Udgeeth Pranayama – The Chanting of Om

Udgeeth Prananaya or Chanting of Om or Omkara, soothes the mind and induces a meditative state.  Udgeeth involves chanting the sacred syllable Om. Omkara Japa is another name for Udgeeth pranyama. It calms the mind. Yoga practitioners can use it as a prelude to meditation. It is one of the simplest of the Pranayams. How to Chant Om? The sacred syllable Om or Aum consists of three parts – A, U and M. Traditionally, there is a way to chant Om.  The first syllable “A” is pronounced as aaa…, the second syllable “U” is pronounced as ooo… and the last syllable “M” is pronounced as a humming mmm… sound. Then, concentrate on the silence that follows. The first sound “A” indicates …

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Dirgha Pranayama – The Three-Part Yogic Breathing

Dirgha Pranayama or the three-part breathing exercise is also known as yogic breathing or the full breath. In Sanskrit, Dirgha means long. In Dirgha pranayama, complete breathing is done with expansion of the abdomen, chest and the neck region. It is described in three steps, but the actual breathing process is done as a single continuous process.. Dirgha Pranayama or yogic breathing is about finding your natural breath.

Yogic Breathing – The Art of Natural Breathing

Yoga and breath are deeply connected. When performing asana, pranayama and meditation, the correct breathing is essential to get the full benefits of the practice. Yogic breathing is finding your natural breath.

Pranayama – Yogic Breath Control

Pranayama is the yogic science of breath control. Yoga teaches that breathing can be regulated and controlled for various health and spiritual benefits.

Sheetkari Pranayama – The Hissing Breath

Sheetkari Pranayama or the Hissing Breath is ususally done after practicing other asanas and pranayamas. Sheetkari Pranayama cools the body. Sheetkari pranayama is mentioned in the yoga text Hatha Yoga Pradeepika.

Sheetali Pranayama – The Cooling Breath

Sheetali Pranayama or the cooling breath is usually done after practicing other asanas and pranayamas. Sheetali Pranayama cools the body. Sheetali in sanskrit means ‘cooling’. Sheetali pranayama is mentioned in the yoga texts Hatha Yoga Pradeepika and Gheranda Samhita.

Bhramari Pranayama – The Humming Bee Breath

Bhramari Pranayama or the humming Bee Breath produces a sound similar to the humming of a bee. Bhramari comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Bramar’ which means a kind of black Indian bee. Bhramari pranayama has a soothing effect on the brain and calms the mind.

Ujjayi Pranayama – The Psychic Breath

Ujjayi Prananaya or the psychic breath soothes the mind and induces a meditative state.  Ujjayi means to ‘lift up’. In Ujjayi pranayama, the chest is slightly lifted up as if the inhalation is done from the throat.

Surya Bheda Pranayama – The Vitalizing Breath

Surya Bheda Pranayama or Surya Bhedana Pranayama is one of the main pranayamas practiced with Kumbhaka. Surya means the sun. In Surya Bheda Pranayama the Surya Nadi or the right nostril channel is activated. Surya Bheda Pranayama is mentioned in the yoga texts Hatha Yoga Pradeepika and the Gheranda Samhita.

Anulom Vilom Pranayama – Alternate Nostril Breathing

Anulom Vilom Pranayama or alternate nostril breathing exercise is one of the main practices of Pranayama. Anulom Vilom Pranayama is mentioned in the yogic texts Hatha Yoga Pradeepika, Gheranda Samhita, Tirumandiram, Siva Samhita, Puranas and in the Upanishads.

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