The Do's and Don'ts of Practicing Pranayama
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Pranayama can’t build your health or strength overnight as it takes much patience and perseverance. Its benefits are there, but you have to be patient, consistent, and take it slowly. Below are some of Do’s and Don’ts:
- Pranayama should be practiced out in the open, preferably where the air is clean and healthy.
- If you must do it indoors, pick a room that’s clean; free of mold, damp, strong smell and dust; as well as one which has excellent ventilation.
- Never perform pranayama immediately after eating. Doing it on a full stomach can lead to digestive issues, such as diarrhea or constipation, bloating, lethargy, and abdominal pains.
- Wait at least two hours after a meal before doing pranayama, or till you’re feeling full.
- Pranayama exercises should be performed with empty bladders and bowels.
- Those suffering from breathing ailments (such as asthma), and pregnant women, should first consult with a professional before engaging in Pranayama exercises.
- Those with colds, coughs, and acute constipation should avoid sitkari pranayama .
- Sitali pranayama is also not prescribed for people with colds, coughs, and tonsillitis.
- In case, you have high blood pressure, avoid surya bedhana pranayama and bhastrika pranayama.
- If you have low blood pressure,hypertension and heart problems avoid ujjayi pranayama.
- Those with ear problems (such as otitis media, glue ear, or swimmer’s ear) should avoid bhramari pranayama .
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- Pranayama must always be performed upright with the back straight, and with your jaw parallel to the floor.
- Tilting your head down or backward, as well as slumping your shoulders or back, can restrict the flow of air through your throat or stomach, which can cause dizziness or nausea.
- Despite maintaining a straight and upright posture, you must relax as much as possible.
- While it may seem like a good idea to use a chair with a back rest, it isn’t as the angle of the seat puts uncomfortable pressure on your spine and buttocks.
- Traditionally, yogis sit cross-legged on the floor but if you’re more comfortable sitting on something other than the floor, then choose either a stool or a backless chair.
- Avoid too deep cushions. Use something that’ll allow you to sit upright comfortably, as well as help you maintain that posture for at least five minutes.
- Tense your feet, scrunching them up into a ball, and hold them that way for a slow count of three. Then let go. Repeat the process with your calves, then your upper legs, then your thighs, then your stomach, then your chest, then your arms and hands, then your neck, jaw, and face. Be sure to spend at least three seconds tensing each part before moving onto the next body part.
- Most pranayama exercises are done through the nose, and very rarely ever through the mouth.
- Furthermore , almost all exercises require you to breathe into your abdomen, what is known as belly-breathing. Only in some cases will the breath be taken into the chest. You must therefore learn to isolate your breathing properly.
- Unless otherwise specified, keep your lips closed and your jaw relaxed. There should be a gap between your upper and lower teeth. The tip of your tongue should also be pressed against the back of your upper teeth.
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