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10 scientific benefits of Pranayama

benefits of Pranayama

Pranayama, a vital component of the science of yoga, is widely practiced by people who believe in its miraculous powers to heal and transform the health of mind and body.

Commonly known as a breathing technique that works by regulating the breathing patterns, Pranayama helps promote mindfulness and relaxation.

The three easy steps to follow in Pranayama are:

  1. Puraka (inhalation),
  2. Kumbhaka (retention)
  3. Recaka (exhalation)

Breathing in slowly and deeply helps the body absorb enough oxygen, followed by complete retention of inhaled oxygen, allowing the lungs to fill it in.

The last step entails exhalation of the held up oxygen through your lungs and abdomen, which is needed to rid your lungs of any kind of inhaled toxins.

Most people are unaware of their breathing patterns which is an indicator of the state of their health.

Pranayama is one such technique that builds awareness about the breathing patterns and trains the lungs to fall into the right breathing rhythm.

Those who suffer from irregular breathing patterns or breathlessness are the ones that benefit the most with regular practice of Pranayama. Moreover, this exercise also improves the health and efficiency of the respiratory system which is likely to have a positive effect on the cardiac functions as well.

Now, that you know what Pranayama is and how it works, let’s dive deeper and get to know all of its health benefits in detail

Health Benefits of Pranayama

  1. Boosts immune system
Boosts immune system

Regular practice of pranayama ups the oxygen levels in blood and improves blood circulation to building a strong immune system.

The diaphgramatic breathing technique enlisted in Pranayama assists in proper drainage of lymphatic fluids.

Movement of these fluids is essential to release lymphocytes or white blood cells in the blood which provide resistance against microbial attacks.

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  1. Improves digestion
Improves digestion

When you combine pranayama with abdominal breathing, you activate the vagus nerve that connects the brain to body’s vital organs such as liver, stomach, gall blader, intestines and pancreas.

This nerve is responsible for the release of gastric acid and the way food is digested.

The deep belly breathing you perform when practicing Pranayama stimulates the vagus nerve and improves the digestive functions.

  1. Helps in Detoxification 
Helps in Detoxification

Pranayama is a great way to rid your body of accumulated toxins. Among the many yoga methods prescribed for detoxification of body, pranayama is the most popular.

You would feel positive energy everywhere due to the entry of oxygen into your lungs and other organs.

The lymphatic drainage also improves which helps transport toxins to the blood to be filtered in the liver and kidneys.

  1. Strengthens respiratory system
Strengthens respiratory system

Pranayama can improve lung health and breathing capacity as it exercises and strengthens the muscles in the lungs.

It has also shown to have beneficial effects in patients with asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder). 

Regular practice of pranayama increases the ability of lungs to expel inhaled toxins. It also strengthens the diaphgram and lung walls to improve the passage of oxygen.

  1. Lowers risk of hypertension
Lowers risk of hypertension

Pranayama allows the body to relax and relieve itself of stress and tension, by regulating blood flow to the organs.

Studies indicate a link between breathing rhythm and blood pressure levels in patients with hypertension.

Those who practiced Pranayama for a couple of days displayed significant improvement in blood pressure levels.

  1. Improves Sleep Quality
Improves Sleep Quality

Slow and deep pranayama exercises have shown to improve sleep quality and reduce risk of insomnia when practiced several times in a day.

Also, Pranayama is an ideal exercise that complements sleep meditation (Yoga Nidra).

It helps the mind concentrate better and helps regulate body’s circadian rhythm to ease sleep disorders.

  1. Aids in weight loss
Aids in weight loss

The health benefits of pranayama are not just limited to proper functioning of internal organs. It can also help reduce body weight if practiced regularly.

You burn some amount of calories while doing yoga and this further helps in weight loss.

The results may take time to show up as Pranayama works on the principle of slow and consistent body movements.

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  1. Improves concentration
Improves concentration

Pranayama allows you to focus better and therefore improves work productivity.

It promotes brain function by channelling oxygen to the brain.

Better circulation of oxygen improves blood circulation and helps you think better.

  1. Fights Sinusitis
Fights Sinusitis

Treating sinusitis is one of the main health benefits of pranayama.

Bhramari Pranayama is an effective mode of exercise to treat chronic sinusitis.

It helps improve the ventilation of sinuses and clears blockages to speed up air flow in the nasal passages.

  1. Relaxes your mind and soul
Relaxes your mind and soul

Pranayama calms your mind and relaxes your soul. It significantly reduces the levels of anxiety and stress.

Incorporating Pranayama in your daily health routine lowers the risk of depression in people who regularly have to deal with stressful situations.

If you’re a beginner and wish to incorporate Pranayama in your lifestyle, make sure you do it in the right manner.

Here is a list of guidelines to adhere to when thinking of practicing Pranayama:

  • The place should be well ventilated
  • Mornings and evenings are ideal for pranayama sessions
  • Reserve atleast 15 minutes of each exercise session for Pranayama
  • The place should be clean and free from dirt and pollutants
  • There should be no distractions

Also Read – 5 Yoga Asanas for a Healthy and Happy life

Written by Mansi Yadav

"Creators always curate emotions in the form of words."
Content creator | Voice-Over Artist | Video Host |

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