Pranayama – this refers to the bringing together of body and mind through breathing exercises. Abdominal breathing is the key to the success of many yoga exercises. From conscious breathing, you can draw a healing power. How you, too, can experience the beneficial effects of pranayama is explained here.
Healing Through Relaxation: The Right Breathing Makes It Possible.
Breathing may not sound like something you need to practice. Our nervous system automatically takes over this process anyway – this may be true, but we lose sight of our body’s vital function. When was the last time you breathed consciously? Many people find this problematic.
But you can consciously influence your well-being through your breathing—and oppressive chest breathing results from tense situations: Stress, an exam, errands. Whatever is causing you mental distress – if you consciously control your breathing, you can turn negative feelings into positive ones!
To not let the wrong breathing become a normal state, you can practice relaxed, loose abdominal breathing. In this way, you will also have better control over stressful situations. To stimulate your prana – but what exactly is that again? Prana is also known as air, oxygen or energy – in principle, it stands for the life essence that makes all movements, every thought, and life possible. So this is how you will find your way to strength & harmony.
Pranayama: The Effect on the Body
Relaxed breathing looks like this inside of you:
- The diaphragm contracts,
- it pushes your abdominal organs and the abdominal wall forward
- so that the air can flow optimally through the trachea.
By pushing the abdominal organs against the diaphragm, the diaphragm can relax. It sinks far back into the chest. This is precisely the point at which the air can be pushed out of the lungs without barriers. This is how you can find your way to liberated breathing.
Beginners: How to Perform Abdominal Breathing Correctly
In this beginner’s exercise, we will show you how exactly you can train this process:
- Position yourself in an upright posture. Your back and head are kept as straight as possible; your shoulders hang down loosely. Alternatively, you can lie with your back on the floor and place your hands and arms to the sides.
- Close your eyes, and place one hand on your stomach. Your middle finger should rest on the navel, the other hand on the sternum.
- Now try to breathe consciously and slowly into your stomach. Your abdominal wall should move as you do so. At first, you may only see this in the upper or middle part of your abdomen, but this will change over time. Your sternum will remain mostly unmoved.
- Breathe gently and attentively. Increase to deeper and slower abdominal breathing. Relax more and more. So do not breathe into the abdomen by force, but remain relaxed.
- You decide when you breathe in and out. Just follow your feelings.
- Ideally, a deep calm will come over you. Then your abdomen should be wholly and gently moved from the solar plexus to your genitals.
- Do this exercise between 10 and 20 minutes.
Advanced: This Is How Advanced Pranayama Is Achieved
If the beginner’s exercise seems too easy, you can improve your skills by trying the following advanced pranayama exercise:
- The starting position is straight again, no matter whether you are sitting or lying down.
- Let go of your shoulders and all the muscles that are not actively needed at this moment.
- Now concentrate again on your abdominal wall and breathe. Always more profound and more relaxed.
- Now rely on your imagination – every time you breathe in, imagine how you absorb new strength and energy. As you exhale, you send love and light.
- The mental image is an aid to this. Recall the words in such a way that they are clear in your mind. Inhale Power & Energy. Exhale light & love. Do this for about 10 breaths, even longer if it feels good.
- This is also where the light press breathing comes into play. This helps relieve tension in your abdomen: gently press the breath into your abdomen – your abdominal wall will bulge outwards. As soon as you breathe in, you will have a round belly.
- When you breathe out, the abdominal wall moves inwards again.
- This exercise allows you to relax your stomach fundamentally.
- Afterwards, you immediately continue with the gentle abdominal breathing – now, you no longer consciously move your abdominal wall.
The best thing is to take 1-2 times a day to concentrate on these techniques for 10-15 minutes. You will see how you can find more strength, liveliness, but above all, relaxation through pranayama!
The great added value of pranayama lies in the lasting feeling of well-being that you can experience. Through pranayama, you will enjoy not only short-term relaxation but also long-term liberation. After the time, you will breathe into your stomach automatically – it is all a form of exercise and habit. Through relaxed abdominal breathing, you will naturally work on healing and positivity!