27 April 2017 | Last updated 05:51 PM


 
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Breathe In and Breathe Out
Anukriti Sharma | Sunday, 2 April 2017 AT 08:01 PM IST
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We all know and have heard about the benefits of pranayam. Its benefits include a clear mind, helping build concentration level and curing almost all the diseases. There is no age bar to do pranayam. So when our present day life is so hectic, pranayam acts as a pacifier and restores our physical and mental health. When you have a lot of things going on in your mind and you need to slow down, just find a quiet corner and ease out the tension through pranayam.

Smita Sundararaman, founder and managing partner, NatureHealz, explains about the importance of yoga and pranayam in our lives. Sundararaman says, “So many people in our country are suffering from so many diseases, which are easily curable through pranayam. Every day we step out of our house only to inhale and exhale polluted air. So if done in a right way, it can help you curb almost all your physical and mental health problems.”

Types of pranayam

Nadi Shudhi Pranayam:
It can be divided in three parts. First is the Anulom Vilom which involves breathing in and out in one cycle. It is the most common and balancing form of pranayam and can treat any health issue. The second part is the Chandra Anulom Vilom, in which you have  to block the right nostril with your finger and breathe in and out from the left nostril. It has a cooling effect on the body and helps in treating weight issues, hyper tension and sinus.

The third part is the Surya Anulom Vilom in which you have to block your left nostril with your thumb and breathe in and out from the right nostril. It helps in reducing fatigue, cures hyper thyroid and creates energy in the body.

Bhramari Pranayam: For this technique, you should sit in a erect posture in a closed and silent place and place your index fingers on the ears. You should take deep breathe in and out, while making a loud humming sound. This pranayam technique has a calming effect on the body and can help people with anxiety issues. Pregnant women are usually asked to follow Bhramari since it helps in restoring a calm and a peaceful mind.

Bhastrika Pranayam: It is a traditional breathing process that helps in energising the body and retaining peace of mind. Sit up straight, relax your body and take deep breaths from your nose in the beginning. With each exhalation, enlarge your belly fully as you breathe. Slowly, start inhaling and exhaling forcefully through your nose. This technique helps in clearing your respiratory system and also helps you loose weight around the stomach area.

Sheetali and Shitkari Pranayam: These techniques can be followed during the summer season because they have a strong, cooling effect on the body. To follow the Sheetali Pranayam, sit in a straight position, open your mouth and stretch your tongue outside the mouth. Fold the tongue like a pipe from both the sides and inhale gently while making a hissing sound. Then take the tongue inside your mouth and close the lips. Hold your breath as long as possible with closed eyes and slowly exhale through the nose.

In the Shitkari Pranayam, fold the tongue inwards and inhale and exhale gently through the teeth. Hold the breath as long as you can and exhale through the nose. This form of pranayam helps in releasing hyper tension and also helps cure fever and depression.

Ujjayi Pranayam: It can be followed by inhaling and exhaling deeply through the mouth. While exhaling, tighten the back of your throat and make a sound through it. This pranayam is quite helpful for the asthama patients and can also cure the hyper thyroid problems.


What to keep in mind
Smita Sundararaman suggests doing pranayam early in the morning, preferably around 6 am when the air is clean and the oxygen content in the air is high. She adds, “Around 90 per cent of us suffer from vitamin D deficiency. And, that’s because we don’t prefer going out in the blazing sun. So the best idea could be doing pranayam in the morning when the sun is rising, and you can also soak up the sun rays as well. Also, make sure you do pranayam on an empty stomach, because it generates a lot of heat in the body and you don’t want to feel lazy. Try wearing loose clothes so that your body can relax.”

The writer can be followed on @sh_anukriti

 
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