Pranayama – The Ancient Yogic Art of Deep Breathing

Yoga Breathing exercises for beginners

Pranayama is an ancient yogic technique of breathing with its roots in the Indian culture. It is also the fourth limb of the eight-limbed path of Ashtanga yoga mentioned in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. The word Pranayama is a combination of two words, Prana which means breath and Ayam which means control. The daily Yoga Breathing exercises for beginners of this yogic technique strengthens and re-energizes your entire being.

There are numerous yoga breathing exercises for beginners that can make you calmer and more at peace spiritually and mentally. Numerous medical studies have shown how the right breathing technique improves your lung function in the long run.

With that said, let us understand a bit more about this yogic technique.

Pranayama – In Brief

Prana is the precious life force and the bridge that binds your mind, body, and consciousness together. The right breathing and your mind have a close link. As per Ayurveda, breathing is the physical expression of thinking, and thinking is the psychological aspect of breathing.

If you pay attention, your thoughts also affect the way you breathe. The daily practice of this yogic technique helps you gain more control of your mind.

That’s not all! The practice of Pranayama offers multiple benefits like;

  • Relieves stress and anxiety
  • Improves lung function
  • Relieves symptoms of Asthma and Hypertension
  • Helps in weight loss
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves overall health

Did you know there are specific Pranayama techniques to make you more calm and peaceful? Let us check out the three yoga for starters breathing techniques.

Pranayama Techniques for Yoga Beginners

Given below are three Pranayama techniques you can practice as a complete beginner to the concept of Pranayama.

1. Bhramari Pranayama (Humming Breath)

The Bhramari Pranayama technique keeps your mind calm and releases all tension, stress, anger, and agitation. The humming sound you make during the practice of this breathing technique vibrates your nervous system and provides excellent sound therapy to your brain.

Steps to Practice Humming Breath

  • Sit in the Sukhasana or Vajrasana position with your spine completely straight. Rest your hands on your knees. Keep your palms facing in an upward direction.
  • Plug both your ears with index fingers of both hands.
  • Inhale deeply and make a humming sound while breathing in. You can try breathing naturally if you face any difficulty with making the humming sound.
  • Exhale deeply and make the humming sound. Remember, the sound has to reverberate in your head. It completes one round of this yogic breathing technique.

2. Nadi Shodhan Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Pranayama)                          Jivamukti Yoga – The Path to True Liberation

Alternate Nostril Pranayama is one of the easiest yoga breathing exercises for beginners to keep your mind calm. The daily practice of this Pranayama technique keeps your mood blissful and happy throughout the day. It clears the blocked energy channels in your body.

Steps to Practice Alternate Nostril Pranayama

  • Sit on the yoga mat in Sukhasana (cross-legged position) or Vajrasana (Diamond Pose) pose with your spine completely straight. If you feel uncomfortable sit on a chair with your spine straight and feet placed flat on the floor.
  • Close your right nostril with the right thumb and inhale through the left nostril. Inhale into the belly, not your chest. Keep inhaling for 4 seconds.
  • After inhaling hold your breath for 4 seconds.
  • Exhale through your right nostril. Keep your left nostril closed with the ring and little finger of your right hand. Exhale for at least 6 seconds.
  • Repeat the same with the other nostril.

Note: Make sure you do this for at least 10 minutes.

Read More – Jivamukti Yoga – The Path to True Liberation

3. Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellows Breath)

The best Pranayama technique to get rid of the symptoms of Asthma is Bhastrika Pranayama. It creates warmth in your body and gives you relief from anxiety and stress.

Steps to Practice Bhastrika Pranayama

  • Sit in Sukhasana or Vajrasana with your spine completely straight. Place both your hands on your knees with the palms facing upwards.
  • Relax and take some deep breaths. Focus your mind on the inhalation and exhalation of your breath.
  • Breathe by taking a deep inhale to fill your lungs with air.
  • Once you inhale fully, exhale with a great force and making a hissing sound.
  • Complete one round of 30 exhalations.

Pranayama is an ancient and effective breathing technique that connects your mind, body, and spirit. You should join a Yoga Alliance recognized yoga school or institute to know more about this yoga for starters breathing technique.

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