Pranayama for Stress Management

Pranayama is a technique to control breath. “Prana” means breath, “Ayama” means control. It is a simple process of systematic and rhythmic inhalation and exhalation that help us to attain control over our emotions.

Many of us consider breathing as a natural process. But in fact to lead a healthy and stress-free life, we need to inhale more oxygen and exhale carbondioxide which is nothing but the toxic waste in our body.

With our busy life schedules, we often ignore our breathing. It tends to be fast and shallow. We use only a little of our lung power while inhaling and exhaling. This shallow breathing leads to less oxygen supply and the negative emotions get stuck inside the body. Due to the lack of prana (oxygenated breath) we suffer restlessness, stress, anxiety, etc. This leads to different complications like sleep disorders, fatigue, etc.

Pranayama encourages slow and rhythmic breathing practices that help us take sufficient amount of oxygen that re-energizes our body. In the process, we tend to send our all negative emotions thus make ourselves free from negative emotions.

Types of pranayama

There are many types of pranayama like Bhastrika, Kapalabhati, Sitkari, Shitali, Anulom vilom, Ujjayi and Bhramari. All of them give some common benefits.

In this article, we discuss Anuloma vilom pranayama (alternative nostril breathing) which helps us in stress management. This type of pranayama can be practiced anywhere, even in offices and public places.

Anulom Vilom Pranayama – For stress management

To practice the Anuloma viloma pranayama just follow these simple steps:

  1. Sit in a position, close the eyes and settle down.
  2. With right thumb close the right nostril.
  3. Inhale slowly through the left nostril until the maximum capacity.
  4. Hold your breath (Not for beginners, hypertension and asthma people).
  5. With right arm middle and ring fingers close the left nostril.
  6. Release the right thumb and exhale slowly.
  7. Now inhale through right nostril.
  8. Hold the breath.
  9. Exhale through left nostril.

Precautions to take while doing pranayama

  • Do not sit in the posture that blocks breathing process.
  • Do not try to take breath more than your maximum capacity in the beginning.
  • Do not practice in a hurry.
  • Holding breath is not recommended for beginners and for people having issues like high blood pressure, lung, heart, eye and ear problems.
  • Do not practice immediately after meals or with filled stomach. A gap of 3 to 4 hours should be there after meals.
  • Breathing should never be forced.
  • The people who have heart surgeries, brain surgeries, and abdominal surgeries should not practice without advice of medical expert.
  • It’s better not to practice while having cold or when nasal passages are blocked


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