Several researchers suggest the power of breathing exercise in treating stress-related disorders such as insomnia, stress and anxiety is appealing.
Breathing Exercise for Insomnia
Mind and life are essential for the existence of man. Prana (life) enters our body while taking shape at womb and leaves us when we die. Prana is omnipresent. It is present in the air we breathe, water we drink and food we eat. You know, the most important of them is air; we cannot sustain our prana for even two minutes if we are devoid of all-important air.
Pranayama is the technique of collecting and storing more prana (life) from the air (oxygen) we breathe, or in simple word’s pranayama control life force.
Several researchers suggest the power of breathing exercise in treating stress-related disorders, asthma, and oxidative stress. Yoga practitioners who are practicing pranayama experience strong and controlled mind.
Deep Breathing Exercise
To take deep breathing, take any of the poses (Padmasana or Vajrasana) directed for meditation. Body is kept erecting and without giving stress to any part of the body or without making any movements. Your stomach is almost empty. Put your hands-on knees. Straighten up your head and close your eyes.
- Take a breath slowly through both the nostrils. Chest will push forward a little when the lungs are full.
- Retain a breath in the lungs for a little while. (In-breath)
- Slowly exhale (slower than inhalation), make sure no air is in the lungs.
- Do not inhale for a few moments (Out-breath).
On the first-day practice, this cycle for five times a day and gradually increase it to ten times a session. It should practice after savasana or corpse-pose. Never allow to break the rhythm of breathing in or breathing out. Anyone can practice pranayama any time and anywhere. Whenever you feel under pressure, take six to eight deep breaths, and you will experience better control of mind. Though it is not necessary to keep the eyes shut, do not allow the sights to distract you.
Alternate Nasal Pranayama (Anuloma-Viloma Pranayama)
It otherwise called as nadisodhana pranayama or nervous cleansing pranayama. Take a meditation pose. Extend and keep your left hand palms down on the right knee.
- Raise right hand, put index, and center finger between eyebrows. Keep the thumb on right and ring finger on left of the nose.
- Close your eyes and calm your breathing (and mind) down. Relax all muscles.
- Completely breathe out. Expel all the air.
- Use your thumb to close right nostril. Fill your lungs by taking breath through your left nostril only.
- After fully filling your lungs, close your left nostril with the small and the ring finger.
- Open right nostril and fully expel the breath inside. Keep the breath out for two or three seconds.
Take to breathe through your right nostril. Repeat the complete cycle three times as a beginning and increase it to up to ten cycles. It does not break the breathing in or breathing out process any time while practicing pranayama. Never keep your mouth opened. Mind is calm and listens to the movement of breathing only. This pacifies mind. It balances prana of different nerves. It cleans brain cells and opens previously unopened alveoli of the lungs.
Practice this for a few days before attempting pranayama 3.
Bhastrika literally means bellows. This pranayama step got its name from the fact that the breathing resembles the action of bellows. Sit in a meditation pose. Put your left hand palm-down on your right knee.
- Put your index and middle finger between the eyebrows, leaving thumb and ring finger free.
- Close right nostril with the thumb. Briskly breathe in and out through the left nostril for ten times.
- Release the thumb and take in breathe through both the nostrils, slowly and deeply. Close both the nostrils with thumb and ring finger to keep the breath-inside.
- Release both fingers before you feel breathless. Slowly, but steadily release your breathe completely.
Take two or three regular breathing. Repeat the whole process by closing the left nostril and breathing through the right. Beginners need to practice only one cycle only. You can gradually increase the number of cycles to 15-20 a day over time. This is not indicating for persons with hypertension (high blood pressure) and heart diseases.
Benefits: Bhastrika, the third step of pranayama eliminates germs and accumulated wastes from lungs. It is beneficial for persons suffering from asthma and tuberculosis. It is also to note that the persons practicing this step experience the release of mucus on larger quantities. Nothing to worry, it is the method of expelling wastes from the lungs.
Sit in a meditative pose and close your eyes. Put both hand’s palm-down on knees. Put the right hand on the right knee and the left hand on the left knee. Briskly breathe in and out. Expel air with some force. There is no need to inhale with pressure. Begin with ten rounds of breathing in and out; you can increase it to 30-50. At the end of a session, take a deep breathe and exhale slowly; Rest on a while.
Benefits: It strengthens and calms down mind. It cleanses brain and flushes out worries and negative thoughts. It also reduces the production of mucus.
This cleanses lungs take any comfortable yoga pose. No need to shut eyes, keep hands-on knees.
- Slowly take a deep breath as if to fill your lungs.
- Retain air inside as far as you do not feel as uncomfortable.
- Without taking in any air through the nose or mouth, forcefully blow the air out through the mouth. Slowly bend forward so that your forehead touches the ground. Completely breathe out in ten to fifteen such blowing out. Adjust both the processes in such a way that breathing out will be complete while your forehead nears the ground.
- Once you find there is no air left in the lungs rise and breathe as usually.
- Repeat the steps five times.
Benefits: Both the lungs are cleansed and developed.