This blog will take you through the benefits of Pranayama (Breathing) in Yoga. It is the second blog in our series of blogs to discuss five Holistic ways of Living to improve our general health.
Read the first blog here. – Mindful Living – Five Holistic Ways to Achieve It
The primary function of the respiratory system (1) is to take in oxygen and eliminate carbon dioxide.(2)
Pranayama provides us with a number of techniques to increase the amount of oxygen in the blood, therefore nourishing every cell in the body. Pranayama teaches us that within every moment of everyday we have the ability to tune into our breath and allow it to bring balance and stillness, peace and tranquility into our lives.
Being conscious of how you breath can bring enormous benefits to your health. Pranayama techniques (yoga breathing techniques) are breathing techniques you can use in your yoga practice, or on their own, to transform you into a different space physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Pranayama and Yoga are practised together to enhance ones yoga practice.
Being conscious of your breath, whilst you move, can bring enormous benefits to your health. Overtime you can re-train the way your body breathes to improve and enhance your health.
According to Swami NiranjananadaSaraswati, in his book ‘Prana and Pranayama’ the benefits of Yogic breathing are vast (3). They include:
The lungs expand vertically as well as horizontally. This vertical movement is created by the upward and downward motion of the diaphragmatic movement. In normal breathing the diaphragmatic movement is 1cm, whereas in yogic breathing it is 3-4cm of movement.
When we use yogic breathing there is a much larger quantity of air enters the lungs, inflating the alveoli tissues. This allows more oxygen to become available for gas exchange with the blood.
Today, there is so much research which highlights the health benefits of pranayama, so I thought it only fitting to write this E-Book to help you to integrate the exercises into your practice.
Our E-Book is entitled Breathing for Health – An Introduction (Pranayama in Practice). This book will guide you through some of the the science and research for Pranayama as well as the Pranayama exercises to improve your health. To purchase the book click here.
As with most things, the more times you practice them the better results you will see.
In this E-Book I cover:
- What pranayama is
- Current research on the effects of pranayama
- The benefits of the pranayama fro your health
Some simple pranayama exercises you can practice which can enhance your own current yoga practice. You can of course practice these exercises on their own and sometimes this may be enough for you, for example, if you are recovering from an illness or surgery, and you need a gentle practice to help you to balance and heal.
- Prana and Pranayama – Swami Niranjananada Saraswati. Yoga Publications Trust, Bihar, India.