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Pranayama (Breathing exercise)

In Yoga exercise (and in other exercise as well), the art of inhaling and exhaling maybe a little complicated than we think.

We often hear our teacher saying inhale and exhale in every poses. While it is but natural to breathe, we normally find ourselves holding our breath most especially in the most difficult asanas.

Pranayama or Breathing exercise is very important in the Yoga exercise as it promotes proper breathing. The Yogis realized the importance of an adequate oxygen supply thousands of years ago that is why they developed and perfected various Breathing Techniques that will help to revitalize the mind and the body.

There’s quite a few breathing exercise that Yogis has developed and two of my favorites is the Ujjeye breathing and Bhastrika because of the good benefits it creates physically and mentally.

Ujjeye breathing, also known as victoria’s breath is the inhalation and exhalation through the nose while the mouth is close. When doing the Ujjeye breathing, the throat should be constricted creating a sound while inhaling and exhaling and breathing should be equal. Why do I like this breathing exercise? It eases depression, insomnia and stress. It also strengthens vocal cords so it’s good for aspiring singers.

Bhastrika breathing, also known as bellows breath is the forceful inhalation and exhalation through the nose. When doing the Bhastrika, hands should be pressing the ribs to feeling the expansion on the sides. Bhastrika helps to throw out toxins and cures illness of respiratory track. It also helps to keep negative thoughts away and creates abs!!!!

While it may be hard to maintain our breath when doing exercise, we must not forget to breathe out!! Holding a breath increases pressure inside the chest (which is good for stability), but holding it too long can impede the return of blood to the heart and raise blood pressure.

Rule of thumb — when in doubt , just breathe….

Rola Angelica De Vera