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Yoga Day 2021: 8 Types of Pranayama That Will Keep Your Body and Mind Healthy

(Representational Photo: Shutterstock)

(Representational Photo: Shutterstock)

Yoga Day 2021: "Prana" is breath or the vital energy in the body and on subtle levels, it represents the pranic energy responsible for life. Whereas "ayama" means control, so Pranayama basically means "Control of Breath"

“Prana" is breath or the vital energy in the body and on subtle levels, it represents the pranic energy responsible for life. Whereas “ayama" means control, so Pranayama basically means “Control of Breath".

Yoga Day 2021 is around the corner and fitness enthusiasts around the globe are gearing up for the big day. Yoga has several difficult asanas like sirsasana, kakasana, halasana, gandha bherundasana, garudasana, vasisthasana, and sirsa padasana. But one of the easiest and most effective among all is pranayama.

“Prana" is breath or the vital energy in the body and on subtle levels, it represents the pranic energy responsible for life. Whereas “ayama" means control, so Pranayama basically means “Control of Breath".

It is believed that an individual with the help of pranayama can control the rhythms of pranic energy and hence, achieve a healthy body and mind. For all the pranic activities, five types of pranas are responsible. These include prana, apana, udana, vyan, and samana. Though all five have their benefits, Prana (upward flowing) and Apana (downward flowing) are considered most important.

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Practicing pranayama helps one achieve balance in the activities of these pranas, resulting in a healthy, stable body and mind.

There are a total of 8 types of pranayama:

Dirga Pranayama ‘Three Part Breath’: Considered as one of the best pranayama for beginners, Dirga Pranayama makes an individual used to filling up lungs and meditatively breathing. It has been named ‘Three Part Breath’ because when one practices it, he/she actively breathes into three different parts of the abdomen.

Nadi Sodhana ‘Alternate Nostril Breathing’: Popularly known as ‘alternate nostril breathing’, this pranayama helps to bring balance in the three doshas of the human — the mind, body, and soul. Beginners are widely taught this pranayama.

Shitali Pranayama ‘Cooling Breath’: Yoga enthusiasts practice this pranayama during summers the most. It appears to be a very refreshing breathing technique, hence it got the name ‘cooling breath’.

Ujjayi Pranayama ‘Ocean Breath’: It is a quiet common breathing technique in current society’s yoga classes. In the Ocean Breath pranayama, one is supposed to recreate the sound of ocean waves. This rhythmic sound helps a person to focus on his mind and movement using their breath.

Bhramari Pranayama ‘Humming Bee Breath’: As the name suggests, this breathing activity should be practiced by creating sounds like a humming bee.

Bhastrika Pranayama ‘Bellows Breath’: The pranayama appears to be difficult because both the inhale and exhale are forceful in this particular breathing technique. But regular practice will make you a master of the Bellows Breath pranayama.

Viloma Pranayama ‘Against The Wave’: This breathing technique involves an alternation. It is divided into two variations, which are - paused inhalation and paused exhalation.

Kapalabhati Pranayama ‘Skull Shining Breath’ & ‘Breath Of Fire’:  Kapalabhati Pranayama is used as a warm-up in yoga. This breathing technique is practiced with involuntary deep inhalation and forceful exhalation.

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