14 Types of Pranayams & Their Significance to Health

Types Of Pranayams

Life in the modern age is very fast, and with changing lifestyle, there is a drastic observable change which we can notice in our lives. Stress, tension, work pressure, failed relationships, unhealthy eating habits, sluggishness towards work, all have become a part of our daily routine. As a result of which people face high blood pressure, mental disturbance, cardiac problems, digestive system problems and miserable family life.

So there is an utmost need to pause our lives for a moment and let all our worries get away. As it is rightly said that we become what we think, so to think aptly is very much needed. Pranayama helps us to regulate our breathing which in turn controls our lives thus bringing a positive change in our lives.

Pranayama is a combination of 2 words; Prana means “Breath” and Ayama means “Control.” Even simple breathing patterns can have a powerful impact on our lives. So, check out the following breathing exercises for a healthy body. 

1. Natural Breathing

Natural Breathing

Natural breathing is a simple breathing exercise where all you have to do is breathe normally with both your nostrils. Inhale and exhale with as much speed as you can. You can even do it for as long as you feel like doing it. It helps your body to relax.

2. Basic Abdominal Breathing

Abdominal Breathing

Abdominal Breathing is a type of breathing exercise where you are required to lie down on your yoga mat and breathe. Feel your breath, as you inhale your abdomen area should rise while it should flatten as you exhale. Keep a check on the breath as there should be a minimal moment of your chest. You will feel a sense of calmness after practising Abdominal Breathing Pranayama. Shoulder movement should be minimised.

3. Thoracic Breathing

Thoracic Breathing

Thoracic breathing is a type of pranayama where the involvement of your abdominal area is minimised and is replaced by engaging your chest. This breathing technique requires more energy as compared to abdominal breathing. It lowers stress, tension and helps the body to obtain more oxygen.

4. Clavicular Breathing

This type of breathing involves the movement of the shoulder and your clavicle area(collarbone) to rise when you inhale while keeping the rest of the body motionless. Clavicular breathing provides oxygen to the top third of your lungs. It can be practised at any time and especially when you are under stress or anger to calm down your nerves. Its primary focus is to increase the amount of oxygen intake, correct poor breathing habits and gain control of your breath.

5. Yogic Breathing

Yogic Breathing

Yogic breathing is a 3 step process which starts with breathing through the lower abdomen, covering the mid-torso and finally reaching the upper chest and shoulders. Follow the same 3 steps while releasing breath in the reverse order, i.e. exhaling from the chest through the torso and finally the lower abdomen. This completes one cycle. Yogic Breathing releases stress, anxiety, nervousness, refreshes our mind and brings our body to a balanced state.

6. Deep Breathing

Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is a slow, deep and rhythmic pattern of breathing through the nose, holding your breath for a while and releasing it. Deep breathing helps to detoxify your body, increases blood count, releases tension, relaxes the mind, strengthens the immune system, uplifts mood, boosts energy level and improves stamina. Make sure you practice it every day for at least 5 to 10 minutes.

7. Fast Breathing

Fast Breathing

Unlike Kapalbhati and Bhastrika, fast breathing does not involve forceful inhalations and exhalations. Here, both the inhalations and exhalations are of equal durations. In fast breathing, we approximately inhale and exhale 100 breaths per minute. It relaxes your nerves, increases oxygen flow, frees your mind from emotional clutter, provides immunity to the organs and is beneficial for the people suffering from sinusitis.

8. Viloma Pranayama

Viloma Pranayama

Viloma pranayama is a breathing exercise in which regular inhalations and exhalations are interrupted thus increasing the overall duration