Breath is the vital energy to sustain life in any form. The prana travels through all the energy points, and create an aura around the body. Various situations in the life affect the breathing, and similarly, the breath can affect the physical and the mental dimensions. Incorporating various yoga breathing exercises in your daily schedule provide you with an overall better health.
You can feel that when you get angry, the breathing gets faster whereas when you are relaxed, you breathe slowly. Therefore, your overall mood is affected by the way you control the breath. However, if you have never ever practiced various yoga breathing exercises, you can join yoga for beginners classes to learn about it.
Best Yoga Breathing Exercises for Beginners
Alternate Nostril Breathing
Though it has numerous variations yet it is one of the easiest yoga breathing exercises for beginners. To start the practice, sit in a comfortable position. Then place the right thumb on the right nostril, keeping right middle and index fingers float in the air between your eyebrows. Complete one cycle of inhaling and exhaling through the left nostril. Once you inhale completely through the left nostril, place the right index and middle fingers on the left nostril to block the air path and clear away the right nostril. Perform a similar pattern on the right nostril. Do 10 to 12 circles of breath and you will feel calmness rising within you.
Benefits of Alternate Nostril Breathing
- Helps in fighting stress and improving cardiovascular function
- Improves respiratory endurance and lung function
- Reduces heart rate
- Enhances overall health and well-being
- Relaxes mind and body
It is pronounced as oo – jai that can be translated as “victorious breath”. To start the practice of Ujjayi breathing, constrict your throat passage such that a humming sound comes when you breathe out. Ancient yogics knew very well how vibrations affect the mind, body, and soul of a person. Practicing this yoga breathing exercise will help you sync the breathing with the movements of your body. It helps in relaxation and energizing the body and mind.
Benefits of Ujjayi Breathing
- Releases tension and promotes the free flow of prana
- Improves concentration and instills endurance
- Regulates body temperature
- Encourages inner stillness and peace
- Brings mental clarity and focus by stimulating Nadis
Breath of Fire
Deeply ingrained in Kundalini yoga, a breath of fire is done by rigorous movement of the navel area while the whole body is still and relaxed. When you inhale, the navel area moves out and when you exhale, you deliberately push the navel towards the spine. It could be a bit challenging for the beginners, but once you master it, you feel like going on indefinitely.
Benefits of Breath of Fire
- Decreases stress levels and make you feel calm
- Boosts the function of brain such as attention, reaction time, and memory
- Improves respiratory health and digestion
- Strengthens abdominal muscles
- Increases your overall mindfulness
Beginner’s Tip: If you feel dizzy or light-headed, you are advised to slow down the breathing pace. Pregnant women, women who are menstruating, people with high blood pressure, or who struggle with vertigo should not try it.
If you have frequent bouts of anger, or feel very anxious every now and then, then the cooling breath is for you. Also, people who always feel warm even on a chilly day should practice this yoga breathing exercise to a literally cool down themselves. Clench your teeth and breath in through the gaps in the teeth. Inhale very slowly and deeply as if you are making a hissing sound. Once fully inhaled, close your lips and let the air flow slowly through the nose. It helps with lowering the body temperature to help you with fever, hot flushes, and much more.
Benefits of Cooling Breath
- Relaxes nerves and muscles by cooling mind and body
- Helps to deal with the problem of high blood pressure
- Controls thirst and hunger, thus promoting digestion
- Treats problems related to gulma, spleen, insomnia
- Helps people getting rid of sleep disorders
This breathing exercise consists of a very fast and vigorous series of powerful inhaling and exhaling of the breath. People facing cardiac conditions or having respiratory issues can skip this. Sit straight against a wall, inhale very sharply through the nose letting the diaphragm dropping low. It is followed by a sharp exhale and a contraction of the abdomen. This breathing exercise put stress on the abdominal area, therefore, pregnant women too should avoid this. It could be one of the best yoga breathing exercises to reboot your system in the middle of the day.
Benefits of Bellows Breathing
- Best to energize the mind and body
- Removes impurities and toxins from your body
- Helps in treating bronchitis, sinus, and various other respiratory issues
- Purifies blood, thus balancing Vata, Pitta, and Kapha
- Improves your overall health and helps in getting natural skin glow
Skull Shining Breath
Also known as Kapalabhati pranayama, the skull shining breath is best known for its simple yet powerful exhalations. Kapal stands for skull and Bhati refers to shining. When an individual practices Kapalabhati pranayama, the brain gets activated and influenced in a great manner. The inhalations while doing this breathing practice are almost non-existent after which an immediate strong gush of air flows from within. Particularly good for cleaning the body’s air passageways, it does help in strengthening the abdominal muscles. Further, it enhances blood circulation.
Benefits of Skull Shining Breath
- Treats lung infections and increases their capacity
- Helps in reducing weight and glows your face
- Good for treating problems related to tonsils and thyroid
- Improves intellectual power of brain like concentration and memory
- Tones and strengthens the lower transverse abdominal muscle
To conquer the mind, you must first learn to conquer the breath. Try these various yoga breathing exercises and witness the change within you. Practicing various yoga poses for beginners along with breathing techniques helps in both bodily and mental growth.
Try these Pranayama techniques and calm your mind and body!