Breathe right



Just as lions, elephants and tigers are controlled by and by, so the breath is controlled by slow degrees, otherwise (i.e. by being hasty or using too much force) it kills the practiser himself. 
–  Hatha Yoga Pradipika

One of the best ways we can strengthen and manage  the life force that runs through each of us – our prana – is through our breath.

During the current times we need to strengthen and build our immunity and the first place to start is with our breath. We also need to strengthen the muscles that help us breathe and increase the elasticity of our lungs so that they fill up well with oxygen and completely empty the carbon dioxide that is generated.

Here are 3 pranayamas which are perfect to help you breathe right and build your immunity.  Check out the video below and then go through the detailed steps. Sit straight, relax and get breathing right!

Bhramri breathing

Sit in a meditative pose or on a chair with your palms on your thighs.

  • Inhale deeply, and as you exhale just hummm. 
  • Again inhale and hummm as you exhale

You can also close your ears as you hum and feel the vibrations inside and around the head.

This humming increases the generation of nitric oxide level by 15-fold. In the lungs, nitric oxide is anti vitral and prevents replication of virus by 82%

  • Bhramri helps to relieve tension, anger and anxiety. It’s very beneficial for those ailing from hypertension as it greatly calms down the distressed mind and reduces blood pressure.
  • It prevents heart blockages.
  • It helps relieve migraines. It is very effective in sharpening concentration and memory. It helps build confidence.
  • Bhramari soothes the nerves.
  • Bhramari pranayama stimulates the pineal and pituitary glands and enhances their functioning.
  • Its very effective in bringing deep sleep.

Diaphragmatic breathing

Just lie down and bend both knees bringing heel close to your hips, with both knees touching, place one palm on the abdomen and the other on the floor beside you facing the ceiling. Breathe deeply in and out so the diaphragm is moving well.

  • Inhale slowly and deeply ensuring you raise the stomach as much as you can.
  • And exhale well so that the stomach lowers.
  • Keep the inhalation and exhalation equal.
  • Do this atleast 10 times. 

We can do it all through the day. We just need to check our breathing in our daily tasks  and set it right following this process. This is best experienced while lying down but it can be done seated in a chair too.

Diaphragmatic Breathing Pranayam helps improve the functioning of the muscles involved in respiration and ensures filling and emptying of the lungs completely.

Anulom Vilom – Alternate Nostril Breathing

Sit in a meditative pose either cross legged or in vajrasan or even on a chair.

  • Close the left nostril,
  • inhale through the right nostril,
  • close both nostrils for a short time,
  • exhale through the left nostril,
  • inhale back through left nostril,
  • close both nostrils and hold for a short time,
  • exhale through right and close both nostrils.
  • Now inhale through left nostril,
  • close both nostrils for a short time,
  • exhale through right nostril,
  • inhale back from right nostril,
  • hold for short time,
  • exhale through the left nostril,
  • hold both nostrils closed for a short time and release.
  • Do such rounds at 5 times 

This increases the oxygen levels and strengthens the prana in our body. It also removes toxins, improves immunity, improves lung function and builds endurance. Not only does it improve and the respiratory system, it heals the cardiovascular system too.

These Pranayams are very helpful to improve the health and functioning of the lungs and increase our immunity and must be done regularly.