WHY SHOULD I DO PRANAYAMAS?
In short: Pranayamas are breathing techniques that help you to boost your inner energies. Because of that pranayamas have other good effects in our health and life. It brings oxygen and prana (The primordial energy) into our brain, for example. Pranayamas relax our body and mind; both are great to improve our mood and health.
Out from experience I know that when I feel a little sad then a pranayama makes me feel better and with more energy. Please read my article: what are pranayamas? (Link at the bottom)
There are several types of pranayamas, but we will talk about a few for this article.
SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT PRANAYAMAS:
These practices can be done at any time, day or night.
Can women do pranayamas when they are in the period?
Well, it is not advisable. The flow of nature in women, when in the period, is moving from inside out and from up down. But when we do pranayamas we are moving the energies from outside in and from down up. The direction, as you can see, is totally the opposite. So, the best is to avoid any pranayama when a woman is in the period. There are many practices as mantras, concentration, chakra developing, yoga asanas, etc.
Can I do pranayamas when I am sick?
It depends. If you really feel like you cannot then, please, avoid any yoga practice. If it is not a big deal then you can try; but is you feel uncomfortable or dizzy or feel any pain then you should avoid any practice.
Can I do pranayamas just after eating?
Your stomach is digesting your food, so it is better to avoid extra work for the organism. What is the need to do pranayamas just after eating? There is no need. You should avoid it. Actually, avoid any yoga practice while eating or just after eating. Your stomach needs time to digest, be kind with it and let it do its job properly.
GETTING READY FOR PRANAYAMAS.
You room should be clean and even better if it is organized. Avoid any mess; yogis are not lazy.
Music is important: either you hear something really calm and peaceful or be in a silent room.
Do you want to practice outdoor? Ok, it is up to you; but it is better to avoid noises. Go where people are not around. People will distract you if they are walking around. You need to be really concentrated if you want to do these exercises properly.
It is good to warm up a little beat. Gentle yoga asanas for five to ten minutes could be good.
Meditation before pranayamas? I do exactly the opposite. I left meditation at the end. Meditation is a real deep process and actually pranayamas prepare you to get into deeper mediation because you need energy to control the mind.
No yoga practice can be taken for granted. No yoga practice can be done without concentration and without the proper preparation. Yoga is great, but it requires your whole concentration and energy.
No, yoga is not hard. Yoga is a science and as it yoga will need many practices to bring the proper results. Patience, perseverance, humbleness are the first principles all yogi should learn.
HOW CAN I PRACTICE PRANAYAMAS?
Pranayamas are breathing exercises. When you are doing a proper breathing exercising then you are doing pranayamas. But there are several techniques.
INHALING AND EXHALING.
Both should be done slowly, deep and as long as possible. Yes, some yogis might say the opposite in some cases. My experience and teachings go on this direction and I have seen my results and the results of others.
Inhaling and exhaling fast is ok, but you get the most when doing pranayamas on the opposite direction: Slow, deep and long!
So, now let’s see some practices.
PRANAYAMA PRACTICE FOR BEGINNERS.
This is a very easy and simple exercise, which everyone can do.
We chant two mantras;
HAM (Pronunciation: HAAAAAAMMMMMMM).
This mantra is chant when inhaling and mentally. It has to be as long as the inhalation.
SAH (Pronunciation: SAH)
This mantra is chant when exhaling and it is verbally. It has to be short and quick.
Now follow these steps:
1> Seat down facing the East with your spinal straight.
2> Close your eyes.
3> Feel your body from toe to top. This takes a few seconds.
4> Inhale slowly, long and deep while you chant the mantra HAM.
5> Hold the air a few seconds.
6> Exhale while uttering the mantra SAH in a short and quick way.
7> Repeat steps one to six several times.
While the orientation is toward the East? There is the raising sun. It is so special that it is the symbol on the flag of Japan. Temples, in ancient times, were facing the East. The energies of the planet move toward the north and the east. Doing the practice on that direction helps you because you are with the flow of nature. Pranayamas should be done facing the East to have the most from them. There are other practices that follow this rule.
Remember: Pranayamas help to boost your energy. They can boost your mood too.