Originated in India, yoga is an ancient practice. It is being practiced by many cultures across the globe and has become a popular form of exercise. Yoga is not just an exercise form but an alternative healing method. BKS Iyengar, a well-known yoga master, said, “Yoga is like music. The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life.” Breathing exercises are an important part of yoga. The practice of breath controlling is called pranayama. You should practice pranayama early morning on an empty stomach. Here are some of the best breathing exercises you must do.Also Read - How to do Surya Namaskar | Yoga Instructor Dr. Purnajita Sen Demonstrates | Watch Video
1. Bhastrika Pranayama (Breath of fire)
How to do it: Start by sitting tall with your legs crossed. Keep your neck and shoulders relaxed. Take a deep breath through your nose to fill your lungs. Now, exhale forcefully with a hissing sound. Do this for about 5 minutes or 21 times. Try to do it twice a day. Also Read - Coronavirus Third Wave India: In Conversation With Dr Ankita Baidya On Precautions, New Symptoms And Affect On Children
2. Kumbhaka Pranayama (Breath retention)
How to do it: Sit in padmasana position with your hands on your knees. Keep your spine and shoulders relaxed but straight. Inhale and exhale normally for a couple of times. Then, inhale, hold it in for as long as possible and exhale. Increase the time you retain the air inside your lungs. Also Read - World ORS Day: Life-Saving Effects of ORS During Diarrheal Dehydration Among Children
3. Simhasana (Lion’s Breath)
How to do it: Start by kneeling down on the floor with your arms on your knees and your ankles crossed. Your feet must point out. Now, inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth by opening your mouth wide and sticking out your tongue. Your tongue should be towards your chin. While exhaling, produce ‘ha’ sound. Do this a couple of times and then relax.
4. Mrigi Mudra Pranayam (Deer seal breathing)
How to do it: Mrigi mudra is how you hold your fingers. So, curl your middle finger and index finger and press them on the base of your thumb. Keep your other fingers stretched. Use your right hand for the mudra if you are a right-handed person and left hand if you are a left-hander. Now, sit in padmasana and keep your back, shoulder and neck straight. If you ar a right-handed person and has used your right hand for the mudra, bring your right hand near your nose and use your pinky to close your left nostril. Inhale from the right then close your right nostril with the thumb to exhale from the left nostril. Do this about five times and then relax.
5. Kapalabhati Pranayam (Skull shining)
How to do it: Sit in padmasana or a comfortable cross-legged position. Keep your spine, shoulders and neck in a straight line. Keep your palms on your knees. Now, take a deep breath and expel it out with short contraction of your abdomen muscles. Try to do around five exhalations for a single inhalation. Eventually, increase it to 10 exhalations per one inhalation.
These breathing exercises will help keep your lungs healthy and protect you from breathing problems. Do these every morning to enjoy the benefits.