Pranayama translates to: Prana meaning breath or vital life force and ayama meaning regulation of breath. It is the science of breath.
Now this may sound a little left of field for those who haven’t done yoga or any meditation before. But if you’re feeling stressed or anxious, are an over-thinker or just can’t seem to relax…READ ON!
This kind of breathing practices elongated breaths, extended inhalation and exhalation, expanding, lengthening, and the retention of breath. The inhalation distributes powerful energy throughout the body, whilst the exhalation rids the body of toxins and negativity.
By doing pranayama, it activates the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) which stimulates the body to ‘rest and digest’.
People nowadays spend the majority of their time using their sympathetic nervous system, which stimulates the ‘fight or flight’ response in the body. This is what causes people to feel stressed and anxious, disallowing their bodies to ever fully relax.
You can practice this at the end of a long and busy day, after you’ve had an emotionally, mentally or physically demanding experience, or even before bed. This will allow the body’s cortisol levels (stress hormones) to decrease, allowing the body to heal, rest and digest.
So put on some relaxing music, or even a guided relaxation podcast, and begin to breathe; breathe out your stresses, breathe out your toxins, breathe out whatever it is that worries you.
Control the mind, body and spirit in one and you will find peace and relaxation.