Pranayama is the practice of breath regulation. It’s a main element of yoga, yoga for physical and mental wellness. In Sanskrit, “prana” means life energy and “Yama” means control. The practice of pranayama involves breathing practices and patterns. You deliberately inhale, exhale, and hold your breath in a particular pattern.
What Exactly Is Pranayama?
Pranayama is the ancient practice of controlling your breath. You check the timing, duration, and frequency of each breath and hold.
The goal of pranayama is to connect your heart and mind. It also provides your body with oxygen while eliminating toxins. This is meant to provide healing physiological benefits.
Pranayama various breathing techniques. Examples include:
●alternate nostril breathing (nadishodhana)
●victorious breath (ujjayi)
●female honeybee humming breath (bhramari)
●bellows breath (bastrika)
These breathing exercises can be practised in various ways. For example, you can do them while performing yoga poses. You can also practice them while meditating or on their own.
What Are the Benefits According to Science?
The advantages of pranayama have been extensively researched.
According to experimental studies, pranayama may benefit your health in a diversity of various ways. Let’s look at seven of these advantages in more detail.
- Decreases Stress
In a 2013 study, pranayama reduced perceived stress levels in healthy young adults. The researchers speculated that pranayama calms the sensitive system, which improves your stress response.
2. Improves Sleep Quality
The stress-relieving effects of pranayama may also assist you to sleep.
In scientific studies, a technique known as Bhramari pranayama was shown to reduce down breathing and heart rate when practised for 5 minutes. This may help soothe your body for sleep.
3. Increases Mindfulness
For many of us, breathing is automatic. We do it without giving it much thought at all.
But during pranayama, you require to be conscious of your breathing and how it feels. You also practice centring on the immediate moment, instead of the past or future. This is known as mindfulness.
4. Reduces High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is when your blood pressure strikes an unhealthy level. It raises the risk for some potentially serious wellness conditions like heart disease and stroke.
Anxiety is a major risk factor for high blood pressure. Pranayama can help reduce this risk by promoting relaxation.
When you concentrate on your breathing, it can help calm your nervous system. This, in turn, may help lessen your stress response and risk of hypertension.
5. Improves Lung Function
As a type of breathing training, the slow, forceful breathing of pranayama may strengthen your lungs.
According to the authors of the study, pranayama may be a useful lung strengthening tool for many lung conditions, including:
●for recovery from pneumonia and tuberculosis
6. Enhances Cognitive Performance
In addition to benefiting your lungs, pranayama may also improve your brain function.
According to the researchers, these benefits are due to the stress-lowering effects of pranayama. The improved oxygen uptake, which energizes brain cells, likely plays a role as well.
7. Reduces Cigarette Cravings
There’s proof that yogic breathing, or pranayama, could reduce cravings in people who are attempting to quit smoking.
In a 2012 study, just 10 minutes of yogic breathing caused a short-term decrease in cigarette cravings.
A recent study found that mindfulness-based yoga breathing decreased the negative effects linked with smoking withdrawal.
The Bottom Line
breath control, is a main part of yoga. It’s often practised with yoga postures and meditation.
The goal of pranayama is to reinforce the connection between your body and mind.
According to a study, pranayama can promote relaxation and mindfulness. It’s also proven to promote multiple aspects of physical health, including lung function, blood pressure, and brain function.
If you haven’t practised pranayama before, you may want to join a yoga class or find a teacher who can teach the proper technique for these breathing exercises.