Who can practice?
Every body can practice including small children, old age people and patients. It is very easy and significantbreathing exercise for everyone. Pregnant women can also practice it regularly with some precautions that will result a healthy and normal baby.
Concentration is the basic requirement for pranayama so the place for pranayama should be peaceful. Initially while practicing, one should try to keep the mind calm. As the practice goes on day by day, mind becomes calm and concentration becomes easy itself.
As pranayama originated in India, place is described in ancient books according to Indian climatic conditions. The best place is peaceful, holy river bank or some open area like garden with lush greenery where atmosphere is full of natural oxygen in early mornings.
While it is changed as per climatic conditions in different countries and regions. Pranayama can be practiced in peaceful, neat, clean rooms with the arrangements of fresh and healthy oxygen.
If practicing on the floor, you must sit on specific yoga mat which is non-conductor of electricity and magnetic field. If practiced on the chair, it should also be non-conductor like wooden.
The best time for pranayama practice is early morning. Take bath after bowel movement and wear loose clothes. If bowel movements are not regular, try some natural cleanser like Triphala or Isabgol husk for initial days. Triphala is the best natural body cleanser according to Indian ayurveda while Isabgol husk is the nature’s richest source of dietary fiber. Bowel movements will be regular itself after some days of practice.
Though it can also be practiced after ‘five hours’ of meals, as this duration is enough to digest the consumed food and the stomach gets relaxed. Some patients of chronic diseases are advised to practice pranayama twice a day, in the morning and evening. They must follow these guidelines.
Immediately after pranayama practice, nothing should be consumed, there must be a gap of 20 minutes at least to countdown the body. Though very little amount of water can be taken if needed any time.
Sit in Padmasana, Siddhasana or Vajrasana. If you are not able sit in asanas, sit crossed legged with straight spinal cord. If a person is unable to sit on floor due to some reasons, he can sit on the chair. The body should be stable and spinal cord should be straight.
Initially it should be practiced for 5-10 minutes daily. While as practice grows the time should be increased up to one hour maximum accordingly. The duration of practice should be equal per day, which is good for the body to maintain equilibrium.
- Breathing should be done with the nose only. As it’s a natural process of breathing which keeps all toxic elements out and filters the air before entering into lungs. Also the body temperature is maintained by the Ida and Pingla nadies which are placed inside the nose.
- Pranayama should be practiced in easy way and no sign of stress should be shown on the face. Any part of body should not feel uneasiness or strain during practice. If it happens, means you are crossing your body strength and ‘over practicing’ which may be harmful.
- If you feel tired during practice, must stop at once, take some rest for few minutes with long normal breaths, then resume. Pranayam should not be over practiced. Duration should be increased gradually with patience day by day.
- For complete benefits of pranayama, practitioner should take high calorie vegetarian diet including milk, fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Pranayama is not limited only up to physical practices while it is co-related with mind, concentration, inner strength and vital power.
- Initially practice should be done slowly, patiently, with all precautions and under guidance of an experienced yoga teacher.
- Patients of chronic diseases, blood pressure, heart patients, pregnant women should strictly practice pranayama in guidance of experienced yoga teacher.