Pranayama means the lengthening or the control of Prana, which is the life force itself. It is the energy that animates all living beings. Lengthening or controlling the force of life is one of the benefits of Pranayama.
This life force is generally associated with the control of breath. As we know, once the breath leaves the body, we are no longer in this physical form on the earth. Therefore, being able to breathe is a blessing in itself.
A regular Pranayama practice brings several wonderful benefits. To know more about the immense benefits of Pranayama, Health Shots spoke to Isabelle Karan, a healer, yoga trainer, Meditation and Pranayama expert, and owner of Sabel Yoga and Wellness.
Here are 6 life-changing benefits of Pranayama:
1. Increase in presence and awareness
We all know or have met a person, who once enters the room, all eyes are fixated on him or her. It may be external beauty but quite often there is more to it. A combination of physical and mental presence, confidence and being completely aware of everything that’s going on in that very moment is achieved through regular Pranayama practice.
Breath awareness through Pranayama helps in supporting and training this kind, mindful and mysterious presence.
2. Increase in mental focus and mental clarity
The practice of Pranayama is meditative, but it keeps the mind distinctively occupied. For a lot of people, it is the entry door to meditation. During the practice, you may tune into the sense that helps in further shaping our mind. It aids in sharpening our mind and increases our ability to focus. It also opens the doors to understand our own potential. Mental focus and clarity is one of the benefits of Pranayama.
3. Gives calmness and stability
If you enter a Pranayama session in a hyper-vigilant state, if you are stressed or even exhausted, you will feel the enormous benefit right after the session. The entire nervous system calms and enters a state of rejuvenation and regeneration. Our breath is always with us, and hence we can tune into this calmness at any given point of time. Practicing Pranayama brings a feeling of security, stability and confidence.
4. Helps in grounding yourself
It happens so often that we are so overburdened with work, that we cannot see past the problem. We are unable to see the bigger picture anymore. You don’t get new ideas and your creative inspiration dives to a complete low point.
A few rounds of prolonged exhalation, grounding into the feet while maintaining the seating position may help. Even tuning into the different prana vayus or simply practicing the coherent breathing can get you back on track. Pranayama instantly brings you back into power and helps you see things as they are.
5. Increases patience and reduces anxiety
If you are restless or anxious, Pranayama should be your one stop. The practice will slow the pulse, reconnect you to your focus and bring inner stability. Once you achieve this inner anchor again, you can start breathing with patience. This helps in reducing anxiety. It gives you a tremendous increase in living quality and puts you back in charge of your visions.
6. Regenerates and rejuvenates the entire body
In a Pranayama session, it is tangible how your nervous system is healing and regaining its resilience. It is visible how wonderful the practice is supporting self care and self love. Stress will reduce and we start to feel good much more often than not. Digestion works better as the stress level is reduced and sleep will fall in place too. We start to understand what is good and feels good to us, in terms of food, water intake, people or regular activities. The body knows how to heal itself, we just need to provide the stage for it and let the breath guide us.
All the above does not happen on Day One. You need regular practice to reap complete benefits of Pranayama. Sooner, you will realize that it does not take much extra time. In fact, it increases productivity and focus, so you will regain the time spent on daily chores by finishing them sooner and better.