26 Aug Quiet the ‘Monkey Mind’ with Pranayama
The everyday hectic lives and advancement in science and technology is causing a lot of stress on people both physically and mentally. This leads to a lot of stress disorders or psychosomatic disorders.
During stress, people tend to hold their breaths while inhaling the breath irregularly and exhaling incompletely. The best way to manage stress is by practicing Pranayama.
What is Pranayama?
Pranayama is made of two words – Prana and ayama. Prana means bioenergy or life force and ayama means control. Pranayama is the technique of control of prana which gives the energy to perform any activity.
Pranayama is a technique which trains the respiratory system and it ultimately affects the conditioning of the mind. When regularly practiced, the respiratory system is controlled leading to the control of the mind.
The process of pranayama affects both the mind and the body. Considering the daily amount of pressure, deadlines and stress factors; the issues of anxiety, sadness, lack of focus and productivity and negative thinking is prominent.
How Pranayama calms the mind?
Prana is deeply connected with the functioning of the nervous system. It gives the mind a capacity to focus and hold attention. According to Dr Barham, “The brain is the organ of the mind which is the seat of intellect and ideas, thoughts and emotions. When the breath is moving, the mind becomes active and when it is regulated, the mind becomes steady. Hence, it is the regulation of the breath, as a preliminary process, that is necessary for the control of the mental activities which when controlled helps the control of Pranas.”
Pranayama directly affects our mental well-being and has the power to remove most of the physical and mental illnesses when practiced regularly.
The practice of Pranayama brings a sense of calmness, peace and alertness in the day-to-day life. Additionally, it trains the person to think right and positive, perform right actions and be polite in their speech.
During Pranayama, the body is in a relaxed condition which eliminates toxins, negativity and stress while putting the mind in a complete state of rest.
The breathing exercises and relaxation techniques equip the person to respond calmly in any given situation and be mindful. Regular and continuous practice of Pranayama enables the person to develop a higher concentration level and control over his thoughts and emotions.
Points to Remember while practicing Pranayama
- Choose an airy and calm environment
- Ideally, mornings and evenings are the best time for practicing pranayama
- Ensure that the place is neat and clean, free of dirt and pollutants
- Practice at least 15 minutes of Pranayama and at the same place and time (preferably)
Pranayama should be practiced on an empty stomach (keep 4 hours gap between snack time/meal consumption and pranayama)
Types of Pranayama:
If you want to begin your journey in Pranayama and start living a happy and healthy life, then Yoga Institute offers the best government yoga courses and run the best yoga classes in the world. We offer the below types of Pranayama’s in our institute.
Yogendra Pranayama I – Equal Breathing
How to Practice?
- Sit or stand in any comfortable posture in a ventilated space
- Ensure the space is ventilated
- Gently close your eyes, don’t slouch your body, keep your spine and back straight
- Slowly observe your mind and it is crucial that it is calm
- Draw your attention to the breath. Observe how you breathe and relax your breath
- When ready, consciously inhale and exhale
- Inhale and exhale in the same measure (Inhale 123 Exhale 123, Inhale 123 Exhale 123)
- Feel the air passing through your nostrils, chest and lungs. The breath has to be non-jerky, rhythmic and non-shaky.
- Helps in creating awareness
- Improved concentration
- Inner harmony
- Synchronizes the body and mind
Recommended Practice: One can practice this for five seconds in a day and go on for 10 rounds and gradually increase by 1 second every week.
Yogendra Pranayama IV – Diaphragmatic Breathing
The diaphragm is exercised in this Pranayama. The diaphragm is a musculo-membranous partition, separating the thoracic and abdomen cavities. Breath is never to be forced. When little babies sleep, their bellies rise up when they breathe in and bellies go down to the spine when they exhale, this is how we breathe in Pranayama 4.
How to practice?
- Keep the knees folded towards the chest, feet resting on the ground and one foot apart
- Place your right hand onto your navel and left hand relax to the side of your body, either palm facing up to the ceiling or down as per one’s convenience
- Maintain equal breathing, where we inhale for two counts and exhale for two
- Digestive organs stay active
- Reduces fat collected around the stomach
- Improved breathing – vital capacity and tidal volume improve
- Leads to quietude and inner harmony
- Sedative effect on the nervous system – relaxes the entire body.
Recommended Practice: 10 rounds/session – to a count as per individual capacity and comfort
Pranayama strengthens the connection between mind and body making one equipped to handle everyday stressors in an efficient way. Regular practice of Pranayama promotes happiness, mindfulness, peace and fulfilment. Pranayama is one such weapon which prepares you to deal with biggest setbacks in a controlled manner.