By Dr. Rita Khanna
The winter season is fast approaching & it is quite necessary that the flow of energy in our body is maintained. For that, we must try to increase the immunity in the body through Yoga & Pranayama. This season is also a season of respiratory diseases like cough, cold, asthma, bronchitis & many other breathing problems. There are some specific Pranayamas, which are very good in winter season. These Pranayamas increase the gastric fire thus generating energy in the form of heat in the body, increase appetite, destroy mucus, remove disorders of the respiratory system & improves efficiency of the nervous system. Also good for those who feel more cold in winters, useful in diabetes, obesity, asthma, sinus and enhances purity of consciousness. These exercises not only supply oxygen to the body but also remove wastes and toxins and protect us against harmful intruders.
Sitting Posture For The Pranayamas
Sit in any comfortable posture with spine, head & neck straight. Rest the hands on the respective knees in Gyan Mudra posture. (Join the tips of the index fingers to the tips of the thumbs while keeping the other fingers loose). Close the eyes & look within. Feel the whole body relaxing.
Bring the right palm in front of the face & bend first two fingers at the root of the thumb. Close your left nostril with your ring & the little fingers. Slowly inhale through your right nostril. Now after inhalation close your right nostril with your thumb (left nostril is already closed) and hold the breath inside according to your capacity. Then remove the ring & little fingers from the left nostril & exhale slowly through your left nostril. This is one round. Do 11 times. Don’t hold the breath if suffering from Asthma.
Closing the mouth, start by inhaling long, slow, deep breaths through both your nostrils in such a way that while inhaling the touch of air is experienced in the throat to the chest. In short, after inhaling the breath through the nose, the passage of the incoming air is felt on the roof of the palate first, then towards the throat & then to the lungs. As you inhale, a typical sound is created due to the friction of air in the throat. Feel the contraction in the throat & expand the chest with the breath. The sound is as if wind blows with pressure. It should be uniform and continuous .It should emerge from the upper part of your throat& not from the upper or front part of your nose. After completing inhalation, very slowly exhale. Stretch your inhale and exhale as much as you can without generating tension anywhere in your body. This completes one cycle of Ujjayi Pranayama. Repeat the cycles for three to five minutes or according to your body capacity.
Inhale normally; exhale rapidly and forcefully through the nostrils by contracting the abdominal muscles quickly with a backward push. This completes one cycle of Kapalabhati exercise. Repeat the cycles for three to five minutes or according to your body capacity. In this process, shoulders or any other part of the body should not move up and down. Normally when people breathe out, they bend the body to the front from the waist and give a jerk, or shake the shoulders and head violently which would be highly incorrect. Do not use body force and there should not be any strain or jerk on the muscles of the face, especially corner of the lips, nose & eye muscles.
Bhastrika is quite akin to Kapalbhati. For performing Kapalbhati, we breathe in very slowly and breathe out very speedily. But In Bhastrika Pranayama we breathe in & breathe out rapidly and forcefully one after another. This Pranayama can be done in three variable speeds viz. slow speed, moderate speed and at high speed depending upon the capacity and health of an individual.
Breathe in & breathe out through both the nostrils forcefully without straining yourself. With each inhalation, the diaphragm descends & the abdomen moves outward. With each exhalation, the diaphragm moves upwards & the abdomen moves inward. We have to coordinate the breath with stomach movements. Whenever you want to stop, breathe in deeply, press the chin on the chest and hold the breath as long as you feel comfortable. Now raise the head up and breathe out slowly. It completes one round of Bhastrika. Take rest for a while by taking a few normal breaths. Make two-three rounds.
Cautions For Practicing Winter Pranayama
- Beginners should practice these Pranayama slowly at first, allowing their bodies time to adapt to the practice.
- If you are suffering from severe cough or sinus and both your nostrils are not open, close the right nostril first and do respiration (exhalation as well as inhalation) through the left nostril forcefully. Then do the same with the other nostril. Continue this method till both the nostrils open simultaneously.
