Three Easy Pranayama for Relaxation

Pranayama (relax yoga breathing exercises) teaches us the appropriate way to breathe. However, often it is not possible for us to do regular pranayama in a systematic manner. Here, I am trying to give three very simple but effective pranayama techniques, which can be done at any place and almost at any time. It greatly reduces the stress, strain and anxiety. It requires no equipment. Although you can do these exercise in any position, sit with your back straight while doing the exercises.

Relax Breathe Counting:

If you are in stress and strain or in challenging work and wanted get out of that, try this simple technique.

  1. Sit in a comfortable position with the spine straight and head inclined slightly forward. Gently close your eyes and take a few slow-deep breaths. Then let the breath come naturally without trying to pressure it. Ideally it will be quiet and slow, but depth and rhythm may vary.
  2. To begin the exercise, count “one” to yourself as you exhale.
  3. The next time you exhale, count “two,” and so on up to “five.”
  4. Then begin a new cycle, counting “one” on the next exhalation.

Never count more than “five,” and count only when you exhale. After five, gain start from one. Try to do 3 minutes of this form of meditation.

Abdominal Pumping and Relax Breathing:

The steps are as follows:

  1. Sit, or stand in a relaxed position.
  2. Slowly inhale through your nose and count up to three.
  3. As you breathe in, your shoulders will rise. Increase your lung capacity by expanding your abdomen. When you breathe in, practice the expansion of your abdomen as a habit. It is actually the key to good breathing.
  4. When you exhale, push the stale air out by squeezing your stomach down in the pelvic area. This muscular action (abdomen pumping) has the beneficial effect of activating the organs in your stomach, improving their functioning. Repeated abdomen pumping also disperses any excess adrenaline, which may have been triggered by stresses.

Use abdomen pumping for three to five times, whenever you feel under any stress.

4-7-8 Relaxing Breathing:

  1. You may put the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.
  2. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a “shuuoooo” sound.
  3. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  4. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  5. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
  6. This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

Note that you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth. The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time. Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation. The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important; the ratio of 4:7:8 is important. If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases. With practice you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply.

Among these, you may practice ujjayi pranayama for establishing balance in life.

Ujjayi Pranayama for Kriya Yoga – In Three Simple Steps

Ujjayi pranayama is an essential part of kriya yoga practice.

During the inhaling or exhaling of  ujjayi pranayama intentionally try to make some small vibration or sound in the throat area. Don’t give much pressure, throat glands are very sensitive, they should be in a relax state. If you think you are comfortable in making the throat vibration during inhaling do the vibrations during that time. Then you don’t need to make the sound during exhaling. If you prefer to make the vibration during exhaling, you can do it like that. You  can keep your mouth open during making the throat sound.
There are several benefits of  this pranayama. The general steps for Ujjayi Pranayama are as follows:

Step 1:

1.1  Sit on vajrasana yoga posture on a suitable yoga mat.

1.2  You need to put your hands on your knees.

1.3  Keep your fingers together.

1.4 Inhale slowly and mentally chant AUM for three times.

1.5  Hold the breath comfortably and mentally chant Om for four times.

1.6  Exhale slowly and mentally count Om for six times.

1.7 Hold the breath comfortably as long as you can.

Repeat step 1.4 to step 1.7 for SIX times

Step 2:

1.1  Sit on vajrasana yoga posture on a suitable yoga mat.

1.2  Place your hands on your chest.

1.3  Fingers of  your hand should be joined together.

1.4  Inhale (puraka) deeply and mentally chant AUM for three times.

1.5  Hold (inner kumbhaka) the breath comfortably and mentally chant Om for four times.

1.6  Exhale (rechaka) slowly and mentally chant Om for six times.

1.7  Hold (outer  kumbhaka) the breath comfortably and mentally chant Om for two times.

Repeat step 1.4 to step 1.7 for SIX times

Step 3:

1.1  Sit on vajrasana  yoga posture on a suitable yoga mat.

1.2  Place both the hands on the back of your shoulder.

1.3  Keep your fingers together.

1.4  Inhale (puraka) deeply and mentally chant AUM for three times.

1.5  Hold (inner kumbhaka) the breath comfortably and mentally chant Om for four times.

1.6  Exhale (rechaka) slowly and mentally chant Om for six times.

1.7  Hold (outer  kumbhaka) the breath comfortably and mentally chant Om for two times.

Repeat step 1.4 to step 1.7 for FOUR times

Step 1 to step 3 is one cycle of ujjayi pranayama. After completing one cycle of pranayama take rest for two minutes. Be comfortable before starting the next cycle.

Do this pranayama for two to three cycles in the morning.  If you are not comfortable sitting on  vajrasana  yoga posture, you can sit on a comfortable chair and do this breathing exercise. Ujjayi pranayama helps you stay young and fresh.

To know more visit Ujjayi Pranayama.

Seven Steps of Kriya Yoga

To be a true kriya yogi you don’t necessarily need to read Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda or any other book as such. You need to practice gently seven kriya steps.  According to Shiva Samhita reading useless books on yoga is the first hindrance of Kriya Yoga. The second hindrance of course will be looking for a Guru or Kriya teacher. All Kriya teachers are not good. Of course there are exceptions. You can judge that yourself on time, as you progress. There are plenty of books in the market, but spending too much time on books are not at all fruitful. Most of them will confuse you.

The best is, practice the steps slowly at a comfortable pace at your own.

Our body (Microcosm) is said to be a small sample of the universe (macrocosm). The whole body of a big tree is hidden in a tiny seed. In a small sperm lies the cast of the entire human body.

There are seven lighted jewels in our body.There are Seven steps in Kriya Yoga.

Step #1 : Know your Seven Energy Bodies

Step #2:  Know Seven Bija Kriya Mantras for seven energy vortex

Step #3:  Know Seven Astral Planes of existence

Step #4:   Know Seven master Postures of Yoga

Step #5:   Know Seven Yoga Foods to activate centers

Step #6:   Know Seven Breathe and Mind fluctuation energy

Step #7:    Know Seven Spiritual Grace centres in brain

Out which the sixth steps which is known as Kriya Pranayama is most vital is explained here.

Visual Khechari Mudra

I learnt the great art of visual khechari mudra from the Himalayan yogi Sri
Amit Ray ji of Uttarkashi. According to him it is not necessary to cut your tongue to practice khechari mudra. Khechari mudra releases the subtle astral knot of the tongue. It is also vital to bear in mind that techniques alone can never give you enlightenment or liberation. However, khechari mudra is a significant exercise to wash away the past karmas, the impressions and the samaskars. It is also known as kechari mudra. It is part of kriya yoga.

Sri Amit Ray ji strongly advised that “For getting success in khechari mudra, it is not required to cut the frenulum (the soft membrane under the tongue). To get success you need to use your imaginative power that will connect the negative energy of the tongue with the positive energy of the third eye. That connection gives eternal bliss”  According to him khechari mudra is a combination of mental and physical exercise.  Role of physical tongue exercise is very little. During the process, you just need to fold the tongue to touch the upper palate and keep the tongue in a very comfortable and relax position.

Khechari Mudra Technique:

Mostly it is a mental visualization process. First concentrate on the tip of the tongue and then concentrate on the tip of the uvula, the little tongue. Gradually build the awareness around the little tongue.  According to him building a visual micro loop around the third-eye, throat, tip of the tongue and the uvula is the secret of khechari mudra. It is much more than the physical tongue exercise techniques. Devotion, love, awareness and purity is the key to khechari mudra.

Paramhansa Yogananda in his book “little tongue” published in 1926 mentioned about khechari Mudra. He explained the role of khechari Mudra  to achieve the deep spiritual states of consciousness.

In the ancient text Siva samhita it is mentioned “Pointing the tongue upwards, when the yogi can drink the nectar flowing from the two eye-brows, within a month he certainly would conquer death” [2.72] Of course it is not talking about the physical death.

You may know more about Khechari Mudra

the little tongue

the little tongue

Yoga: To Release Arthritis

Arthritis is a degenerative condition causing wear of the articulating surfaces, resulting in pain at rest, pain with movements, restriction of movements and in severe cases, deformity.

The word “arthritis” means “joint inflammation” — the Greek “arthron” means “joint”, and the Latin “itis” means “inflammation. Arthritis is a term that covers many different medical conditions that affect the joints, and is the main cause of disability in older people.

With arthritis, something goes wrong with the joint, depending on the kind of arthritis — it could be that the cartilage is wearing away, a lack of synovial fluid, or it may be an autoimmune disorder, or a combination of factors. Joint injuries may also eventually lead to arthritis.

Osteo Arthritis

Types of Arthritis:

The most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

The most common type is osteoarthritis, which is wear and tear associated with ageing. It can be accelerated, or aggravated, or even caused by trauma, excess body weight, obesity, mal–alignment of the joints or congenital joint deformities (dysplasia).

The other common type of arthritis is called rheumatoid arthritis. In this disease, the immune system of the body reacts against the joints and musculoskeletal tissues. This causes inflammation of joints, and leads to wear and tear.

The other types of inflammatory arthritis are: aukylosing spondylarthropathy, Lyme disease, gouty arthritis, arthritis associated with connective tissue disease, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, etc.

Walking Yoga to Remove Arthritis

Now people are discovering that immobility is terrible for someone with arthritis. With sedentary people, even more degeneration and pain of the joints arises. To keep joints and muscles healthy and strong, they must be used. When they’re not used, they become weaker and more unbalanced with more likely-hood of injury and more pain and debilitation.

Regular gentle movement and walking helps to maintain mobility and it reduces pain, as well as promoting the health of other systems of the body. With regular walking yoga exercise there’s increased blood circulation which helps to reduce swelling and pain, and it improves the functioning of the immune system.

