8 Powerful Techniques For Transforming Your Health With Your Breath

By Truth | The Healers Journal

How would you like to live a more peaceful, calm, happy and balanced life?  What if I told you that in order to achieve this, all you need to do is spend 15 minutes per day breathing in a simple, rhythmic manner?  Could you find the time?  For thousands of years, powerful Pranayamic (Sanskrit: “extension of the life force”) breathing techniques have been developed and refined by master yogis and spiritual teachers in Central Asia which enable those who practice them consistently to develop rapid expansion of consciousness as well as increased control over the physical body and the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response).  These profound, yet simple techniques were kept largely secret as they were deemed far too powerful for the masses due to their propensity for accelerating spiritual growth and pyschic powers (yes, psychic powers).

Whether you believe in them or not it beside the point because the fact is that these techniques do, in fact, stimulate our endogenous psychic powers.  While this may sound tantalizing, and on some level it is, the truth is that with the development of the higher psychic centers and the associated Chakras, great discipline is needed.  For example, many of the following breathing techniques stimulate our creative abilities to manifest our thoughts– oftentimes very quickly and powerfully.  If you have not achieved a level of mastery over your own mind where you are primarily free from lower vibrational thought patterns such as judgement, jealousy, shame, poverty consciousness, general negativity and so on, you are liable to amplify and manifest these qualities with much greater force and scale into your life.  This can wreak havoc for those who are not adequately prepared and is a very real pitfall/caveat on this path.  However, for those who have achieved a high level of mental discipline, these techniques can rapidly accelerate spiritual growth.  You have been warned, caveat emptor.

The Pranayamic breathing techniques work by purifying, strengthening and refining consciousness and the Nadis (I’ll explain these in a second) via various methods designed to stimulate various Chakras and subtle energy centers.  The Nadis are a network of 72,000 ‘energy channels’ which carry subtle energy (read: Chi, Prana, Life force, Manna, etc.) throughout the body.  These energy channels converge at central points throughout the body which are known as Chakras.  Essentially Pranayamic breathing techniques clear blockages in your Chakras and Nadis and amplify the subtle energy flowing through them, which produces powerful, transformative effects on our nervous system and consciousness.

Pranayama is ideally practiced early in the morning or late at night, however, if you cannot practice at these times, practicing whenever you are able is better than nothing at all.

Remember: The key to reaping the great benefits of Pranayamic breathing techniques is consistency of practice.   In order to experience the true effects of these exercises, one needs to practice them daily.

The descriptions below focus primarily on the physical benefits of Pranayama, which are equally as impressive as their subtle, psychic counterparts.  For detailed descriptions of the complete benefits (physical and psychic) of these and many more ancient Pranayama techniques, I recommend the book Kundalini Tantra by Swami Satyananda Saraswati.  It is an incredible, encyclopedic manual for higher consciousness and spiritual development written by one of the foremost spiritual masters of our time, Swami Satyananda Saraswati.

Read more about the book: Kundalini Tantra by Swami Satyananda Saraswati on Amazon.com

The Techniques

CHANDRABHEDAN

Method

  1. Sit in a meditative pose or in a comfortable position on the floor.
  2. Keep your back straight and shoulders relaxed.
  3. Close your right nostril with right hand thumb.
  4. Inhale from the left nostril.
  5. Close the left nostril with the right hand index and middle fingers.
  6. Exhale from the right nostril.

This completes one round of Chandrabhedan pranayama. You can gradually do up to 20 rounds.

Benefit

Chandrabhedan cools the body and cures heartburn.

Contradictions

Avoid this pranayama if you suffer from low blood pressure. Note: This pranayama is to be done only during summer.

SURYABHEDAN


Method

  1. Sit in a meditative pose or in a comfortable posture.
  2. Close your left nostril with your index and middle finger of the right hand.
  3. Inhaling from your right nostril.
  4. Close the right nostril with your right hand thumb.
  5. Exhale through the left nostril.

This completes one round of Suryabhedan pranayama. You can gradually do up to 20 rounds.

Benefits of Suryabhedan

  • Increases body heat and energy levels
  • Improves digestion
  • Purifies blood
  • Delays ageing.

Contraindications

  • Avoid doing this pranayama if you suffer from acidity, hypertension or heart problems.
  • It is to be done only during winter.