- Those suffering from high blood pressure, any heart disease, hernia, gastric ulcers, vertigo, epilepsy, lung diseases such as asthma or poor lungs capacity or recovering from tuberculosis should do under expert guidance.
- Pregnant ladies should not do these Pranayamas.To be avoided during menstruation.
- If you experience any giddiness, stop the practice and take a few normal breaths. Continue the practice after normalcy.
- It is best to perform these Pranayamas in the presence of a qualified yoga teacher.
If you feel inspired by this article, you may publish it in your Newsletter or on your Website. Our humble request is to please include the Resource as follows: Courtesy: Dr. Rita Khanna’s Yogashaastra Studio. A popular studio that helps you find natural solutions for complete health and detoxification.
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Dr. Rita Khanna
Dr. Rita Khanna is a well-known name in the field of Yoga and Naturopathy. She was initiated into his discipline over two decades ago by world famous Swami Adyatmananda of Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh.
She believes firmly that Yoga is a scientific process, which helps us to lead a healthy and disease-free life. She is also actively involved in practicing alternative medicines like Naturopathy. Over the years, she has been successfully practicing these therapies and providing succour to several chronic and terminally ill patients.
At present, Dr. Rita Khanna is teaching Yoga in Secunderabad. She has been treating and curing various diseases and disorders through Yoga, Diet and Naturopathy and has been achieving tremendous satisfaction in disseminating this virtue.
Changes coming in 2009 at Aura Wellness Center
By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
Changes coming in 2009 at Aura Wellness CenterAt the beginning of each year, humans tend to reflect on the past and look forward with optimism to the future. We are no different at Aura Wellness Center, because we seek to improve each facet of your learning experience. The following are projected changes, which you can expect to see at Aura, within our newsletters, website, Blog, and courses.
Newsletter Changes: We’ve received a fair amount of feedback that suggests sometimes you can get too much of a good thing. Readers tell us that they love our newsletter articles, but that the newsletter is sometimes too long to read in one sitting (since we usually have at least 2 or 3 articles per issue).
This makes sense now that you’ve mentioned it and we’re considering making some changes to the way we send our newsletter articles so that readers, like you, can quickly and efficiently get directly to the articles without having to scroll a long email looking for what interests you.
One suggestion is that we could do this by limiting the newsletter to just a single article (with no other content or promotions in the message) and then sending them more frequently than only once per month. At the same time, our Announcements Bulletin would no longer contain articles and would remain as a monthly email containing just announcements and specials.
I’m sure there are other ways we could improve the newsletter too. So, if you’ve got suggestions, we’re open to hearing them. After all, this is your resource so we want to make it as useful as possible.
Website Changes: Many of you have remarked at how much the website has improved in the past, and especially in 2008 and this year, Marie and I plan to expand the audio resources section.
Although some of us learn new Yoga concepts by listening, and others learn better by doing or seeing – what if our choices were limited?
Many of us have a choice, when we select a preferred learning method. If we were blind, but had Internet access, audio learning would become our only Internet learning method. Therefore, the Podcasts will continue to be expanded. For those of you who are interested: Marie has been making most of the recordings recently.
Yoga Teacher Training Blog Changes: The Yoga teacher Blog will be reformatted to have new features, such as video clips and more graphics. We’ve only used video clips on a few of our pages so far, but, we will continue to expand on this learning format within the blog. These changes to the Yoga teacher training Blog are scheduled to take place within the next few months.
Yoga Course Changes: As always, there are new directions to go. We are working on a Level 1 Yoga Therapy course, which will be released this month. The Introduction to Yoga Therapy course is a pre-requisite, and you must be a Yoga teacher with a 200-hour diploma or a medical professional.
We have four new Yoga e-Books on the drawing boards and new Yoga videos under development. These new streaming videos, and DVDs, will lead into many improvements, within existing courses, and the development of more new Yoga courses in 2009.
We’re looking forward to the challenges and growth offered this year.
© Copyright 2009 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications