Health Benefits Of Pranayama Breathing Exercises Yoga is an ancient discipline designed to bring balance & health to the physical, mental and spiritual dimensions of any individual. It is a popular practice in India for a long time that has become more common in a western society increasingly. In Rigveda (the first book of humankind) mentions about yogic meditation while Yajurveda exhorts to practice yoga for enhancing mental health, prosperity and physical strength as well , ancient rishis of India understood about the benefits and necessity of performing Raja Yoga , so they developed ‘hatha yoga ” which includes mudras asanas and pranayama etc. What is pranayama yoga? Pranayama is a part of the yoga system which teaches us the art of extending our breath in many different ways. Pranayama teaches us to change the depth, rate & pattern of breathing. It is a great way to start your day. When we learn the breathing techniques in Pranayama Yoga, it will positively affect to our actions and thoughts. We breathe skilfully inhaled. Exhaled and retained during pranayama. To do mastering in the art of breathing is a crucial step towards self-healing & survival. Benefits of Pranayama Pranayama techniques are very much useful and beneficial in treating a range of stress-related disorders. It improves autonomic functions. Pranayama helps to relieve the symptoms of asthma. Pranayama reduces the signs of oxidative stress in your body. It can assist in a steady mind, strong will power & sound judgment. Regular pranayama can enhance one’s perception of life and can extend the life span. A number of studies show that it causes a change in the cardio respiratory system including lowering of blood pressure. Certain pranayama is excellent for losing weight too. Anuloma Viloma Pranayama 1. Alternate nostril breathing (Anuloma Viloma) This pranayama is breathing by alternate nostrils of the nose. It is otherwise known as purification of the nervous system, this is very calming and purifying. Position: – sit comfortably in a chair with the feet firmly on the floor. Or sit cross-legged on the ground. Repetitions: – Begin 10 rounds with breathing by the left nostril & 10 rounds breathing with the right. 2. Steps to practice (Anuloma Viloma) Alternate nostrils are closed normally by using the right hand’s thumb, ring & little finger. The thumb is used for closing the right nostril & little fingers are used to close the left nostril. The mouth is closed, & is not used for breathing. Other Types of pranayama yoga Natural breathing Basic Abdominal breathing Thoracic breathing Clavicular breathing Yogic breathing Deep breathing with ratios Fast breathing Viloma-Interrupted breathing Cooling breath-sheetali,sitkari,kaki mudra Ujjayi-victorious breath Bhramari- Humming bee breath Bhastrika-Bellow’s breath Surya Bhedan-Right Nostril Breathing Who should not do pranayama practice Pranayama should be practiced with care & it is better to do advanced pranayama with the guidance of a trained teacher. It is not recommended during menstruation and pregnancy. Avoid if you have to suffer from fever, bronchitis or pneumonia. If anyone going through radiation or chemo therapy. Not recommended for anyone going through the psychological condition, trauma, anger, anxiety, grief, sadness, depression or suicidal feelings. Anyone with any form of heart condition, particularly if they have a recent history of a heart attack.