.

Here are some tips that creating good situation for healthy sleep:

Meditate

Just five minutes spent guiding your concentration to your breath can help you relax after a busy day. Remember, it is normal for your thoughts to run wild.

Practice Yin Yoga

Yin yoga, in which you stay in each pose for several breaths or even minutes at a time, can actually help to down regulate the nervous system and bring you into a state of peaceful before bed. Try wall-supported butterfly, legs-up-the-wall, and child’s pose, and then end with Shavasana in bed!

Try the 4-7-8 Breathing Technique

Inhale for a count of four, hold the breath for a count of seven, and exhale for a count of eight. Extending the exhale helps you to tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, and concentrating on the breath is a great distraction from over thinking and late night worries.

Turn Off Your Screens

Stop using mobile phone and laptop one hour before you plan to go to sleep. The blue light emitted from this device increases the release of cortisol, which stimulates you and decreases your production of sleep hormone.

Be Consistent

Try to fix a bedtime and wake up around the same time daily. This helps to maintain the body’s internal clock, helping you go to sleep and wake up more easily.

We already know how yoga can be helpful for improving strength, mood and flexibility, and as these studies show, it offers a great relief for those with face difficulty in sleeping. Not only yoga can help you to fall asleep more easily, but it can also progress the overall quality of your sleep as well as your ability to deal with stress and recover from tiredness.

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