ANULOM-VILOM

Method

  1. Sit in a comfortable balanced meditative pose.
  2. Use the right hand thumb to close your right nostril.
  3. Inhale from the left nostril.
  4. Close your left nostril with your right hand’s index and middle fingers
  5. Exhale from the right nostril.
  6. Do the reverse: inhale with the right nostril.
  7. Close your right nostril with your right hand thumb.
  8. Exhale with the left nostril.

This is one round of anulom-vilom pranayama.

Benefits

Anulom-Vilom aids in:

  • Balancing body temperature
  • Relieving stress
  • Cleansing the nadis in your body
  • Improving blood circulation
  • Promoting longevity.

Remember

While practising this pranayama, you must breathe into your lungs and not into your stomach. It can be done the year round and by every one.

BHASTRIKA

Method

  1. Sit in a meditative pose or in a comfortable position on the floor.
  2. Keep the back straight and shoulder muscles relaxed.
  3. Close the right nostril with your right thumb and bring your right elbow to the level of right shoulder.
  4. Close your eyes. Inhale and exhale through left nostril—first slowly, then a little faster
  5. Do the above steps about 20 – 25 times.
  6. Take a long breath in and retain it for as long as possible

This is one round of bhastrika pranayama. Now, repeat this round by closing your left nostril and breathing through your right nostril.

Benefits

This pranayama:

  • Releases toxins from the body
  • Reduces excess fat
  • Enhances digestion
  • Regulates the nervous system
  • Purifies blood.

Contradictions

Avoid practising bhastrika pranayama if you suffer from hypertension, heart/lung complications or hernia. Weak persons [people with some illness or a low stamina] should avoid doing this pranayama too often.

UJJAYI

Method

  1. Sit erect in a comfortable posture.
  2. Inhale slowly and deeply through both nostrils.
  3. Hold your breath for as long as possible.
  4. Exhale slowly with a whispering sound, contracting the air passage.

This is a single round of ujjayi pranayama. You can start by doing 2 – 3 rounds.

Benefits

Ujjayi pranayama:

  • Strengthens the vocal cord
  • Stimulates the thyroid gland
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Eases diseases of the lungs, chest and throat.

Contradictions

Avoid doing this pranayama if you suffer from cardiac problems.

SHEETALI

Method

  1. Sit in a comfortable position.
  2. Close your eyes and relax your whole body with normal breathing
  3. Put the tongue on the lower lip and try to roll the tongue.
  4. Inhale deeply from the mouth.
  5. Retain your breath for as long as possible.
  6. Close the mouth slowly and exhale through the nose.

This is one round of sheetali pranayama. You can start by doing 2 – 3 rounds, and gradually go up to 15 rounds.

Benefits

Sheetali pranayama:

  • Cools the body
  • Cures acidity and hypertension
  • Relieves indigestion and disorders of the bile
  • Improves health of eyes and skin
  • Cures tonsillitis.

Contradictions

This pranayama is not recommended during winters. People suffering from a heavy cold must avoid shitali pranayama.

SHEETKARI

Method

  1. Sit in a meditative pose or in a comfortable posture on the floor
  2. Keep the back straight and shoulders relaxed
  3. Place hands on the knees, fingers relaxed and eyes closed
  4. Join lower and upper teeth
  5. Fix front portion of the tongue against the front teeth and the rest of the tongue on the palate
  6. Separate the lips and inhale from the mouth making a chilling sound
  7. Retain your breath for as long as possible
  8. Exhale through both nostrils

This is one round of sheetkari pranayama.

Benefits

Sheetkari pranayama cools the body and keeps teeth and gums healthy.

Contradictions

Avoid this pranayama if you suffer from low blood pressure.

BHRAMARI

Method

  1. Sit in a meditative pose or in a comfortable position on the floor.
  2. Keep your back straight, shoulders muscles relaxed and eyes closed.
  3. Close both your ears with the index fingers of both hands.
  4. Raise your elbows to the level of your shoulders.
  5. Inhale deeply.
  6. Retain your breath for as long as possible.
  7. Exhale slowly making a buzzing sound like that of a bee.

Benefits

This pranayama:

  • Calms the body
  • Relieves stress
  • Makes the voice pleasant and melodious
  • Strengthens vocal cords
  • Cures diseases of the throat
  • Increases concentration.

Pranayamic Technique Descriptions Courtesy of Complete Wellbeing


Submit your comment

Please enter your name

Please enter a valid email address

Please enter your message

The Healers Journal © 2014 All Rights Reserved