Posts

Finding it hard to feel calm and grounded amid uncertainty and chaos? Jal Yoga has collaborated with our new partner, KrisPay to bring you a series of Pranayama (yogic breathing) practices to help you stay focus on what is occurring within you right now and find the doorway to your internal sanctuary.

During this Stay Home period, we could all use a little more ZEN in our lives. Pranayama practice or Yogic Breathing provides techniques to help cope with stress and anxiety. The practice awakens the breath, balances body energy, calms and focuses on controlling the mind. We have listed a few simple techniques that you can follow. It only takes 5 minutes and can even be done at your desk while you work.

 

Benefits of the Pranayama Practice?

  • Find the rhythm of your breath
  • Declutter unwanted thoughts to develop a calmer mind to stay focused
  • Easier ways to deal with stress to have more productivity at work

 

Before we begin, here’s a Self-breathing check that you can do!

  1. Start by placing your hand on the stomach and breathe in as you normally will.
  2. When you are breathing, observe the stomach movement and how it is moving in and out.
  3. If your stomach goes in when you inhale and goes out when you exhale, you will need to correct your breathing pattern.

 

So what is the right way of breathing?

  1. Put your hands on your stomach
  2. When inhaling your abdomen should be out.
  3. When exhaling abdomen should come out.

 

Why is it like that?
We have lungs, diaphragm and abdominal organs. Our lungs are standing on top of our diaphragm. When we inhale, the lungs are being filled with air and it expands moving downwards and the diaphragm is straightened. Therefore organs that are in the stomach gets press and the abdomen goes out.

Likewise, when we exhale, the lungs are shrinking and the diaphragm takes the dome shape. Therefore, the organs are going in and the abdomen goes in too.

 

Technique 1: Alternate Nostril Breathing

  1. With a thumb, hold down your right nostril to allow inhalation only through the left. Take a deep breath.
  2. Close your left nostril with your ring finger and exhale slowly through the right.
  3. In the same position, inhale with your right nostril.
  4. Close the right nostril with your thumb and exhale slowly through the left.
  5. Repeat this sequence 5 times.

 

Pranayama Exercises for anxiety | sound pranayama

Technique 2: Sound Pranayama

  1. Touch tongue to the roof of your mouth, joining the teeth and jaws together and close your lips.
  2. With your thumbs, close your ears and with the rest of your fingers, cover your eyes. (to block out other senses)
  3. Take a deep inhalation, then exhale with a humming sound (similar to a bee) from the back of your throat. Keep the humming for as long as you can.
  4. Repeat this sequence 5 times.

 

Pranayama Exercises for anxiety | deep breathing exercises

Technique 3: Deep Breathing Technique

  1. Sit in a comfortable position with back and neck erect.
  2. Take a long and deep breath by taking the stomach out, expanding the chest and slightly raising the shoulders.
  3. Exhale completely by taking the stomach in, chest in and shoulders down.
  4. Repeat this sequence for 5 to 9 times.

 

Technique 4: Left Nostril Breathing

  1. Form the Nasika Mudra with your right hand.
  2. Close the right nostril with the tip of your thumb.
  3. Inhale and exhale slowly through the left nostril only, ensure that the right nostril is closed at all times during the practice.
  4. One cycle of inhalation and exhalation forms one round.
  5. Repeat this sequence for 5 to 9 times.

 

Pranayama Exercises for anxiety | Cooling Pranayama

Technique 5: Cooling Pranayama

  1. Begin by sitting on the ground in the Easy pose.
  2. Now roll your tongue from both sides to form a tube shape.
  3. Next, inhale deeply through this tongue tube.
  4. Close your mouth and hold your breath for a few seconds.
  5. Now exhale from the nostrils.
  6. Repeat this sequence for 5 to 9 times.

 

You are just 5 minutes away from having a calmer mind. Don’t take that away from yourself!

Confused by the instructions? Check out the video here as Krishna demonstrates the Pranayama (Yogic Breathing) Techniques For Stress & Anxiety!

 

 

Common Questions about Pranayama?

Want to try out a Pranayama class and wondering what it is about? Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about Pranayama.

 

Who should avoid doing Pranayama?

  • Those recovering from a recent heart attack.
  • Those with chronic heart conditions.
  • Pregnant women.
  • Those with bronchitis or severe breathing issues.

 

Where to practice Pranayama?

It is advised to practice Pranayama in a well-ventilated room or outdoors. Try to avoid doing Pranayama directly under the fan or aircon.

 

How many times can I practice Pranayama?

Ideally, you can practice pranayama four times a day – early in the morning, at noon, evening and in the night.

But you should practice Pranayama solely based on your body conditions. It is completely up to the discretion of the practitioner and many factors come into play such as how experienced you are in that kind of practice, how your time permits, how determined you are to practice a particular Pranayama.

Make sure you schedule your Pranayama practice such that the right kind of Pranayama is practiced at the right time. If you have any questions regarding your Pranayama practice such as the right kind of practices and timing to practice, you can leave them in the comment section down below.

 

Can I practice Pranayama after eating?

Avoid practising Pranayama immediately after meals. Try to give yourself a gap of at least 3 hours after your meal. Remember that a heavy meal will take much longer to get digested. If you are thirsty, get a cup of water 30mins before you begin your practice.

 

Pranayama before or after Yoga?

It is recommended to practice your Yoga asanas before your Pranayama practice. After practising your asanas, relax in Savasana before beginning your Pranayama practice. Don’t do any strenuous exercise after your breathing practice.

 

Are Meditation and Pranayama the same thing?

Meditation and Pranayama practice are not the same. Although they both involve concentration and breathing, Meditation is a practice of cultivating awareness of our habitual thought patterns, and Pranayama is a practice of refining breathing ability and awareness of prana flow.

 

 

1. Have any questions regarding the Pranayama practice? 

2. Any other practice you would like us to breakdown?

3. Want more Pranayama video?

Let us know in the comment section down below!

 

 

Here’s a guide to help you navigate your days at home:

Relieve Your Stress and Anxiety with These 5 Yin Yoga Poses

How to Cultivate Inner Strength in meditation practice