Yoga breathing exercises, also known as pranayama, are the basics for an effective meditation and relaxation session. In this modern era, the stressful life and raging competition is providing a very productive ground for the evolution and spread of yoga. Medical practitioners always doubted the efficiency of yoga, but currently it is prescribed even by doctors for stress relief, health ailments and also to compliment few other fitness programs.
The primary objective of yoga breathing exercises is to eradicate the toxins or the undesirable elements from the body such as carbon dioxide. At the same time, it helps you intake the pure oxygen. There is almost unlimited amount of oxygen surrounding us but we are not aware of how to get its full benefits as we never use full lung capacity.
Normally, breathing is an unconscious mechanism but with the help of pranayama, one can consciously govern his/her breathing process. Relaxation and meditation are dependent on breathing, and a fulfilling, successful meditation session depends on proper and correct breathing exercises.
When a person performs pranayama, his/her brain receives oxygen which helps in relaxing the nervous system, and thus inducing relaxation and reducing stress. Symptoms of nervousness and anxiety may radically decrease, and you may attain more emotional balance. Breathing exercises are capable of calming the mind and enhancing self-control. They also help in attaining more mental and physical balance.
Yoga breathing exercises also help in releasing either chronic or acute tension that may have gathered as a result of strenuous routine. This just not only aid you in avoiding pain and aches in the body, but also provides a gentle massage to internal organs such as lungs and heart.
Of all different yoga breathing techniques (Pranayama), three of them are crucial when it comes to achieving yoga meditation and relaxation. They are Ujjayi, Dirgha and Nadi Shodhana.
Ujjayi technique is an innovative breathing exercise that can be performed whenever you want to improve your attention and focus. At the same time, it can also be done before you begin with your meditation session. This technique has many advantages and the most important one is that it accelerates the mental process and improves concentration. To perform Ujjayi pranayama, sit comfortably with erect spine and start with slow and long breaths through the nose. Then, contract your throat muscles in order to produce a gentle hissing sound. Try to extend both inhalation and exhalation, but without making too much effort from the body.
Dirgha is considered to be one of the most complex breathing exercises. This technique focuses on all 3 chambers of lungs. Dirgha pranayama helps in improving the lung capacity and oxygenating the blood. To perform this technique, lie comfortably and begin with similar slow and long breaths. Here the most crucial thing is to focus on your belly; fill it with fresh air. While exhaling, slowly release the air from your belly. At the same time, expand your chest to allow the oxygen to get inside.
Nadi Shodhana can be performed whenever you want to calm down, as this technique helps in reducing stress and anxiety. To perform Nadi Shodhana, press the left nostril gently and inhale through the right nostril. Then, press the right one and exhale through left nostril. While performing this exercise, it is important that you maintain a slow breathing. Apart from above mentioned yoga breathing exercises, there are numerous of them. Select and perform the one that suites you.