Pranayama, meaning breath control, is the specific branch that deals with breathing techniques for yoga. There is a long list of breathing techniques that can help you enhance the result of your workout, from some of which are hard to master while others can be used by beginners also. These breathing techniques have different effects on your body, different results on your yoga practice, therefore to choose the most suitable for the next occasion when you roll your mat out we put together a list of the most popular techniques to get you acquainted with the world of Pranayama.
The easiest and most popular breathing technique is suitable for any kind of practice you choose. Ujjayi breathing can help you calm your mind both on the mat or out on the streets. To start, breath through your nose, while focusing on your breath which should be concentrated at the back of your throat, making a hissing sound: act as if you would be drinking through a straw. Make each inhale last as long as your exhale, while taking deeper and deeper breaths.
2. Lion’s Breath
The lion’s breath technique can get a little fun and playfulness into your morning routine. It is great for kids or for adults as a final touch at the end of the week, to help you let go of all that stress that has built up in your system. Inhale deeply through your nose, lean your head back and while exhaling open your mouth as wide as you can and stick your tongue out. To have a maximum reliving effect, try raising your arms while inhaling, and form cactus arms while exhaling.
3. Breath of Fire
The “Breath of fire” can help you warm your muscles and organs up, especially in the abdominal. In case you are focusing on detoxing in your next practice, this technique can help you get a better result. Sit tall while breathing through your nose gently. Once you start exhaling, pump the air through your nose vigorously and pull your navel in. Your pulling should be a rapid repetitive motion, that helps you gradually to exhale faster. Focus on balancing the inhale and exhale in force, deepness and duration.
These three techniques can help you to get familiar with the world of Pranayama. Keep your motivation high and practice as much as you can, either on the mat or elsewhere. Once you are confident with the basic breathing techniques search for new ones to hone your skills further and to get the result that you are after.