Anti Aging Yoga (Step 3)
With International Yoga & Wellness Icon Dr. Kamal
Lengthy breath - Lengthy life
There are many breathing techniques in Yoga. Here I present some of the most important Pranayama techniques for the expansion of Life Force Energy.
Fire Breathing to Clear Negative Debris
Sit on a chair or cross-legged. Bring your hands to the sides with a clenched fist, elbows bent. Breath in and out through your nostrils at all times. As you inhale raise your arms fully extended over your head and open your fists spreading your fingers. As you exhale, lower your arms quickly back to the starting position. Perform this movement as quickly as possible always breatheing in and out through your nostrils. Do this 3 times of 30 breaths.
This breathing technique clears more carbon dioxide from your lungs than normal breathing and pumps more blood and energy to your brain. It helps to relieve stress, dullness, and lethargy and helps to clear your mind, preparing you for meditation. Do not perform this exercise before sleep.
How to do?
– Sit in a chair or cross-legged.
– Inhale and exhale through the nose.
– Your arms should be parallel to your sides.
– Bent upwards at the elbows.
– With your hands and fists at shoulder level.
– As you inhale raise your arms straight up and open your fist.
– Quickly lower your arms back to the starting positions exhaling, – One breath for one second.
– Do 20 times, 3 to 4 rounds.
– Gradually increase to 3-5 mins after two to three months.
Yogic Breathing – Increase Lung Capacity
Many people breathe more than 21-24 times (even more) a minute this is a sign of stress in your entire system draining your vitality. The secret to long life, peace, happiness within, is to breathe 8-10 times a minute (this doesn’t mean you have to breathe less, it means to breathe deep). This reverses the effects of aging and increases the life of the heart, mind, and nervous system. For this, you should learn yogic breathing that helps increase lung capacity.
Sit upright and comfortably in the cross-legged pose or on a chair. Place your right palm on your chest center and your left palm on your naval center. Close your eyes and begin to relax your whole body. Make sure your back, head, and trunk are in one straight line.
Breathe in and out through your nostril always. Lean in to breathe from the abdomen up to the throat and chest down to the abdomen as you exhale. Begin to Inhale slowly and deeply by feeling your abdomen expanding and then your chest expanding upward while your collarbone rises slightly. When the inhalation is complete, begin to exhale slowly and feel your collarbone and your chest relaxing and contracting downwards. As you empty your lungs, push your naval towards your spine. Exhale completely as much as you can.
The entire inhalation and exhalation should be smooth and flowing without any force or any jerks. Inhale for about 4-5 seconds and exhale for 4-5 seconds. This is one breath. Do this 10 – 15 times.
Yogic Breathing optimizes the full capacity of your lungs and increases oxygen intake into the brain. It has a very calming effect on the mind and is great for people suffering from asthma. It also helps to renew your cells and teaches you how to breathe deeply and slowly.
Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana) - Purification & Cognitive Brain Function
Observe your breath within your nostrils. If you pay attention to your breath, you will notice that one nostril always flows more freely than the other (even if you have no sinus or blocked nose). Sometimes this imbalance is subtle and sometimes it is easy to notice. This effects your energy, the brain, and body functions. Even the simplest tasks seem hard and minor obstacles seem difficult to face. At other times, things flow effortlessly.
Nadi Shodhana helps you to understand and balance the energy flow and bodily functions. Nadi Shodhana not only awakens the energy, but it also purifies the Nadis – a subtle energy channel. According to yogis, there are over 72,000 Nadis, originating just below the naval and spreading throughout your body. Out of these 72,000 Nadis, there are 3 major Nadis – Ida (left) Pingala (right), and Sushumna (center) that run the length of the spine. The dominant nostrils alternate every 90-120 minutes in a healthy individual.
The right nostril dominance is preferred for eating, conducting business, or working hard physically. The left nostril dominance is preferred for listening, learning, studying, resting, and renewing the body and mind.
How to do?
Use your right-hand thumb to close the right nostril and use the ring finger of your right hand to close the left nostril. You can either fold the first two fingers or place them open on your eyebrow center.
Nadi Shodhana (For Beginners)
– Inhale right, and exhale left.
– Inhale left, and exhale right.
– This is one round.
– Do this for 10 to 15 rounds.
– Morning: Observe active, dynamic, and deep diaphragmatic breathing. This will help awaken your physical and mental energy.
– Evening: Observe gentle, slow, soft, and deep diaphragmatic breathing while performing Nadi Shodhana. This helps to calm your mind and release physical and mental tensions.
– At the beginning of your practice of Nadi Shodhana, maintain a 1:1 ratio (i.e. if you inhale for 4 seconds you should exhale for 4 seconds), and after a few months observe a 1:2 ratio (i.e. inhale for 4 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds).
– 1:2 ratio helps decrease the activity of the sympathetic nervous system and influences the parasympathetic nervous system that brings you to a relaxed state of mind and body.
Bhramari Pranayama (Humming Bee) for Peace of Mind
– Practice deep diaphragmatic breathing.
– As you exhale begin humming by gently pressing only the rear of the tongue toward the roof of the mouth.
– As the tongue is pressed toward the roof of the mouth the sound shifts from the throat to the nasal cavity.
– Avoid unnecessary tension in the tongue, throat, or neck.
– Practice 2 – 3 mins and build up to 5 mins.
– Do after Nadi Shodhana Pranayama.
– Good to perform in the night before sleep.
– Clears your mind and soothes your nervous system.
– Stimulates the nerve endings in your throat.
The copyright of this article belongs to Grandmaster Kamal.