Walking Yoga to Remove Arthritis

Walking Yoga to Remove Arthritis

Yoga Postures and Yoga Exercises to Remove Arthritis:

Regular yoga exercises help to keep the body stronger and more supple; increasing range of motion in the joints, while keeping the surrounding muscles strong and supportive. Some common yoga postures are as follows:

Neck Exercises:

Many people hold tension in their necks and shoulders, leading to stiffness, bad posture, and tension headaches. Yoga practice can ease tension, increase flexibility, and tone the muscles.  The steps for neck exercises are as follows:

  • Bend your head forward, chin on chest, then back to original position.
  • Bend to the right, then back to the original position.
  • Bend backward, then back to the original position.
  • Bend to the left, then back to the original position.
  • Bend forward, chin on chest, move from right to the left, then move from left to right.

Standing Side Stretch Yoga Pose:

The Standing Side Stretch Yoga Pose may give you the look of a tree swayed by wind, though this pose offers more benefits than just a stretch on your branches. This side stretch will increase the flexibility of your spine, arms, and rib cage as it stimulates the liver, kidney, and spleen functions. Furthermore, the Yoga Pose will also help realign your spinal column and will aid the lungs to take in more oxygen. This is a simple Yoga Posture with a wonderful stretch in which one line of energy reaches upward from your belly and outward through the arm, and one line travels downward through the legs

Single leg raises Yoga Pose:

This Yoga Pose is performed in order to prepare the body for other exercises. It benefits the legs, lower back muscles, and abdominal area. In practicing the Single Leg Raise, one leg is raised while the other one stays on the floor.

Shoulder Stretches:

These are great in relieving stress and tension on your shoulders, as well as your entire upper back. Practice them daily for several weeks and notice the changes. Learn some basic stretches for the shoulders in this section.

Wrist bending:

Your wrists can also be affected by arthritis, specifically Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid Arthritis. Take good care of your wrists through stretching and bending. Learn how to improve the range of motion of your wrists by doing the Wrist Bending Exercise.

Ankle bending:

Repeated strain or sprain in the ankles can contribute to the occurrence of Ankle Arthritis. Manage stress and keep your ankles in good condition through therapy, having enough rest, and by doing the Ankle Bending Exercise.

Pranayama to Release Arthritis:

Alternate nasal breathing exercise, Belly breathing,  and Kapalvati pranayam are very helpful to remove arthritis.

Research on Yoga and Arthritis:

Scientists from Johns Hopkins University found that Yoga is helpful for rheumatoid arthritis. They found that those who participated in eight weeks of yoga classes had significantly fewer tender and swollen joints than they did before starting class.

Yoga: In Search of the Christ Within

Jesus said,  ”For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” Yoga is the art to find out that kingdom.

I recently returned from a week-long Yoga meditation retreat from Rishikesh, India.  I liked the yoga classes.  It helped me to understand the deep relation between the myself and Jesus.

This yoga classes were particularly delightful for me. Yes, the place was beautiful, it was peaceful, it was quiet, it was nice and away from all telephones and computers, all tasks and ordinary demands, all talking, all purposeful activities.

The people attended the retreat were all excellent.  In life we want enjoyment; we want to avoid pain and discomfort. I think Yoga is the right answer for that. Yoga and service to others was the true message of Christ. Jesus said, “You have burned enough in the sun, in the heat. You have roamed all over the place. Just come inside; this room is ready for you.” You are made up of love. Everyone is full of love and love is God. So you are made up of God! God is not an object of senses, but the feeling of feelings, the presence of presence, the sound of silence, the light of life, the essence of the world and the taste of bliss.

Yoga practice the postures, free hand exercises and special breathing techniques, which open energy channels and centers of awareness, activating them to higher levels of  consciousness.

Meditation and Yoga

Meditation and Yoga

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Kingdom is within you:

Ujjayi Pranayama Steps

Ujjayi Pranayama  is a  kind of breathing exercise that breathe through your throat instead of through your nose. Ujjayi means imitating the oceanic sound or the sound of the waves.  Ujjayi Pranayama techniques are very helpful to fight against the sleeping disorder which is known as insomnia.

Our nervous system consists of two main branches the central and the autonomic. The central nervous system is controlled through the conscious part of the brain whereas the autonomic nervous system is controlled by the sub-conscious part of the brain.  Breathing is carried out almost automatically by the sub-conscious part of the brain. Ujjayi Pranayama controls the breath, which has an immediate effect on the sub-conscious

The technique of Ujjayi breathing is easy to learn. Ujjayi is breath with a throat sound accompanying it. To perform Ujjayi breathing, narrow your throat and inhale through your throat to make a hissing sound. Ujjiayi Pranayama, inhalation and exhalation should be practised by both the nostrils. This is similar to the sound made when you exhale noisily. Ujjayi pranayama can be done lying down:

Inhale deeply and long using Ujjayi breath as described above.

  1. Exhale deeply and long using Ujjayi breath
  2. Repeat 5 to 10 times as per your capacity
  3. When Ujjayi is done correctly you should be able to hear the sound.
Ujjayi Pranayama

Ujjayi Pranayama

To know the details of  visit Ujjayi Pranayama steps.