When our Chakra is out of balance or depleted of it’s energy, you tend to feel lethargic, emotionally unstable and are more susceptible to illnesses. One way to revitalize your body could be through Chakra breathing exercises. These Chakra breathing techniques that you’ll learn are also taught in Yoga practices and meditations.
Prana – Vital Life Force
The Sanskrit word Pranayama refers to the art of regulated breathing which is the source of our vital life force – Prana. Understanding pranayama is the most important concept in practicing yoga, meditation or any form of self-healing. For practitioners who are able to regulate their breathing are able to promote physical and mental wellbeing – revitalizing their soul and re-energizing their body. Pranayama breathing techniques are also often used to induce stress relief and relaxation.
There is a common perception that there are only two stages to breathing, which is inhaling and exhaling. However in pranayama teaching, the retention of breath (Kumbhaka) is very important as breathing is a process of taking in vital energy and removing waste products from our mind and body.
Pranayama – Deep Slow Breathing
Pranayama breathing techniques consist of four different steps:
- Inhalation (Puraka): This is the first stage of breathing where fresh air is being brought into the lungs. Delivering vital life-forces, prana, into your body.
- Breath Retention (Kumbhaka): After inhalation, pranayama teachings require you to retain the air in the lungs for a period of time before proceeding to exhalation. This breath retention should be effortless and natural just like how you would hold your breath.
- Exhalation (Rechaka): In this stage of exhalation, air is expulse out of your body in a smooth and relaxing way.
- Pause After Exhalation (Kumbhaka): Pause after exhalation, before inhaling and entering into a new breath cycle.
Regular pranayama practice can benefit practitioners both physically and emotionally. Deep slow breathing is a sure cure against tension, aches and pains as it relaxes your body and restores your energy level. Slow conscious breathing also helps practitioners find peace, promote feelings of calmness and reduce anxiety levels in difficult times.
Everyone can breathe but most people don’t realize that they are not getting their best out of each breath resulting in less-optimal health over the long term. However, it is never too late to learn the art of breathing.
For beginners, it is highly recommended that you practice daily. The more time you spend practicing, the more you reap out of it. Early morning pranayama practice is the best but never do it on a full stomach. However, it is not recommended to practice it too close to bedtime as this breathing exercise can be too exhilarating.
Pranayama can be practiced anywhere, as long as you are able to find yourself a quiet corner. Once you are more proficient, you’ll be able to practice pranayama anywhere you go. Finding calmness through pranayama is an enriching experience and it can the way you perceive life.
There are many pranayama postures which require certain seated Yoga poses, asanas, and hand gestures, mudras. As a beginner, it is acceptable to be seated in a comfortable position. The most common kind of posture used to practice pranayama is the Seated Yoga Pose – Sukhasana.
Always remember that pranayama is more than just breathing. It is breathing with greater consciousness to invite the flow of prana into your whole being. There are many different types of Chakra breathing techniques that you can employ to nurture you back to optimum health. They come in different variation, seating position, hand gestures and mantras. Experiment with the different types of Chakra breathing techniques and find one that is works well with you.
Full Yogic Breathing – Chakra Breathing Techniques #1
In order to achieve full yogic breathing, you need to learn to breathe with your diaphragm and intercostal muscles in your chest. Inhale slowly until your stomach is full and your chest rise with air. Next, exhale slowly, emptying the air from your upper chest area first and followed by the air from your stomach. Through this process of exhalation, you’ll first be able to see your chest fall and subsequently feel that concave feeling in your stomach. This is considered to be one full round of yogic breathing. Repeat for another 10 rounds.
Alternate Nostril Breathing (Anuloma Viloma) – Chakra Breathing Techniques #2
Anuloma Viloma is a breathing technique where you are required to inhale through one nostril, retain your breath and exhale it through the other nostrils. The right nostrils links to the path of the Nadi (Energy Channel) called Pingala which activates the left side of the brain while the left nostrils links to the mirroring path of the Nadi called Ida which activates the right side of the brain.In pranayama teachings, this exercise produces optimum function of both sides of the brains which helps with creativity and logical thinking. As a result, this leads to a balance between a person’s creative and logical thinking. Many practitioners consider this to be the best technique for calming the mind and the nervous system. Repeat this exercise for about 10 times to reap the full benefits.
Skull Shining (Kapalabhati) – Chakrea Breathing Techniques #3
Kapalabhati is a powerful breathing exercise which not only help you with detoxification, it also bring balance into your life. The Sankrit phrase, Kapalabhati, when translated refers to a “shining forehead” which is used as an indicator to determine the health of a practitioner. To get started, sit comfortably with your spine erect. Place one hand on your knees with palms open facing the sky and the other hand on your abdomen.
Take a deep breath in and slow exhale. As you exhale, empty your stomach and pull your navel towards your spine while keeping your hand on your stomach to feel the contraction of the abdominal muscles. (Instead of forcing a muscle contraction, do it to the best of your ability and make sure you feel comfortable.) As you release the contraction of your abdominal muscles, air starts flowing into your lungs. Take 20 of such breaths to complete one round of Kapalabhati. Take a short break before continuing for another one or two round.
Skull shining breathing technique is:
- Effective against weight loss as it increases your metabolic rate.
- Helps to clear the path of Nadis (Energy Channels).
- Improves blood circulation around the body and add radiance to the face.
- Results in a firmer midsection.
However, avoid skull shining breathing technique when:
- You have a slip disc.
- You have undergone any abdominal surgery before.
- During or shortly after pregnancy.
- You have hypertension or heart problems.