Exploring The Scientific and Spiritual Benefits of Pranayama
In Sanskrit, “prana” means breath; a life-giving force, and “yama” means reining in or control. Pranayama, in practice, requires breathing deep and controlling the breathing patterns. In yoga, pranayama is combined with postures and meditation.
Pranayama is the yogic practice of controlling your breathing in yoga. The goal of this practice is to connect the body with the mind. Breathing in and out in a controlled manner also helps in removing toxins from the body.
The techniques in pranayama can be various. Some of the common ones are:
Nadi Shodhana or Nostril breathing
Bhramari or Bee breathing
Bhastrika or Bellow’s breath
Scientific Benefits of Pranayama
Practicing pranayama can reduce stress and helps calm the nervous system. This response is because of the increased uptake of oxygen in the body.
Bhramari pranayama helps slow down breathing which can help with sleep disorders or insomnia. Practicing pranayama lessens snoring, daytime sleepiness, and sluggishness. Yoga Nidra meditation is the best practice for sleep disorders.
During pranayama, the body and the mind are required to be in sync and focused on the present. Mindfulness means living in the moment. Practicing pranayama improves focus and concentration hence promoting mindfulness.
Hypertension is caused by high blood pressure and can increase the risks of heart diseases and strokes. Pranayama helps control stress and contributes to relaxation. Practicing this technique helps concentrate on breathing that in turn reduces stress.
Strengthens Respiratory functions
Practicing pranayama breathing helps to improve lung function. These breathing exercises can help with people who have asthma, bronchitis, or people who are in recovery from tuberculosis or other respiratory problems.
Develop Cognitive function
Along with improving lung function, pranayama breathing exercises are also helpful in enhancing cognitive functions in the body like memory, sensory functions, reasoning skills, and mood imbalance.
Spiritual Benefits of Pranayama
Pranayama or any deep breathing exercises helps you to connect the body with the mind. By creating mindfulness, pranayama can increase the feeling of tranquillity and stillness in a person. By increasing the feeling of calm, pranayama practice can give us the solitude that helps revive our mind and soul.
Yoga is one of the many forms to connect to a higher power or “Self”. By practicing these exercises, we give our senses a boost that helps in channelizing positive energies and vibes to our mind, body, and soul.
Pranayama exercises aim to strengthen the connection between the mind and body. Let your body take care of your mind and soul.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
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