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My ExcercisePranayama - Breathing Techniques

Posted Sep 2008

The Pranayama is the basic of Yoga exercises. It can be even practiced individually, outside of Yoga exercise. Overall, Pranayama – the breathing control – can help us to achieve the greater control over our emotions, physiological processes and increase our physical performance.

Kapalabhati: Shining Skull

Literally translated from the Sanskrit language this pranayama means "Shining Skull", which refers to the feeling that occurs during the performance of this exercise. Kapalabhati is the exercising of the diaphragm that we us to pump the breath in order to achieve the clearness of our mind and brighter feeling about the world around us. If you feel slow and lazy, this exercise can help you to energize yourself. Also, this exercise is strengthening diaphragm, heart and your abdominal muscles. It will release you from the blockages and establish the normal flow of oxygen and energy.

Instruction: Start with several normal breaths. Then, breath in through your nose, contract your abdominal muscles and exhale quickly through you nose. Exhalation should be similar as if you are blowing to the candle, with the difference that you are breathing out through the nose, instead thorough the mouth. After releasing the abdominal muscles, start with slow and short inhalation, four cycles.  After this, inhale deeply and exhale normally. This is the end of one cycle. Repeat exercise four times. Later, with more practice, increase the number of cycles.

Indication: Laziness, Apathy
Pregnancy, High blood pressure, Anxiety, Epilepsy
Energizing, Purifying

Uddaji: Winner's Breath

During this breathing technique you are releasing the hissing sound. This sound is long and uninterrupted, during inhalation and exhalation, while your throat muscles are somewhat contracted. Sound that you are releasing is similar as the sound that you can hear in the sea shell.

Instruction: Exhale thorough your mouth, releasing the "haaaa" sound, as if you want to fog the mirror. After this, start with inhale through the nose ( mouth are closed now ), while producing the same sound. You are producing the "haaa" sound now with the control of your throat muscles. Repeat twelve times for the beginning. Later you should increase the number of repetitions 

Indication: Tiredness, Exhaust ness
Effect: Energizing, Relaxing, Concentration

Extended Breathing

This breathing technique is manipulating with inhalation, exhalation and pauses. The goal is to deeply air our lungs, detoxify body and to bring relaxation. This breathing technique can be practices in laying or sitting position.

Instruction:Calm down your breathing and pay attention to it. Feel the depth and the rhythm of your breathing. Count the breath-in and breath-out phases. After you get e feeling about your breathing, try to extend the breath-out, so as to become double time than breath-in. Repeat this exercise several times. After this introduce pause in your breathing – hold your breath gently after you inhaled the air. Keep it until you feel first sigh of need for a fresh air. After this you exhale slowly. Try to perform this exercise in 1:3:2 ratio.  This exercise is a bit different from a simple extended breathing.  For example, start with inhale that lasts for 5 seconds, keep your breath for 15 seconds and exhale for 10 seconds. You have to be relaxed. Do not try too hard. Find any duration of exercise that suits to you, as long as these phases are in 1:3:2 ratio. After you feel comfortable with exercise being done at your pace, try to extend phases gradually.

Indication: Tiredness, Weakness, Nervousness, Anxiety
Relaxation, Calmness


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