Pranav Pranayama: A Novice’s Handbook
It is always a good idea to keep the best for the last; Pranav pranayama is the easiest of all the pranayamas and is the best one to conclude your meditation with - as it focuses on the spiritual domain. Pranav is a word encompassing the sacred syllable” Om” or “Aum”, which resonates and produces vibrations that can create an ambiance for meditation and spirituality.
A little more insight on the word Om or A (ah), O (oh), M (mm) which are actually three different sounds that originate from different parts of the lungs. “Ah” which arises from the lower lungs, “Oh” which stems from the mid lungs and finally “Mm” which is produced from the upper lungs. So when you verbalize the sounds Ah, Oh and Mm air is expelled from the lower, mid and upper lungs respectively. In Udgeeth pranayama we vocalize this sound out loud while in Pranav pranayama we focus on this sound in our minds.
Read on to learn how to perform this technique and why it is said to be an instant form of meditation.
How to perform Pranav?
- Sit in Padmasana (lotus position), Sukhasana (crossed legs) or Vajrasana (kneeling position), based on your comfort.
- Keep your eyes closed and back erect.
- Inhale and exhale as you normally would but as you do this focus on the word Om in your mind and be at one with the positive energy in the universe.
- Center yourself amidst this energy and continue breathing normally.
- Now bring your hands above your head and rub your palms together for about 20 counts.
- Bring your hands down and place it above your eyes and feel the warmth as you continue to breathe normally.
- Now slowly open your eyes, remove your hands from your eyes and open them fully.
- You can repeat this process for about 3 minutes to 1 hour based on your convenience and time available.
When to perform Pranav?
- When you experience a lot of pressure and stress, Pranav pranayama is considered an instant form of meditation that can calm your mind and help ease stress.
- At the end of your entire meditation practice; this breathing technique is simple and it the best to close your practice with.
- Before performing any activity that requires your full concentration, Pranav pranayama can help you improve concentration.
Benefits of Pranav Pranayama
- It helps ease stress and relaxes the mind
- Helps improve memory and concentration
- It helps with spiritual development.
- It opens our minds and broadens our perspectives.
This pranayama can be practiced by all ages. Keep in mind to practice this breathing technique only on an empty stomach with at least 4-5 hours space between your meal and the practice of these technique.