Introduction To Yoga Breathing Techniques – Pranayama

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Good morning, dear friends 😀

Yesterday, I went for my weekly Yoga class and learned a few techniques of breathing, called “Pranayama” or the science of breath control. My Yoga class was held at night and by the time I finished some chores and got into bed, it was quite late. But despite having just a few hours of sleep as I got up at 6am, I woke up with such a fresh in invigorating mind and body this morning, which I concluded must be a result of yesterday’s effective Pranayama exercise….because yesterday morning, I was fuzzy headed after I woke up and I have to wait for my tea to “kick start” my system! 🙄

In the Sanskrit language, “Prana” means lifeforce or universal energy and “Ayama” means to lengthen or extend, and in Pranayama, it is the controlling or regulation of our breaths. Actual, advanced Pranayama should be practised with a Yoga teacher  but I am just going to describe some very basic but extremely health beneficial Pranayama methods that were taught by my Yoga instructor in my next few posts here.

Several researchers have reported that Pranayama techniques are beneficial in treating a range of stress related disorders, improving autonomic functions, relieving symptoms of asthma, and reducing signs of oxidative stress.

Scientists have discovered that the chemical basis of energy production in the body is a chemical called “Adenosine Triphosphate” (ATP).  When something goes wrong with the production of ATP,  the result is lowered vitality, disease and premature aging.

Scientists have also reported that oxygen is critical to the production of ATP in our body. In fact, it is the most vital component. Yoga allows us to tap into this vital nutrient.

In our normal breathing, our breathing is often too shallow or too quick. We are not taking in sufficient oxygen and we are not eliminating enough carbon dioxide, and as a result,  our body cells actually get insuffient oxygen, and the carbon dioxide toxicity slowly builds up in our body.  Shallow breathing also does not exercise our lungs enough and our lungs lose some of their funtion, thus causing a loss in vitality.  So, we need to breathe more deeply and slowly.

Why do we breathe fast and shallow, and that has become the norm for us? Well, there are a few reasons for this –

1) Our lifestyle these days are such that we are in a hurry most of the time, e.g. I rush in my house chores trying to get them done quickly, in between I drive my kids to and from their schools, plus I have to get our meals ready in time, etc. These days, I am trying to slow down and take more time-outs just for a breather. Our movements and breathing will follow this “hurried” pattern. 

2) Stress makes us breathe less deeply and more quickly.

3) We get too emotional easily – we are stressed, we have anxiety, we are under pressure from heavy workload, we are sad in our relationships, etc … these negative states of emotions affect the rate of breathing, causing it to be fast and shallow. Our heart beats faster….

4) Modern and sedentary lifestyles reduces our need for active, physical activities. When I was attending school, I would take the bus and walk long distances in between to go where I wanted. But these days, I am driving myself….and not walking enough! 🙄  So, there is less need to breathe deeply and therefore, we develop a shallow breathing habit.

As we go through life, these bad breathing habits that we have picked up become part of our life….but we can do something about it ===> by recognising and changing our behavioural patterns, and engage in more beneficial deep breathing.

You may be surprised but actually, a good laugh is a fantastic way of replenishing our oxygen level at cellular level. Laughter also results in our brain producing endorphins, a feel good hormone. Hehe, earlier I read briefly that there is something called “Laughing Yoga” but I will leave that for another day.

Meanwhile, I think this form of Yoga will be especially good for smokers who definitely inhale much less oxygen and take in more toxins into their bodies than us non-smokers (my husband is a heavy smoker and I am trying very hard to get him to go for Yoga class with me next week!)  😆

In my next few posts after this, I will provide instructions on how to do Pranayama for great health! 😉

Have a wonderful day today! 😀

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11 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    nadia febina said,

    hai, enjoying ur writng on health tips, and overall homemaking tips! 🙂

    Like

  2. 2

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Hello there and welcome, Nadia 😀

    Thank you for your compliments…..whenever I learn something that is good, I like to share it with others. 😉

    Much peace and joy to you,

    choesf 😀

    Like

  3. 3

    atmabodh said,

    Thanks for the information.
    Also read more on Pranayama at Self Realization website.

    Like

  4. 5

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Hello and welcome, atmabodh 😀

    Thank you for the link and the good information on Pranayama.

    Much peace and joy,

    choesf 😀

    Like

  5. 6

    sktegta said,

    I am indeed thankful to the administrators of this web URL and this forum for presenting us all with a wonderful medium to learn more, share our views, discuss constructively and address questions relating to various topics related to spirituality, self-realization, introspection, exercise and well-being.
    Visit http://www.atmabodh.net for nice articles on meditation, Agnihotra, self realization, copmact Pranayam package and much more……

    Regards
    SK Tegta

    Like

  6. 7

    happyhomemaker88 said,

    Hello there, dear SK Tegta 😀

    Thank you for your kind comments and the link to more useful information on Yoga.

    With peace and joy,

    choesf 😀

    Like

  7. 8

    Gopal said,

    Pranayama is a part of Yoga, which specifically consists of different breathing exercises. To control the breath and turn it to evolve the life energy is the main purpose. The basic theory of Pranayama can be described in one sentence, “The life starts and ends with the breath”.

    Like

  8. 10

    Suzette said,

    Hi, I read that pranayama breathing can possibly help get rid of fibroids in 45 to 90 days. Do you have any input on this technique for getting rid of fibroids?

    Like

    • 11

      happyhomemaker88 said,

      Hello there, dear Suzette 😀

      I am not too knowledgeable on pranayama breathing exercises 😳 , but I do believe that it can help us to heal as when we breathe deeply, the “qi” or “chi” or energy flows in our body is much improved. 💡

      With best wishes,

      choesf 😀

      Like


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