Pranayama For A Healthy Life

Pranayama for me, is a workout for mental health. I have always been a hard core gym person. Regular strength training supported me to build physical strength. But during the pandemic, regular practice of Pranayama helped me de stress and regain the lost enthusiasm in life. 

As we know, International Yoga Day is celebrated on June 21 every year. Every year, I practice 108 Surya Namaskar to celebrate Yoga Day. But this year, I am happy that I would be able to do something different. 6 months back, I started practicing Pranayama regularly. Initially, it was difficult for me to even practice it for couple of minutes. In these six months, I can now practice various breathing exercises for 10 minutes. I have challenged myself this year, to practice it for 20 minutes and be mindful while practicing breath work. 

So, I thought about sharing the few basic Pranayama which have helped me in building immunity and brought great peace of mind during these uncertain times. 

What the does Pranayama mean? 

‘Prana’ means life energy and ‘Yama’ means control. Pranayama involves various breathing exercises and patterns. Pranayama coupled with Yogic Asanas have many health benefits. 

Practicing Pranayama helps in improving lung functioning, enhances cognitive performance, reduces stress and brings in mindfulness. I have greatly been benefitted so will share few breathing techniques which have helped me. 

Deep Breathing/Simple breathing technique: 

If you haven’t practiced any form of yoga or breathing techniques earlier, start with the basic breathing practice first. 

Steps of basic breathing exercise:
  1. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose. 
  2. Exhale slowly through your mouth. Try and double your counts while exhalation as compared to inhalation. 
  3. Repeat this breathing exercise at least thrice. 

Anulom Vilom: 

Anulom Vilom helps to master control over your breathing and calms your mind and body. It is very helpful to improve one’s overall well-being.

Steps Of Aunlom-Vilom:
  1. 1.Sit in a crossed legged position with the spine erect
  2. 2.Using your right hand, fold your middle and index fingers toward your palm.
  3. 3.Place your thumb on your right nostril and your ring finger on the left nostril.
  4. 4.Close your right nostril with your thumb and inhale through your left nostril, slowly and deeply, until your lungs are full. Focus on your breathing.
  5. 5.Next, release your thumb and close your left nostril with your ring finger.
  6. 6.Exhale slowly through the right nostril.
  7. 7.Now do it in reverse, this time inhaling through the right nostril and exhaling through the left.

Disclaimer: Consult your doctor if you have chronic respiratory and heart ailments before practising this asana. 

Kapalbhati Pranayama:

 Kapalbhati Pranayama aids in digestion, functioning of lungs and nervous system. It helps in absorption of nutrients.

Steps of Kapalbhati Pranayama: 
  1. 1.Sit in a crossed legged position with the spine erect
  2. 2.Arms to be placed on the thighs facing upwards and eyes closed
  3. 3.Take a deep breath
  4. 4.Breathe out forcefully and in the process pull your navel towards your spine. 
  5. 5.Feel the stretch in the stomach and then as you relax your stomach, air flows in.
  6. 6. Repeat the process. Focus on the exhalation. 
  7. 7. It is advised to do 20 breaths of Kapalbhati in round; ideally, practice three rounds at a sitting
  8. 8.After one round of 20 breaths, take a break to observe the sensations in your body.

Disclaimer: Practice these only after consulting an expert. People with High BP, heart ailments should not practice Kapalbhati.  It shouldn’t be practised during menstruation due to stretch on abdomen and by pregnant ladies. It is not advisable for people with backache and if have undergone any abdominal surgery. 

Bhastrika Pranayama:

Bhastrika Pranayama is a very effective breathing technique to pump in more oxygen in your body. The process of rapid inhalation and exhalation helps you feel energetic instantly. This practice helps in removing toxins and impurities. It helps in sinus and other respiratory issues. 

Steps to do Bhastrika Pranayama
  1. 1.Sit in cross-legged position for beginners, if you an advanced practitioner sit in Vajrasana.  (Pranayama can be more effective in vajrasana)
  2. 2.Makes a fist and fold your arms, placing them near your shoulders.
  3. 3.Inhale deeply, raise your hands straight up and open your fists.
  4. 4.Exhale slightly forcefully, bring your arms down next to your shoulders and close your fists.
  5. 5.Continue for 20 breaths.
  6. 6.Relax with palms on your thighs.
  7. 7.Take a few normal breaths.
  8. 8.Repeat again two more times. 


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Make sure you practice this on an empty stomach. 

Try and practice every breathing exercise thrice for best results. 

Disclaimer: Practice these only after consulting an expert. People with High BP should do it only in presence of an expert. Patients with heart ailments should consult their doctor before practicing. Pregnant ladies should avoid it. 

I hope you practise these Pranayama regularly and let me know how it helped you.

And if you are a yoga practitioner do share which Asanas and Pranayama have enhanced your mental and physical well being.

‘This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.’

10 thoughts on “Pranayama For A Healthy Life”

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  3. This couldn’t have come at a better time, Aesha. I am hoping to practice pranayama. But could you please tell me if it can be done at anytime of the day? Are evenings around 6-ish, okay? That’s when I regularly find time for a workout. 😛

  4. Pingback: Complete nutrition and exercise to build your immune response - Aesha's Musings

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