Main Pranayamas and Asanas
- Bhastrika pranayama: Take a deep breath. Fill in the breath till the diaphragm is full and exhale with full force. It can be performed according to an individuals capacity in three ways: slow, medium and fast. This pranayama should be practiced minimum for three minutes and maximum upto five minutes. Practice it at a slow pace and for lesser duration in summer.
- Kapalabhati pranayama: It emphasize on exhaling vigorously. Here inhalation is natural without any effort, but breath is thrown out forcefully. Perform three rounds of 5 minutes each (15 minutes).
- Bahya pranayama: Sit in padmasana or sidhasana and exhale out all at once completely and forcefully. Now apply mulabandha, uddiydna bandha and jalandhara bandha and control the breath outside as long as possible. Relax the bandhas slowly and breath in normally. Repeat this three to five times. Follow bahya pranayama with agnisara krya.
- Agnisara krya: As in bahya pranayama, exhale out all at once completely and forcefully and contract or flap your abdominal muscles in and out. When you feel like breathing inhale normally. Repeat the procedure three to five times.
- Ujjayi pranayama: Contract the throat and inhale while doing this pranayama. Snoring sound is produced while contracting the throat. Repeat this three to five times.
- Anuloma-viloma pranayama: Press the right nostril with right thumb and take a deep breath from left nostril. Now close the left nostril and perform vice-versa this rhythmic breathing repeatedly. Inhale with full strength and exhale in the same manner. Perform upto 15 minutes in three cycles of 5 minutes each.
- Bhramari pranayama: Inhale completely and press lightly at the root of the nose with middle fingers of both the hands and concentrate on ajna cakra in between the eye brows. Close both the ears with thumbs. Now perform humming like a bee and resonate “OM” chanting while breathing out. Repeat it three to seven times.
- Udgitha pranayama: Concentrate on breathing, inhale in a rhythmic flow, breathe out and chant “OM” with full concentration methodically. Repeat it three times.
- Pranava pranayama: Meditate for one minute by sitting quietly with closed eyes and natural breathing, concentrate on the mind and think of God. You can increase the time of meditation as per your desire.
Hasyasana (laughter) followed by simhasana (lion’s posture) three times each and
Sitali pranayama where hands are kept on the knees. Fold the tongue inward, open the mouth and inhale from the mouth and fill the air in the lungs. Control the breath for sometime and close the mouth. Exhale through both nostrils. Repeat it three times. Reduce the practice during winter.
- Some important asanas to be followed by pranayama
After pranayama, perform yogic jogging, light exercises of hands, legs, wrists, elbows, shoulders and eyes. These light exercises can also be performed between the pranayama sequence. Besides, follow Indian exercises including types of dandasanas (sit-ups) and “Surya Namaskdra” (3-5 rounds)
- Asanas in sitting posture: Mandukasana Part 1 and 2 (Frog posture), Sasakasana (Rabbit posture), Gomukhasana (Cow face posture) and vakrasana (Spinal twist).
- Asanas while lying down on the belly: Makrasana (Crocodile posture), Bhujangasana Part 1, 2 and 3 (Cobra posture) and Salabhasana Part 1 and 2 (Locust posture).
- Asanas while lying on the back: They include Markatasana part 1, 2 and 3 (Spinal twist) , Pavanamuktasana part 1 and 2 (Knee to Chest), Ardhahalasana (Half plough posture), Padavrttdsana (Leg rotation), Dvi-cakrikasana part 1 and 2 (Knees rotation) and Savasana or Yoganidra (Corpse).
- Santipatha (for peace, harmony and happiness): It infuses the body and mind with positive feelings and vibrations. It creates a feeling of well-being and peace in our environment, and ultimately in the whole Universe:
“Om dyauh santirantariksam santih prthivi santirapah santirosadhayah santih!
Vanaspatayah santirvisvedevah santirbrahma santih sarvam
santih santireva santih sa ma santiredhi! “
Om santih, santih, santih!
means, “Unto Heaven be Peace, Unto the Sky and the Earth be Peace, Peace be unto the Water,
Unto the Herbs and Trees be Peace, Unto all the Gods be Peace,
Unto Brahma and unto All be Peace, And may We realize that Peace.”
Om! Peace, Peace, Peace.
This module will take about an hour. But it can be adapted according to individual capacity and requirement. Also for the purification of the body satkarma therapies such as neti, dhouti, vamana and sahkha praksalana can also be practiced. All these therapies should be performed only under the guidance of an expert guru.
- Important to Note
- In this package of yoga practice, exercises and dsanas can be altered. In winter, exercises and asanas can be performed in the beginning, followed by pranayama. In summer, it can be performed vice-versa, begin with pranayama, followed by exercises and asanas.
- All pranayamas should be performed moderately and according to individual capacity. Do not put much effort.
- Yogasanas and pranayamas should be practised in a calm, peaceful, clean and properly ventilated place. During winter, maintain room temperature according to your adaptability.
- The best time for all exercises and asanas is empty stomach in the morning. Maintain a gap of almost 4 hours after meals if practicing yogasanas in the evening.
- Extreme forward bending is contra-indicated in backpain and disc-related problems.
- Do not perform backward bending or asanas that pressurize the abdomen in case of hernia, after thoraco-abdominal surgery/injury, heart problem, ulcer and complicated conditions.
- The main cause for disease genesis in Ayurveda is the aggravation and vitiation of the three dosas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha). All three dosas affect different systems of the body and their physiology on whose basis yoga therapies can be performed. Yogic activities and pranayama should be practiced according to individuals capacity and body constitution