Types of Pranayama
There are about 50 types of Pranayama originally described in the Shastras. However, the mentors and health experts recommend practicing the following major nine pranayama types to acquire immense health benefits:
The pranayama focuses on full force Rechaka wherein the practitioner’s complete focus is fixed on Rechaka. The breath is exhaled with full force and the stomach is squeezed inwards thereafter, it reaches the Pooraka state wherein the belly regains its original position.
The navel region is considered as the centre of fire element. This is crucial for assimilation of consumed food. Soon after the food is digested, the heat energy directs nutritive juices to all parts of the body. Any malfunction in heat energy production affects functioning of the digestive system resulting disorders such as acidity, indigestion, gastric problems etc. Hence, you must activate the energy centre regularly. The pranayama does that for you.
This pranayama is all about inhaling and exhaling completely to help body get maximum amount of oxygen.
Ujjayi is a diaphragmatic breath. It fills the lower belly (activating the first and second chakras), rises to the lower rib cage (the third and fourth chakras), and then finally moves into the upper chest and throat.
Bhramari pranayama calms the mind down. It is also known as one of the best breathing exercises to release the mind of negativities such as anger, agitation, frustration or anxiety. This can be practiced anywhere at work or home to de-stress mind and body. The exhalation in this pranayama resembles the typical humming sound of a bee and hence the name.
Nadi Shodhana Pranayama
This is a breathing technique that helps keep the mind calm, happy and peaceful. It also releases accumulated tension and fatigue. As the name suggests, it clear out blocked energy channels in the body.
The word “sheetali” is derived from the original word “Sheetal” which is soothing or cold. The practice of sheetali breathing calms the mind, reduces the stress or fight – flight response. It cools the body and mind. Sheetali breathing reduces the body temperature with a positive effect on the endocrine glands and nervous system. One can become young and attractive by practicing this pranayama.
This is a breathing technique that involves hissing leading to a cooling effect upon the whole body.
Surya Bhedan Pranayama
Surya Bhedana pranayama is a technique of balancing pingala. The air is inhaled through the left nostril and exhaled through the left.