Pranayama or yogic breathing exercises are age-old and have been practised by saints living in the Himalayas. Saints have been found to be in deep meditation, breathing exercises being the cause. These exercises give a peaceful experience even when the words are heard or uttered.
Ayurveda says that breathing forms a physical part of thinking and thinking forms the psychological part of breathing.
Pranayama is the art of skillfully extending the breath through inhalation, retention and finally exhalation.
Pranayama has proven to cure breathing diseases such as asthma and dust allergies as also bronchitis. The breathing exercise help in improving body endurance by helping in breathing while swimming or working out in the gym.
The best time to practice this yogic breathing is early in the morning in a place where there is fresh air and with an empty stomach such that there are no abdominal cramps or stress on the core.
Some of the benefits of Pranayama or yogic breathing are-
1. Elimination of stress- Pranayama and breathing exercises tend to soothe and calm the mind and its senses and alleviate all kind of mental stress one has faced during the day.
It also eliminates tension from the mind and enables fresh thoughts to float or flow into the mind. Pranayama is also known as the prelude to meditation.
2. Pranayama also improves the body’s autonomic functions and helps in regulating the body mechanisms and helps in smooth functioning of the body.
Pranayama enables and activates the chakras of the body. It also provides oxygen to each and every part of the body and helps to rejuvenate the whole system.
3. Pranayama or yogic breathing has also been proved to eliminate asthmatic elements from the body which otherwise hinder the breathing capacity of a body and may even cause death.
Breathing exercises under pranayama help in overcoming breathlessness, which is the prime factor in causing asthma in individuals. It has proven to increase the breathing capacity in asthmatic patients and eliminate the virus and avoid blockages in the lungs and respiratory tract. Also eliminates the usage of the inhaler in asthmatic patients.
These breathing exercises have been proved to clear nasal blockages, hence enhancing early recovery from cold or flu. Also helping in maintaining the quality of the voice by protecting the throat.
4. Improves Stamina- Continuous practising breathing exercises under pranayama have proved to improve stamina in individuals and make the body more active than before.
5. Boosts Metabolism- Practicing breathing exercises on a daily basis have found to improve and boost metabolism in individuals and improve appetite. Also, helps in improving the gut and strengthening the core, also helps in solving digestion issues.
6. Balances mind and thoughts- Breathing exercises have been proved to be meditative and calm and soothe the mind. Hence helping in controlling anxiety and balancing the thoughts. Also helps in resolving panic attacks and enables sound sleep at night to provide complete relaxation to the mind.
7. Pranayama also helps in extending life as the breathing exercises help all the organs and body parts receive fresh oxygen and hence refresh the body and improve its immunity and living tenure on the earth.
8. Blood circulation and blood pressure- Breathing exercises also help in enhancing blood circulation in the body and help in eliminating clotting of blood in the body.
These exercises have also been proved to decrease blood pressure and thereby reduce the chances of Diabetes in the body by calming the heart and thereby pumping the accurate amount of blood in the body.
9. Weight loss- Certain breathing practices of the Pranayama also help in boosting weight loss and fat burning in the body.
Cleansing the whole body and eliminating the toxins from the body, breathing exercises help in getting a leaner, meaner and fitter body.
Such are the benefits of breathing exercises and Pranayama practices for the body and the mind.
Off late, research also reads that breathing exercises or pranayama practices also help in reducing the risk of cancer in individuals as also decreasing the risk of heart diseases in people.
Oxygen is prime for humans, though, in this polluted society and concrete jungle, pranayama or yogic breathing helps in solving body disorders and diseases. Hence, it is advisable that breathing exercises be undertaken on a daily basis to solve the issues of the body.