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PRANAYAMA MEDITATION: BREATHING TO RELIEVE STRESS




With this pranayama meditation at home, you will have the opportunity to work with your breathing to reach deeper states of serenity. Sometimes the best medicine is simply to breathe quietly. By reserving a time and place dedicated to this practice, you open the door to peace in your daily life. At first, it can be difficult to establish a routine.


Although, five minutes a day of pranayama meditation is enough to have a profound effect on your quality of life.Pranayama is an ancient breathing practice that explores a variety of breathing techniques to achieve deep states of relaxation. In yogic philosophy, it is believed that by controlling your breathing, you can have greater control of your mind and thoughts which can help you better manage stress and achieve greater inner peace.


Whether by lengthening, deepening, narrowing, restricting, or alternating your breathing, you can work through any mental, emotional, or spiritual obstacle.



“Pranayama not only means "breath control," but it is also the controlled expansion of life energy. It is not the suppression of breathing, which would be harmful, but rather it is about coming into contact with the higher sources of prana.- Dr. David Frawley

BENEFITS OF PRANAYAMA


There are many benefits of pranayama for the entire mind-body-spirit system.


1. Induces relaxationBreathing techniques have been found to promote healthy production of melatonin, which induces a state of calm and relaxation.


2. Relieves stressStudies have found that it helps turn on the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and reflect) and turn off the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight), resulting in profound relief from stress and worry.


3. Improves attention.One moves away from external stimuli and distractions to focus on breathing and develop the ability to regain concentration and manage stressful situations


4. Supports respiratory healthPranayama has been shown to strengthen the respiratory system by increasing lung capacity and regulating lung function.


5. Increases energyThe ancient practice of breathing has also been shown to be energizing and revitalizing, reducing feelings of tiredness at the same time. This is especially true for the techniques of kapalabhati and bhastrika.


PRANAYAMA MEDITATION AT HOME


The best time to practice this pranayama meditation at home is in the morning, on an empty stomach. Alternatively, you can practice in the afternoon, also on an empty stomach, at least 3 hours after your last meal, perhaps before dinner around sunset. This practice can last 15 minutes or as long as an hour, depending on how many breaths you choose in a given technique and how much time you spend meditating between techniques.


*If you are pregnant or have any underlying illness, consult your doctor before trying pranayama. Also, if you are a beginner, it is recommended to first practice with a certified professional before practicing on your own at home.


1: THE ENVIRONMENT Consciously find a comfortable and quiet space in your home. If possible, reserve a room, space, or corner dedicated to your meditation practice. This helps inspire and encourage your practice, giving it a real and tangible place in your life. If space does not allow, a special blanket or cushion that you use regularly can help set the mood and anchor a caring space that supports your practice. If you wish, you can light a toxic-free candle to elevate the atmosphere to an even more special place.


2: THE POSTURE To practice pranayama, it is best to sit with your legs crossed on the floor and your back straight. You can use a wall for support, sit on a meditation cushion, or even sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your knees at a 90-degree angle. Hands can rest gently on your knees, palms facing up (to open your energy) or facing down (to ground your energy). Normally, the eyes are closed, although you can keep them gently open and look at one point if you prefer. Make sure your shoulders, abdomen, and forehead are relaxed.


3: OBSERVING NATURAL BREATHING Now that you are sitting in your space, begin to observe your mind and your natural breathing without judgment. Don't try to alter your breathing, just observe it lovingly in its natural state. If thoughts or worries arise during this time, observe them lovingly instead of getting bogged down or carried away by them, and allow them to pass like clouds in the sky. Then, observe your breathing again. It is completely normal for thoughts to arise, so be kind and patient with yourself as this is an integral part of the practice. 2-5 minutes.


4: TECHNIQUE 1: DEEP BELLY BREATHING (ADHAM PRANAYAMA) Now we will start with deep belly breathing. First, place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Then, inhale through your nose on four counts and allow your belly to expand (1, 2, 3, 4). Now exhale through your nose with your lips together for four more counts, allowing your belly to contract (1, 2, 3, 4). Your chest should be relaxed and not expanding, while your abdomen should rise and fall. The idea is that the air reaches the lower lobes of the lungs. Continue for 5-10 breaths and then rest and observe the sensation.


5: OCEAN BREATHING (UJJAYI PRANAYAMA) Next, we will begin with the ujjayi breath, or ocean breath. Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale through your nose with your mouth closed and throat slightly constricted to create a sound similar to ocean waves, as if you were trying to fog up a mirror. This will create a sound reminiscent of ocean waves that is extremely relaxing for the mind and body. Be careful not to squeeze your throat at any time, simply constrict subtly until you create an oceanic sound. Continue for 5-10 breaths and then rest and observe the sensation.


6: BREATH (BHRAMARI PRANAYAMA)

We now move on to the bumblebee's breathing. We will gently close both ears with the index fingers, using the ear cartilage connected to the cheek. Close your eyes, if they are not already closed. Inhale deeply through your nose and then, activating the back of your throat, make a soft hum, low or high-pitched, although high-pitched tends to give better results. This is a great technique to block out external stimuli and create a calming vibration in the body. Continue for 5-10 breaths and then rest and observe the sensation.


7 CHANNELS PURIFYING BREATH (NADI SHODHANA PRANAYAMA) Cleansing channel breathing, also known as alternate-nostril breathing, helps balance the body's subtle energies. To begin, place your thumb over your right nostril and your ring and little fingers over your left nostril, unblocked. The index and middle fingers may be bent or rest gently in the space between the eyebrows. First, take a deep inhalation and exhale completely. Then:1. Block the right nostril with your thumb and inhale through the left nostril.2. Block the left nostril with the ring and little fingers, and exhale through the right nostril.3. Inhale through the right nostril, block the right nostril, and exhale through the left nostril.4. Repeat 5 to 10 cycles and make sure to end with an exhale through the left nostril.5. Rest and observe the sensation.


8: BREATH OF FIRE (KAPALABHATI) We will finish with kapalabhati, or breathing of fire. You may want to skip this technique before bed or in the afternoon, as it tends to be quite energizing. Additionally, this technique should not be performed by people who are pregnant, have hypertension or cardiovascular disease, or have recently had major surgery. To do it, inhale quickly and deeply with medium intensity, expanding your belly. Then, without pausing, use your diaphragm to forcefully exhale at medium intensity while your belly contracts. Use your diaphragm to help you with each inhalation and exhalation. Start slowly, pick up the pace as much as you want as long as you feel comfortable. If you're a beginner, start with 15 cycles and work your way up to 30 or more, then rest and observe the sensation.


9. CLOSING OF THE PRACTICE To close your practice, slowly begin to move your fingers and toes, gently open your eyes, and honor yourself and your practice by bringing both hands to your heart or in a prayer position, and bow. Enjoy the calm and keep this awareness with you throughout the day.


In colaboration with India Veda.



Gabriela Ana / Luz Infinita

Holistic Health Coach

+34 604 398 948






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GABRIELA ANA

Health Coach

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