Your immune system is your body’s “defence team.” This well-organized squad is constantly at work defending your body against bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other invaders.
One of the best ways to improve your immunity is through practicing Pranayama. Pranayama helps to improve your nervous system, provides more oxygen in your blood, thus automatically re-balances the body, and improves the immune system.
Exercising Pranayama is even more important for long-distance runners like me, as marathon running needs more strength and better immune power.
There are mainly 5 Pranayama’s (yogic breathing technique) which not only boosts immunity but also leads to a healthy mind :
- Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellow Breathing Practice)
- Kapalbhati Pranayama (Forehead Shining Breathing Practice)
- Anuloma Viloma Pranayama (Alternate Breathing Practice)
- Bhramari Pranayama (The Humming Bee Breathing Practice)
- Udgeeth Pranayama (Chanting Breathing Practice)
Bhastrika means bellow. Thus, also called “Bellow Breathing”. This traditional yogic breathing practice also termed “Breath of Fire” as it generates heat in the body. This heat helps to keep our bodies warm and boost the immune system.
Other Primary benefits
- Energizes the body and the mind
- Improves digestion
- Cures cold, flu, sinus, asthma
- Good for tonsils, thyroid, throat problems
- Benefits migraine and from other severe headaches
- Cures any kind of heart diseases
- Reduces stress and anxiety
“Kapala” means “skull or forehead” and “Bhati” means “light, perception, and knowledge”. Thus, Kapalbhati brings lightness and clarity to your mind.
It’s an energizing breathing practice that clears the lungs, strengthens the abdomen, and stables the mind.
The practice requires rapid contraction and release of the abdomen, focuses primarily on the exhalation, thus kick out all toxins from your body which helps to boost the immune system and improve your brainpower.
Other Primary Benefits
- Reduces stress
- Cures all stomach problems
- Improves blood circulation in whole body parts
- Cures diabetes, constipation, asthma, allergy, sinusitis, kidney issues
Anuloma means ‘with the grain’ and Viloma means ‘against the grain’. Also termed as Alternate Breathing practice, the pranayama stimulates the left and right energy channels to keep them balanced.
It is also the best and the simplest breathing technique to boost the immune system by balancing Tri dosas (Three impurities) – Vata (Space and Air), Pitta (Fire and Water), and Kapha (Water and Earth).
Other primary Benefits
- Cures Bronchitis & Asthma
- Cures Diabetes
- Cures Arthritis
- Cures Migraine
- Reduce Acidity and gastric problems
- Treats Blood pressure and many more.
Bhramari Pranayama, also known as Humming Bee Breath, is a calming breathing practice that soothes the nervous system and helps to connect us with our inner self.
In Sanskrit, Bhramari means “Bee” and thus the pranayama is named so because of the humming sound produced during the practice.
The pranayama also helps in improving the secretion of Thyroid hormones which produces natural killer cells to fight against foreign invaders and boost our immune system.
Other primary Benefits
- It has a natural calming effect.
- Improves concentration and memory
- Controls blood pressure
- Beneficial for migraines, epilepsy, paralysis, insomnia
- Cures Alzheimer’s disease
- Improves sexual dysfunction
- During pregnancy, it regulates the Endocrine system which helps easy childbirth
The Sanskrit word ‘Udgeeth’ means deep and rhythmic chant. Udgeeth pranayama involves chanting of ‘OM’ (AUM). It is the simplest pranayama to practice.
The continuous chant of ‘OM’ with conscious breathings lead to dhyana (meditation). The very nature of this pranayama makes it quite enjoyable and at the same time connects you with your divine self closely.
It frees you from anxiety and tension and acts as a perfect stress management system, thus leads to a happy mind and a healthy immune system.
Other Primary Benefits
- Cures Insomnia and bad dreams
- Controls hypertension
- Improves our nervous system
- Increases memory power, concentration, positive thinking, and self-confidence
- Cures acidity and improves the digestive system
- Improves blood circulation to the body
- Relieves anxiety, tension, stress, and anger
- Increase strength and immunity
Things to Remember
- Warm-up your body by doing basic stretching before practicing pranayama
- Follow the mentioned sequence. You should start with Bhastrika and calm down by performing Udgeeth at the end.
- All the pranayama is preferred doing empty stomach, early in the morning
- People with high blood pressure should practice under the supervision of a yoga teacher.
- Women can avoid the first 3 pranayamas during their pregnancy and menstruation.
The present coronavirus situation highlights the need to strengthen immune systems which are often being neglected due to our lifestyle choices.
Pranayama not only helps to improve your mind and body power but also keeps you fit and active by boosting immunity.
And if you are a runner like me, pranayama is a blessing. If you perform these 5 breathing exercises regularly, you will never experience the shortness of breath as pranayama enhances the lung’s capacity with improved oxygen supply.
Thank You for reading it through. I hope I would have been able to encourage you to practice the above pranayama as a part of your daily routine.
Also, if you find the post informative, help us to spread the word by sharing the same.
Stay healthy, stay safe.