Pranayama, or the practice of controlled breathing, is unfortunately often overshadowed by the complexity and challenge of yogic asanas. Indeed, the most breathing is ever emphasized is in synchronizing breath with the asanas you practice. However, pranayamas can and should be practiced independently, as they have their own special set of benefits. Regular breathing practice has been associated not just with better oxygen intake, but also reduction in stress and blood sugar levels, and can help in inculcating discipline and bodily control. Pranayama can be practiced by virtually anyone and benefits all, but if you fall into one of these categories of people, you should especially consider this exercise –
- If You Are Going Through Stressful Times – We all have our ups and downs in life, but there are some situations that can get particularly hard, whether it be a new project at the job, the illness of a loved one, an important exam. Not only does stress block your productivity in the short run it also exhausts you in the long run and renders your body and immune system weak and thus vulnerable to illness and further stress. Pranayama exercises are easy to do and can be undertaken virtually anywhere, providing you a quick, effective, and free way to help you control your stress and protect both your health and your decision-making capabilities.
- If You Are A Sportsperson – To be a top-level athlete, you need your entire body to be in the best shape, which includes your lungs. Every sport, whether it be swimming, running, tennis and etc. requires you to effectively use your breathing to ensure that you keep getting the oxygen you need to fire up your body, and to prevent premature fatigue that can cost you your game. Pranayama practices can help you hone your respiratory system, enhancing your control, capacity, and endurance to help you excel in every sport you practice.
- If You Are A Singer – Whether you like belting out the old Bollywood goldies or rapping along to the latest western import, breathing through any song can be quite a task. With pranayama, you will be able to enhance your singing greatly by learning how to manage your breathing so that you can hit all the notes without feeling out of breath. Additionally, pranayama also helps to develop concentration and discipline, both of which are important to take up music as a serious passion.
- If You Are A Body Builder/ Fitness Enthusiast – Being at the pinnacle of your health does not mean you cannot benefit from pranayama. Traditional western fitness activities rarely enhance our respiratory capacity, but do expect a lot from it. With yogic breathing exercises, you will be able to step up your fitness, undertake longer and more challenging exercises, and do so without harming your body through lack of oxygen intake.
- If You Are A Risk-Taking Entrepreneur – All leaders in the field of business, ranging from novel entrepreneurs to established CEOs have one thing in common – the challenge of taking important decisions that can have big impacts. Such responsibility brings with it stress, and concentration and critical analysis of the situation becomes all the more important. Regular pranayama practices can keep the stress of the job at bay, while also helping decision-makers concentrate better on what’s important. Alongside, yogic breathing exercises will also provide you with the time to help gather your thoughts and reflect on them.
- If You Are A Daily Multi-tasker – Are you a freelancer, juggling multiple projects? Or maybe a homemaker balancing all your family’s needs? Breathing exercises can help you multitask effectively by reducing stress, enhancing concentration, and providing you with important self-care, introspective time that enables you to recharge and ensure that your own health is also prioritized. Easily practiced anywhere, pranayama can be your own portable medical kit.
- If You Are Studying Long Hours – Though it requires no physical activity, few things can drain you as much as a long study session can. Frustration and stress tend to build up, energy levels go down, and after a certain point, your brain may simply refuse to accept more information. In such cases, simple breathing exercises undertaken right at your table can give you the boost you need to power through the session with renewed energy and concentration, without the side effects products such as coffee and energy drinks produce.
Thus, if you need better lung capacity, are looking for a cost-effective stress-buster, seeking to enhance your physical performance, or need better concentration, pranayama practice is what you are looking for. Regularly undertaking these exercises will help you in all aspects of your life, in both health and productivity.