Dear cherished reader, have you experienced pranayama practices before?
Pranayama Yoga refers to the practice of applying various breathing techniques to expand the Prana / Breath body – or the Aura / Presence / Energy Field of a person.
There are several ways you can use Pranayama to up sports performance and enhance daily life.
(*Disclaimer – the suggestions below are applicable for those who are athletically very active and generally fit people. Do not attempt the strenuous sports unless you already are doing so, or as advised by your health guru.)
In between the laps while resting, instead of just breathing normally to catch our breath, the Nadi Shodan can slow down the heart rate much faster. As you progressively make the laps, you will feel a renewed energy for powerful strokes.
Just 10 Nadi Shodans in between say 3-4 laps, can accelerate exercise stamina incredibly.
Normally it takes a few minutes before heart rate normalize; with Nadi Shodan, it gets significantly faster.
2. Interval Training for Stamina
This can be applied to both running, or strength training. One of the most effective ways to increase stamina for distance running is to engage in interval training. This means that we work our heart rate up fast, and then take a break to allow heart rate to drop. Just before the heart rate reaches below a certain cardio zone, we make the next dash.
Now, if we apply Ujayi (deep throat breathing) during the breaks, we recover faster (meaning we can cover more circuits in the same time), and there is more energy when we make the next sprint or interval.
When performing the Ujayi in between workouts, there is a natural tendency to rush because the lungs is calling out for oxygen. Make an effort to slow down the breathing, employing Ujayi technique, deep into the diaphragm, and then out through the nose. This method strengthens respiratory and lungs capacity, giving an edge to your interval training.
If you don’t believe this, experiment! Perform conscious Ujayis in between your next workouts, and watch how your heart calms down faster than before. Don’t forget to measure your running speed so you know how much your stamina progresses.
3. Insomnia No More
A rarely used, but powerful way of breathing – called the Bhramari Breath, or the Bumble Bee / Humming Bee breath, works wonders to relief insomnia.
Inhale through the nose, and then exhale in a humming sound with the mouth closed. If you are to place your finger right below your nostrils, you will feel a soft gradual gust of breath flow out gently. You are using sound vibration to tone and massage the upper body organs.
To relief insomnia, just stick your forefingers into each side of your ears to close up the outer world sounds. Close your eyes, inhale and exhale in a nice long hum. Until you are totally out of breath, repeat again.
Perform this preferably in a private space, for 10 rounds, and then feel the deep sense of calm descend.
Yoga is an Art and Science so deep that would take more than one lifetime to master! The more we learn the more we realise there is more to discover. However, one thing that is proven which we already know for sure – it works wonders for the human body.
(C) Linda Loo
“Yoga is the dance between the light and the dark within you. The light is what brings you back to the mat, and the darkness is what you uncover there. Don’t be afraid of this darkness; these are only shadows and though you’ll have to walk down some pretty dark alleys, remember you are grounded in the light, and that light will set you free.”
– Amy Jirsa