Pranayama: Step by Step for Newbies
In the previous blog, we discussed the when, where, how and why of pranayama. We also had an insight on how to perform ‘Sahita’ pranayama.
In this blog, we will breakdown the procedure for the ‘5’ types of ‘pranayama’ which are easy to grasp if you’re a beginner.
Breathe 'IN' and Breathe 'OUT'
Natural breathing is an unconscious habit but this type of pranayama involves deep breathing. Here’s how to do it
- Inhale for a long time while you compose and calm yourself.
- Exhale for a long time, while you let go of all the negative thoughts.
Buzz it out
‘Bhramari’ pranayama, where Bhramari means ‘bumblebee’ in Hindi incorporates the sound of the bee. This sound creates a good vibration that can calm you down. Here’s how to perform it.
- Sit down on the mat crossing your legs (padmasana position)
- Cover your ear flaps gently with your thumbs
- With the rest of your fingers cover your eyes (index finger on your eyebrow and rest over the eyes)
- Apply light pressure around your nose with your fingers
- Inhale deeply through your nostrils
- Exhale through your nose, while producing a buzzing sound.
- Repeat this process 5 times.
Calm down your nerves
‘Udgeeth’ pranayama is wonderful to ease tension, anger, and anxiety, so if you are short-tempered or under a lot of stress be sure to incorporate this pranayama to your daily yoga routine. Here’s how it is done.
- Sit down in padmasana
- Inhale deeply till your lungs fill with air
- Exhale while chanting out Ooooom (stressing on the O)
- Repeat this 3-5 times
Channeling the air to your gut
Although it sounds tricky the ‘3’ part breathing or ‘Dirga pranayama’ is just a long breath broken into three parts. Here’s the step by step
- Sit in padmasana and relax
- Part-1 Inhale fill up your diaphragm
- Part-2 Move the air to your abdomen
- Part-3 Then move the air back to the lungs
- Repeat this process for 2-3 minutes
If you find it difficult to perform in a padmasana, lie down and place a sandbag or a heavy blanket over your abdomen, this will help you visualize the movement of the air. When the air fills the abdomen the blanket will lift up and when the air moves to the lungs the blanket will go down. Once you master this you can try again in padmasana. ‘Dirga pranayama’ not only improves lung capacity but also helps you ease stress.
Let them hear you roar
Simhasana or ‘lions breath’ is a little more challenging for beginners as it involves losing all your inhibitions. Here's how you perform it
- Kneel down on your mat, sit upright
- Spread your knees, palms down and hips on your thighs
- Inhale deeply
- Exhale while putting your tongue out and roar HA!
- After the roar hold the pose for 20-30 sec
- Repeat the process 4- 6 times.
Simhasana is a good exercise for your face, throat, tongue and eyes. It has prominent effects on the throat and also helps clear the vocal cord.