What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of a doctor? I would imagine a stethoscope. Stethoscope is used to hear our heart beat or the voice of our breathing. Breathing sounds can indicate problems within the lungs such as obstructions, inflammation, or infection and is an important part of diagnosing many different medical conditions.
The quality of your breathing is a powerful determinant of your physical and emotional state of being. I would like to share some of my knowledge and experience with you.
There are different types of breathing techniques available, which you can do to make your body, mind and soul healthy and fit. When we are talking about breathing techniques “YOGA” word automatically occurs to you and while talking about yoga -Pranayama, Anuloma Viloma will automatically comes to our mind. I have been practicing yoga for several years and would like to share some of my experiences with you and help you understand about breathing better.
Pranayama breathing techniques: Pranayama also has different kinds of breathing techniques like Dirga Pranayama, Nadi Shodhana, Ujjayi Pranayama, Kumbhaka etc..
- Dirga Pranayama : It’s a basic technique which teaches us the various ways of breathing and how to breathe right – Deep Breathing. We usually breathe shallowly and use approximately one fourth portions of our lungs. This technique helps us to learn how to utilize the lungs properly for breathing. We have to breathe deeply so that our stomach fills with air, then our chest, till finally it seems like our shoulder blades are being displaced by the air you are breathing in. Dirga Pranayama is akin to filling up and emptying a vessel with water and replenishing the body and soul.
- Nadi Shodhana: Nadi Shodhana, also known as Alternate Nostril Breathing, is a powerful breathing practice with wide reaching benefits. Alternate Nostril breathing is a beautiful breathing technique that helps keep the mind calm, happy and peaceful by just practicing it for a few minutes.
In this you have to cover your right nostril using the thumb of your right hand and take deep breaths with the left nostril. In the pause between inhalation and exhalation, you release the right nostril and close your left nostril with the ring finger of your right hand. Once you finish exhaling fully, you inhale through the same nostril. In the pause between the inhalation and exhalation, you close your right nostril with your thumb while releasing the left nostril.
- Ujjayi Pranayama: The beauty of unifying breath and movement is truly majestic. More popularly the term Ujjayi Pranayama is known as ‘Ocean Breath’ or ‘Victorious Breath’. In this Inhale slowly from your nose and exhale from your mouth. When exhaling, produce the sound ‘HHHHHAAAA’ (ocean sound).
Now, try to keep your mouth closed while exhaling. Generate the same sound as before but, this time with your mouth closed. Inhalation and exhalation are both done through the nose. The position of your throat is unchanged and natural. Make sure the sound originates from your throat and not from your nose.
The “ocean sound” is created by moving the glottis as air passes in and out. As the throat passage is narrowed so, too, is the airway, the passage of air through which creates a “rushing” sound
Kumbhaka : This technique is an advanced level of Pranayama where you have to hold your breath either at the end of each inhalation, exhalation, or both. Do not practice this technique on your own but, only under the supervision of a learned practitioner.
You can also do Kapalabhati, which is most popular in Yoga. Kapāla means skull and Bhati means light. This exercise gets its name from the fact that when practicing the mind fills up with a bright light. This is due to the change in oxygen and energy levels received by the mind. It cleanses your nasal passage, lungs and your entire respiratory system or in short you are strengthening your lungs and stomach muscles.
In this technique, you take passive inhalations followed by forceful exhalations, by contracting your abdominal muscles quickly as you exhale rapidly through your nose. Try to learn this correctly from a certified yoga instructor, It will help you to avoid any drawbacks.
I would like to conclude by saying that you are still breathing, But, if you breath as per the above techniques, you can take your body, mind and soul to the another level of fitness.