Can we drink water immediately after pranayam?
Pranayama is the conscious and voluntary control of breathing (Prana = breath, ayam = control, regulate). With every breath we take in not only oxygen, but also prana. Prana is cosmic energy, the force in the universe that creates, sustains and changes. It is the basic element of life and consciousness. Prana is also in food, which is why it is so important to eat a healthy and wholesome vegetarian diet.
The targeted guidance of the prana in the body can be used to increase vitality, physical detoxification and increase the immune defense as well as to achieve inner calm, relaxation and mental clarity.
In mythology it is said that every being is predetermined how many breaths it will last for its life. The yogi now tries to "save time" and to lengthen his life by slowing down his breathing (An exception is the bhastrika technique (level 5). With this pranayama one breathes faster during the exercise, but then deeper and slower. )
General information on breathing
In order to be able to live and to keep our bodies healthy, we not only need food and water, but also air to breathe. The air we breathe is even more important to us than food and drink, because: we can survive for a few weeks without eating; we can survive for a few days without drinking; but without breathing we can only survive a few minutes. Our life begins and ends with breathing.
Basically, one can distinguish three phases in a breath:
Each phase flows smoothly into the next, whereby the exhalation should take about twice as long as the inhalation. The breathing pause occurs naturally at the end of the exhalation phase and lasts until the impulse to inhale arises by itself. Inhalation forms the active part of the breath. This leads to tension in the respiratory muscles. The exhalation is the passive part, the relaxation phase.
Calm and even, deep breathing is essential for our health. It has a harmonizing and calming effect on body and mind. Conversely, too rapid and shallow breathing has a negative effect on us because it can increase nervousness, stress, tension and pain.
A very common mistake in breathing is that when you inhale, the chest expands, but the abdomen is pulled in instead of arching forward. Abdominal breathing is significantly impaired as a result. This bad breathing often occurs for fashion reasons: by drawing in the stomach or by restricting clothes.
In yoga, all exercises, including breathing exercises, should be performed slowly and without unnecessary tension - without ambition and competition. The breath should be inaudible. Basically, you breathe through your nose (because the air in your nose is cleaned, moistened and warmed up) and you try to gradually slow down and lengthen your breathing through exercises. Only through correct breathing do the effects of yoga exercises unfold to their full potential.
In all exercises, it is very important to do them in a relaxed state, both physically and mentally. A physically relaxed state is essential because only then can the muscles that are stretched in the respective asana allow full movement without tensing against it. A mentally relaxed state is necessary so that the asanas can be practiced with full concentration on tension, relaxation and breathing. Conscious exhalation can significantly support the relaxation of the muscles, as exhalation is associated with muscle relaxation.
Yoga shows us how we can influence body and mind through different breathing techniques. Unfortunately, our usual breathing has deviated a long way from natural and correct breathing.
A basic condition for restoring healthy breathing is practicingFULL YOGA BREATHING.
To learn this breathing, it is helpful to differentiate between the following three types of breathing:
- Abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing
When you inhale, the diaphragm moves downwards and compresses the abdominal organs so that the abdominal wall arches forward. As you exhale, the diaphragm returns to the top and the abdominal wall becomes flat again. In contrast to inhaling, exhaling is a passive process. Abdominal breathing forms the basis of breathing. It enables full utilization of the lung capacity, slows down and deepens breathing in a natural way and promotes relaxation.
- Chest breathing
When you breathe in, the ribs rise so that the chest expands; when you breathe out, the ribs return to their original position. The air you breathe flows into the middle parts of the lungs. The lungs become less filled than when breathing abdominally, and breathing is faster and shallower. This breathing occurs automatically in stressful situations, with nervousness and tension. This increased state of tension is further intensified or at least remains due to the unconsciously occurring faster breathing. To break this unfavorable control loop, deep and slow abdominal breathing is a good help.
- Collarbone breathing
With this type of breathing, the air flows into the tips of the lungs. When you breathe in, the upper part of the chest rises with the collarbones; when you breathe out, it lowers again. Breathing is very shallow and rapid. This form of breathing occurs in extremely stressful, anxious and short-breathing situations.
With healthy and natural breathing, all three variations occur in the same breath. They are supposed to unite to form a "flowing wave" that runs from bottom to top when inhaling and from top to bottom when exhaling. When you inhale, the abdomen arches forward and the chest becomes wider; when you exhale, the chest and abdomen return to their original position. By doing this breathing in such a way that - naturally and without forcing - the full lung capacity is used, one practices FULL YOGA BREATHING.
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