5 Pranayama (Breath-control) Techniques to Take Charge of Your Life

Did you know we take nearly 21,600 breaths a day according to the Yoga shastras? And the beauty of Mother Nature is that she keeps it going all by herself. She doesn’t need us to command our lungs to breathe in and out. Or else, we’d have to stay up every night to keep ourselves alive. But that doesn’t mean you take this gift of Mother Nature for granted. You don’t know how many breaths you have in this life. But the way you breathe can influence how deeply you can experience this life.

How do you do that? By breathing consciously! In other words, doing pranayama. Most people think pranayama means doing some breath exercises that involve making funny noises with the breath and making waves with your abdominal muscles. However, the word ‘prana’ means life energy and ‘yama’ means to control. So pranayama means to control over your life energy. And what is the link that lets you tap into this life force energy? Your breath!

So let’s take a look at the 5 pranayama techniques you can do every day to take charge of your life.

1. For Detox – Kapalabhati Pranayama

So you went through our detox video and learned all about the detox power of fasting, enema, wet pack, and ash gourd juice. But even if you combine them all, they still can’t beat the detox power of breathing. That’s right! This fully automatic and totally free process of breathing helps remove over 70% of the toxins in your body. And Kapalabhati pranayama is the king of detox processes.

Kapalabhati, also known as the skull shining breath, can help properly drain the waste accumulated in your system. You may have often seen Baba Ramdev do it on TV. It oxygenates your deep tissues, organs, and glands throughout the body. It boosts your metabolism and reduces your belly fat.

Guided Kapalabhati pranayama

2. For Boosting Lung Capacity – Simha Kriya

What I love about Yoga is how all the teachings were already out there in Mother Nature for everyone to see. Someone just took the time to observe and apply them. One of the powerful pranayamas we borrowed from our animal friends is called Simha Kriya – the lion’s breath.

What do you do? You literally mimic the body, face, and breathing of a lion. During the pandemic, this proved to be one of the most powerful natural tools to boost oxygen levels and increase immunity. If you feel winded climbing up a few floors or jogging around your neighbourhood, prepare to say goodbye to these limitations.

This technique fully opens up your diaphragm muscles and expands the lungs so that you can maximize the volume of oxygen you take in. Don’t be surprised to see your lung capacity double within a few weeks of regular Simha Kriya practice.

Guided Simha Kriya practice

3. For Immunity – Anulom Vilom (with retention of breath)

This signature pranayama looks simple on the surface, but has the longest list of benefits. It harmonizes the two hemispheres of the brain and balances both the left and right energy channels. What happens then? Your body and mind experience are perfectly energized and relaxed at the same time.

Anulom Vilom increases your life span, sharpens your memory, improves digestive power, and increases efficiency of your internal organs. What’s the best part? You can do it anytime, anywhere. It requires no gap between meals to practice.

So the next time you get a 10-minute office break, why not reset your body and mind with this simple pranayama?

Guided Anulom Vilom (with retention)

4. For Cooling Down – Sheetali Pranayama

This is one of my go-to practices whenever I need to cool down my system. Whether it’s to recover from a fever, seeking relief on a hot summer day, or to cool down after an intensive workout, Sheetali pranayama is the real deal.

It’s like activating your own internal air conditioner by instantly decreasing your body temperature through your breath. Sheetali is also highly beneficial in protecting your endocrine system and controlling high BP.

Guided Sheetali pranayama

5. For Calmness – Bhramari

Want to drown out the stress and negativity in your head? Want to get your head buzzing with positivity? Then all you need is two minutes to do Bhramari pranayama.

This pranayama involves making the humming sound of a bee, which instantly calms down your mind. It soothes the nerves around your brain and forehead to free it from agitation, frustration, anger, and anxiety.

It improves concentration and memory and also gives quick relief for those suffering from headaches.

Guided Bhramari pranayama

Tell us which pranyama practices have you tried and how they worked for you in the comments below. If you want to learn more about pranayama, join us for our upcoming 21-day Yoga Challenge to set up your practice routine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like