Pranayama to improve your immunity in this pandemic

By Akhil Gore

Pranayama is the practice of breath control in yoga. In modern yoga as exercise, it consists of synchronising the breath with movements between asanas, but is also a distinct breathing exercise on its own, usually practised after asanas.

1. BHRAMARI

This pranayama derives its name from the Bhramari, the black Indian bee. The exhalation resembles the typical humming sound of a bee!

What it does

It can calm your mind down instantly and is one of the best breathing exercises to distress as it rids the mind of frustration, anxiety, anger or agitation.

Do it

Close your ears with your thumbs and place your index fingers on the temple. Close eyes with the other three fingers. Gently inhale through the nose and hold for a few seconds. Keeping the mouth closed, exhale by making a humming sound.

2. KAPALBHATHI

Known as the skull shining breathing technique, this strong deep breathing exercise is synonymous with Baba Ramdev for most of us!

What it does

This pranayama can improve the functioning of all abdominal organs, reduces belly fat, lead to quick weight loss and balances sugar levels in your body.

Do it

This breathing technique involves passive inhalation and active exhalation. So inhale normally, breathing in as much air as you can, and exhale forcefully. Try and pull your stomach muscles as closely as you can towards the backbone during exhalation.

Reps Perform for 2-5 minutes

3. ANULOM-VILOM

Also known as Nadi Shdodhana (alternate nostril breathing)

What it does

This pranayama helps normalise blood pressure, aids in blood purification, reduced risk of heart disease and can also improve sight.

Do it

Close your eyes and sit in Padmasana. Use the right thumb to close the right nostril. Inhale slowly through the left nostril, taking in as much air as you can to fill your lungs. Remove the thumb from your right nostril and exhale. While exhaling, use the middle finger to close your left nostril and inhale with our right nostril. Remove the thumb from the right nostril and exhale.

Reps Perform for 2-5 minutes

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