Which Pranayama Is Best For Me?
Pranayama is the part of yoga exercise the important one to start your day with. Pranayam is constituted of two words: Prana + Ayam. Prana means your life energy and Ayam means how to control your life energy or your breath.
There are so many types of best Pranayamas to do and all not beneficial to everyone. Kids and elder adults as well as cardiac patients should do Pranayam in limitation.
How To Do Pranayama ?
- Pranayama is done early in the morning or in the evening.
- You can do Pranayama in a well-ventilated place in your room or outside.
- 15 minutes of daily best Pranayama will help you a lot if you practice every day at same place and time
- You should not eat at least 4 hours before doing Pranayama. This means its best practice is to do on an empty stomach.
- The main process to do Pranayama is inhaling, holding your breath and exhaling. As there are different types of Pranayamas to do each has it own way and procedure to follow.
Different Types Of Pranayama
Here are few of the most popular types of best Pranayama in yoga.
1. Nadi Sodhana or Alternate Nostril Breathing
This is a very simple best Pranayama to do. All you need is to sit in a cross-legged position. Sit straight with your spine and your back stretched. Now with your thumb press your right nostril and breathe deeply with your left nostril. Hold your breath for a second and then switch your thumb position taking it to the left nostril and press it and then exhale from your right nostril.
Repeat this process 10 times or more as you alternate breathing with your nostrils inhaling and exhaling.
Benefits: Balances the emotions, calms the mind and rejuvenates the nervous system.
2. Shitali Pranayama or Cooling Breath
This best Pranayama is best to cool your body. Here also you have to sit in the same position as you did above and take five to six deep breaths. Now make an O shape with your mouth and inhale deeply. Next, exhale through your nose. You can do this pranayama 5 to 10 times if you want.
Benefits: Cools the body and reduces Blood pressure.
3. Ujjayi Pranayama or Victory
Ujjayi Pranayama or Victory pranayama is all about mimicking the sounds of the ocean waves. It is fun to do and helps you relax and calm your body at once. Get seated in a cross legged position and breath normally through your mouth. While you inhale and exhale doing breathing through your mouth you need to try and narrow your throat as if someone choking you. When you do this there will be a sound produced through your throat which is like the sound of ocean waves.
In next round you close the mouth and now breathe through your nose while doing the same restriction of your throat thereby sounding like ocean waves. This type of best Pranayama can be repeated 10 or more times.
Benefits: Improves concentration and cools the body
4. Kapalabhati Pranayama or Breath of Fire
In Kapalabhati Pranayam you need to suck your belly and expel all the air. Again like above best Pranayamas you sit cross legged and breathe normally two or three times. Inhale deep and exhale with force sucking your belly and expel the air. When you inhale again the belly comes in normal position. You can do this pranayama for 20 or more minutes.
Benefits: Improves digestion and helps in weight loss.
5. Dirga Pranayama or Three Part Breath
This best pranayama is done while lying down or in a sitting position. So lie down on your back and begin by inhaling deeply and fill your belly with air so that it grows a bit. Now remain in this position for few seconds and exhale drawing your stomach inwards until you have exhaled all the air out.
In the next round you inhale the air again more deeply and then exhale. The third round includes inhaling more deeper and exhale slowly. This best pranayama is done 5 to 8 times.
Benefits: Soothes your nervous system.
6. Anulom Vilom Pranayama or Controlled breath
Anulom Vilom is the best Pranayama and is very easy to do, first of all, close your eyes and sit in lotus seating position and rest your hands on your knees. Close the right nostril with the right thumb. Inhale slowly through the left nostril, inhale the oxygen as much as you can, this will fill your lungs with air. Nect remove your thumb from your right nostril, as you remove your thumb from right nostril just exhale.
When you exhale use your middle finger to close your left nostril then inhale with your right nostril and remove the thumb from the right nostril then exhale. You can do this for 5 minutes.
Benefits: Strengthen lungs and calms the mind
7. Bhramri Pranayama or Humming Bee
This bet pranayama is helpful for meditation too. You need to sit cross-legged and bring your index fingers of both hands on your forehead above your eyebrows and with the remaining three fingers close your eyes and with the two thumbs close your ears. Now Take a deep breath and chant OM as you exhale. This can be done 15 times at least.
Benefits: Releases stress and lowers blood pressure
8. Bhastrika Pranayama or Bellows
Here you need to breathe faster and help to warm your body so the best pranayama is done when it is the winter months. You need to sit cross legged and begin inhaling and exhaling at a very fast rate. Remain consistent while you are doing this and after a few rounds hold your breath and in the end exhale to end the pranayama.
Benefits: Increases level of Oxygen and drains excess phlegm from the lungs.
9. Moorchha Pranayama or Fainting
Moorchha Pranayama is like fainting. You sit cross legged and you have to do continuous exhaling without any inhaling. This increases the concentration of carbon dioxide in your body and renders you unconscious after a point. You slowly regain consciousness when your body automatically begins inhaling in your sleep.
Note that this best pranayama is only practiced by people who are well advanced in all other branches of pranayama.
Benefits: Believed to cure headaches, and body fats are removed.
10. Palavni Pranayama or Regulating
Palavini Pranayama is to be done only if you are well versed with such exercise and are an experienced person. In this pranayama, you need to regulate the breath in such a way that can make your body light enough to float on water like a leaf. As the body gets lighter by filling the air in the stomach like water, the gravitational effect remains undetected. This pranayama is done sitting or in a lying position and is performed 4 times and not more.
Benefits: Helps in Digestion and improves the blood flow helping the body to flush out the collected toxins.
There are many other best Pranayamas that can be learned with the help of your yoga teacher. Done force yourself in doing Pranayamas. Always begin with an easy one and stick to that for a longer time. Don’t be in a hurry to do any yoga as such practices need ample time to learn. <<Learn Pranayama online in Australia here>>