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Bandhas and Mudras in Pranayama
Pranayama - A Science of Breathing - 1
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Pranayama -fast Breathing
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Pranayama -Deep Breathing
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Nadi Shodhan or Anuloma Viloma (Alternate Nostril Breathing)
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Bharamari or (Humming Bee Breath)
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Ujjayi or (Psychic Breath)
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Surya Bhedan (Right Nostril Breathing or Revitalizing Breath)
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Bandhas and Mudras in Pranayama


Bandh is a special characteristic of Hatha Yoga. The various types of bandhas have been described in Yoga texts. However none of them defines the term "Bandh" as such. The three types of bandhas, viz Jalandhar Bandh, Uddiyan Bandh and Mul Bandh have been described in many of the ancient texts. With the help of these descriptions, an attempt may be made to define the bandhas. Bandh may be defined as a particular action involving pressure or strain on the muscles. It is expected in Yoga to retain a firm pose in bandh as it is retained in the asanas.

Kapalbhati (Frontal Lobe Cleansing)

'kapalbhati' is one of the 'shatkarma' which has been mentioned in the 'Gherand Samhita' & 'Hatha Yoga Pradipika'. The literal meaning of 'kapal' is cranium and 'bhati' is light or shining. So kapalbhati means increasing the efficiency of the organs situated in the cranium. So we can say that kapalbhati improves the function of brain. Another name for kapalbhati is 'bhalbhati'.

In processes of kapalbhati exhalation is fast and with jerk while inhalation is slow, passive and without any efforts. Emphasis is given more on the processes of exhalation.

In natural respiration emphasis is on inhalation, it is active and exhalation is passive. In kapalbhati the processes is exactly reversed, giving more importance to exhalation and less importance to inhalation.

About the benefits of kapalbhati it can be said that it helps to clear and purify the mucus, dust, carbon particles from the respiratory tract.

Physiologically during natural respiration the cerebro-spinal-fluid around the brain is compressed and decompressed. This happens 14 times a minute, the natural respiratory rate. In kapalbhati the exhalation is with jerk and inhalation is passive, so the compression? decompression effect is enhanced. Further the process is fast, 120 times a minute which increases the effect. Because of this the brain is being massaged which will improve the blood supply to the brain and increase the function of brain.

The circulatory system is also affected by contraction and relaxation of diaphragm and the abdominal muscles. While exhaling the blood from abdominal region is pushed towards heart. During inhalation the venous return from legs to abdomen increases and in next round same blood is pushed towards the heart. So kapalbhati improves venous return to the heart and helps to improve circulation.

Apart from above mentioned benefits, kapalbhati helps to improve digestion, the function of liver and pancreas. It also increases the strength of abdominal muscle and the diaphragm.
 

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