For Your Child & You: The Astonishing Benefits Of Daily Pranayama Practice
Humans are social beings. Modern urban life also makes it difficult for us to cut off completely or avoid situations that bring us stress and anxiety. Especially with the advent of capitalism and technology as well as digitization and urbanization. Naturally, we look for ways to deal with these pressures effectively so that we can stay calm and focused. Therefore, we suggest that we take a look back into Indian history and Yogic practices. Our forefathers relied on the benefits of daily pranayama practice to live balanced and joyful lives.
In this special Lifestyle blog, we’ll discuss some science-backed benefits of daily pranayama practice. These benefits are experienced by millions of people around the world. With this easy and enjoyable practice of breath control, you can improve the quality of physical, mental, and emotional health. Not just yours but also of your children.
Benefits of daily Pranayama practice – are they even real?
After only a few weeks (or even days, in many instances), practitioners begin to notice the benefits of daily Pranayama practice. It is a process that requires only a few minutes every day yet gives you amazing and long-lasting results. Not only do people who practice it vouch for it but various scientific studies and research reveal astonishing data that speaks volumes about Pranayama’s effectiveness. In this article, we will line out some major benefits of Pranayama but also mention medical studies that support the claims.
What is Pranayama?
Pranayama is the ancient Indian yogic practice of mindful breathing. In Devanagri, ‘Prana’ means ‘the essential life force’ or ‘life itself; and ‘Ayama’ means ‘practicing control’. It is a practice of controlled and mindful breathing in different styles and lengths. Scientists and researchers have conducted scientific studies periodically which have proven ‘Pranayama’ to be significantly helpful in achieving physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Pranayama finds noteworthy mentions in the ancient Indian texts of the Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Hatha Yoga, etc. It has gained popularity all around the globe for its effects on cognitive function, emotional regulation, and alleviating physiological conditions. Different types of Pranayama breathing techniques, both slow and fast, have unique benefits. Let’s look at some of these proven benefits of daily pranayama practice.
Receiving the benefits of Pranayama – get basic training
Pranayama is a practice that requires guidance. Therefore, you must get trained under a certified guru, coach, or practitioner. There are many global, national, and local organizations that offer courses on Yoga, meditation, and yogic breathing. Contact a Yogic centre near you or sign up for an online training course. You will find courses designed specifically for different age groups wherein you can enroll your children and other members of your family.
Normally, most of these courses have a price or fee that falls within the budget of a normal man. Some advanced courses with certain reputed organizations may be more expensive. However, as a beginner or a daily practitioner, you needn’t do advanced training unless you want to advance your skills enormously. The daily Pranayama practice also doesn’t ask for more than 10-30 minutes of your time in a day.
Astonishing benefits of daily pranayama practice
Pranayama helps in emotional regulation and stress levels
One of the greatest benefits of daily Pranayama practice is the stilness and focus it instills in the practitioner. People say that they feel more decisive, joyful, calm, and able to handle stressful situations with greater ease and tact. It helps in managing depression and provides natural confidence and optimism.
In a 2017 study conducted on 12th Graders from a school in Chikamangaluru, India revealed some surprising results. A group of children were given training and practice for 30 minutes daily for 15 days. The performance of this group over the group of children who were not practicing was significantly different. Tests like MAAS, ERQ, and Nonphysical Aggression Scale from Pittsburgh Youth Study were performed to ascertain the performance of the children.
Another 2013 study also showed the positive effects of slow Pranayama breathing techniques in managing stress levels and blood pressure.
Pranayama’s effect on Lung function
The techniques used in Pranayama practice such as deep breathing, slow and fast-paced breathing, etc. have a positive effect on pulmonary function. One of the greatest benefits of daily Pranayama practice is that it increases the oxygen reaching your cells. It opens up the lungs as well as helps in the regeneration of their cells.
A 2014 study conducted on the Impact of yogic breathing on lung/pulmonary function and a 2012 study on the short-term effects of Pranayama on pulmonary parameters, both reveal that there is a significant increase in the lung parameters such as FEC, FEV1, PEFR, FEF, BHT. The scientists recorded the results after 6-weeks of daily Pranayama practice.
Particularly beneficial in – allergic bronchitis, asthma, recovery from pneumonia and tuberculosis, and many occupational diseases.
Benefits of Pranayama in Hypertension
Pranayama greatly improves the condition of mildly hypertensive patients with BP issues. For example, this 2013 study showed improvements in BP patients within a period of 10 days only.
Pranayama has also shown to be extremely effective in the management of episodes of high Blood Pressure or increased HR (heart rate). A 2010 study published by NCBI India stressed the immediate impact of only 5 minutes of slow Pranayama breathing on alleviating HR and BP in patients with elevated parameters.
Particularly beneficial in – systolic and diastolic blood pressure, mild to moderate hypertension, high BP, and cardiovascular function.
Daily Pranayama improves Cognitive Function
Apart from improving heart and lung function, Pranayama also improves our brain function. It is said that Pranayama energizes more than 80,000 neurons in our body. The improved mental performance is also related to the increased oxygen uptake facilitated by Pranayama breathing techniques.
In a 2014 study, healthy volunteers were given 6 weeks of daily Pranayama practice. The observations were phenomenal. They volunteers showed improved executive function and RT (reaction time), greater auditory and visual memory, better comprehension, and greater problem-solving than the ones who did not do daily Pranayama practice. Their scores on VRT—R and VRT—GRT (Reaction Tests) and Cognitive Functions Test Battery were far superior to the control group.
Particularly beneficial in – reasoning, memory, auditory and visual understanding, comprehension, problem solving.
Pranayama can help children’s test performance
Pranayama has also proven to greatly help children with test performance and anxiety. A 2013 study conducted with the help of students showed significant drop in test anxiety and high test scores.
Children who did daily 30-min Pranayama practice for 6 weeks not only showed reduced text anxiety in the t-test but also scored better than those who did not.
Benefits of daily Pranayama include Improved Sleep Quality
One of the greatest benefits of daily Pranayama practice, especially in people struggling with sleep apnea and other sleep disorders, is improved sleep quality. People are known to sleep better, wake up energized, and feeling more rested than before.
People suffering from sleep apnea, a serious sleeping condition in which patients have obstructed breathing while sleeping, can greatly benefit from daily Pranayama. A recent study from 2019 conducted on Sleep Apnea patients showed significant improvement in patients in as less as 6 weeks. There was significant reduction in their neck circumference, daytime sleepiness, and snoring, leading to improved sleep quality.
We’d strongly advise that you take some time out of for yourself to perform Pranayama. However, before that, take some training under a trained Yogic teacher. If you instill this practice in your child’s routine from a young age, it can greatly help them lead better lives as children, adolescents, as well as adults. It will also help you deal with your everyday stresses and responsibilities far more effectively.
If you would also like to read about other beneficial and enjoyable activities to stay fit, read this post about dance fitness.
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