One of the most guarded secrets of the authentic yoga circle is pranayama – or breathing exercises. Yoga, the way most us know it is about poses and bending like a pretzel. Well, authentic yoga, therapeutic yoga – the one that is used in yoga hospitals in India and around the world – uses poses as a preparation for the next step of healing which is through pranayama (breathing techniques), which lead to the next level – meditation and then to relaxation!
Some schools of yoga say that pranayama should only be used after poses and only by advanced practitioners. Unless you do it in a very aggressive way and without guidance (for the more complex practices) – which can lead to problems with the nervous system- breathing techniques are very beneficial and safe.
The breath is one of the most important ways of controlling the autonomic nervous system , which affects the function of every internal organ and functions like immunity and digestion.
One of the first breathing practices I was taught to help me with stress, tension and headaches was Bhramari Pranayama aka “Bee breath” or “buzzing of the bees”, because it sounds exactly like that.
Watch this video to see how it’s done:
1. Breath in through the nose
2. Breathing out through the back of the throat
3. Making the buzzing sound of bees
Don’t push yourself too hard. It’s supposed to be relaxing. Don’t strain. The exhalation will be longer than the inhalation naturally, you don’t have to push it.
It is said that a lower pitch will benefit all the organs below the neck, a medium pitch -the throat and thyroid, a high pitch is for the sinus and head (ache). Try them all to see which one works best for your memory and concentration.
Do it for 1-3 minutes to start with and then you can increase it to 5-10 min a day. See how it makes you feel after 10 consecutive days of practice. For some, it’s a miracle!
To Your Health!
Yoga, Eat, Play!!!