Pranayam – Controlled Breathing

Pranayam is based on the concept that breath is the source of life in the human body and when it is controlled, it makes the body disease free and prepares the mind for a higher awareness leading to Meditation. Thus when an individual attains this meditating state he finds the door to his Inner Soul or Sukshama Sharira. It is only by practicing Yog everyday that the seven Nerve Centers (chakras) are activated in our body. Three main nadis: Ida, Pingala and Sushumna – connect these chakras to the brain.

The seven chakras are:

Muladhara Chakra Sacral/ Coccygeal Plexus
Swadhisthana Chakra Hypogastric or Lumbar Plexus
Manipura Chakra Solar/ Coelic Plexus
Heart Chakra and Anahat Chakra Cardiac Pleaxus
Vishuddhi Chakra Cervical Plexus
Ajna Chakra Hypothalmus
Shahshrara Chakra Brain

Posture – Sit in a comfortable position either on the floor or on a chair. Close your eyes to increase concentration. Do not strain yourself. Breath into your lungs from the diaphragm upwards and do not perform abdominal breathing.

Mudras – are the developed form of Yog Asans. The five fingers in our hand represent the five elements, such as, Thumb – Fire, Index Finger – Air, Middle Finger – Space/Ether, Ring Finger – Earth, and Little Finger – Water. These five elements control the internal glands, body parts, and their functions. The body remains healthy, if the five elements are in balance. Mudras generate powers to provide all around development of mind and body. Some Prominent Mudras are: Gyan Mudra, Apana Mudra, Vayu Mudra, Apana Vayu Mudra, Surya Mudra, Varuna Mudra, Adi Mudra, and Linga Mudra.

Below is a set of Pranayam exercises and their timing/ frequencies as recommended for the beginners:

1. Bhastrika 5 mins 2 cycles
2. KapalBhati 5 mins 3 cycles
3. Bhaha Pranayam 3 times
4. Agnikshar Kriya 3 times
5. Ujjai 5 times
6. Anulom-Vilom 5 mins 2 cycles
7. Bhramri 5 times
8. Udgith 5 times
9. Pranav 2 mins
Note: Include Sheetali and Sheetkari Pranayam for an added benefit.