Should you practice pranayama breathing exercises before or after performing the movement?

Pranayama is an important part of yoga and combining it with movements in a practice session will also have a huge impact on the results of the practice.

Pranayama breathing exercises are an important part of yoga practice, and if done right, pranayama will take your yoga practice to the next level. However, should practice pranayama before or after performing the movements? This is a common question of many people and if you are also one of them, let’s see the sharing below with

What is Pranayama?

Pranayama is the Sanskrit word for breathing in yoga. “Prana” means “breath” and “yama” means “control”, so pranayama means to control the breath.

Pranayama is the traditional breathing exercises of hatha yoga, it includes nadi shodan, bhastrika, surya bheda, bhramari, shitali, ujjayi pranayama and some other techniques. These breathing exercises must be performed while sitting in a meditative posture.

Currently, breathing exercises such as deep abdominal breathing are also considered pranayama. However, this is not nearly as true because pranayama in hatha yoga are very rigorous techniques with very slow inhalation and exhalation.

Pranayama or breath control are exercises with a long history and since time immemorial, pranayama has been considered a difficult exercise. Even the ancient yoga practitioners considered practicing pranayama more important than performing the movements.

In old Sanskrit texts on hatha yoga, “asana” or movement is just a position where you sit to practice meditation and breathing exercises. And most of the popular yoga moves today are no more than a hundred years old.

What is pranayama?

Pranayama or breath control are exercises with a long history and since ancient times, pranayama has been considered a difficult exercise.

Do pranayama before or after performing the movements?

Most of the ancient yoga records suggest that pranayama breathing exercises should be performed after the poses. This does not mean that you should always practice the movements before practicing pranayama.

It means that if you practice the movement and practice pranayama at the same time, the practice should be done first. Because the movements you do will help because pranayama works on a deeper level. In addition, practicing the movements first also makes the pranayama exercises easier.

Pranayama is really a difficult exercise, it takes many people even years to master this technique. However, as long as you practice correctly, even if you are just getting used to it, it will also bring you a lot of benefits. This is why you should learn these breathing exercises with experienced yoga teachers.

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Why practice the movements before practicing pranayama?

Practicing yoga movements before doing breathing exercises will help you:

Calm down and relax before practice

The breath reflects a person’s mental state. When agitated, you will breathe quickly and irregularly, whereas when relaxed, you will breathe slowly and evenly. The movements you do before practicing pranayama will trigger a state of relaxation by acting on the parasympathetic nervous system.

This will lead to a decrease in electrical activity in the brain, a decrease in heart rate, and a slower metabolism. The amount of stress hormones produced is reduced and muscle tension is also reduced.

When you relax, you will use less oxygen, especially in a meditative state, the amount of oxygen used will be even lower. This is why divers often spend time relaxing on the shore before diving.

See more: Yoga and diving: The perfect duo with many interesting things in common

Set focus

Doing slow and gentle yoga movements before practicing pranayama is a great way to gain calm and focus.

Set focus

Pranayama, especially nadi shodan, can be considered a meditation practice with immediate effects. When practicing, an unconscious thought can throw you off balance. Therefore, you will need a great deal of concentration to avoid falling into this situation. If you don’t focus, you start to struggle and you’ll use up more oxygen.

Doing slow and gentle yoga moves before practice is a great way to gain calm and focus. You also have strong, dynamic postures, but before doing pranayama, you should practice some relaxation movements.

The body has enough time to digest

To comfortably practice, you need to eat 3-4 hours before exercise so that the body has time to digest all the food and have enough energy. For pranayama exercises this is extremely important.

Practicing movements before doing breathing exercises will give the body more time to digest food. In addition, yoga movements will also help speed up the digestive process so that breathing exercises are most effective.

Breathing exercises also give a great support to the practice of poses

There are also cases where breathing exercises are performed before the movements if this exercise has a positive effect on the performance of the poses. In fact, some light techniques like wave breathing, deep belly breathing are a great first step to practicing the movements.

In addition, there are also some teachers who let students practice pranayama before practicing the poses. However, in reality, these are just deep breathing exercises, not real pranayama. These techniques still have many benefits when done correctly. However, it is different from pranayama breathing exercise so you need to understand it correctly to avoid confusion.

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Through the above sharing of, you must have found the answer to your question, right? Pranayama is really a difficult exercise, if you want to try it but don’t have time to go to yoga classes, don’t hesitate to download to your device and connect with our yoga teacher.

Reference source

Should you practice pranayama before or after asana? Accessed date: September 13, 2020

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