Can I Start Practicing Pranayam Without Doing Any Asana

by Sukumar
(Chennai)

Can I start practicing Pranayama (alom vilom) without doing another asana? Because I am going to start now. I am healthy and 30 year old man.


Answer

As per Patanjali, pranayama should be practiced only after perfection in asana is obtained. First one must improve the fitness level of your body to absorb the prana or energy released during pranayama.

However, if you are physically fit and plan to do alom vilom only, you can start pranayama without learning any asana. Practice rhythmic breathing before starting with Pranayama as this will correct your breathing pattern.

1. If you are not doing yoga asanas, at least warm up for few minutes by doing stretching exercises or surya namanskar (3-4 rounds).

2. You should be able to maintain the sitting pose (padmasana, vajrasana or sukhasana) comfortably for the duration of pranayama practice. Your posture for pranayama should be erect and steady without much movement.

3. While doing pranayama, do not strain the lungs. Any time you feel any discomfort stop the breathing exercises. End the pranayama practice with little bit of meditation say 5 to 10 minutes.

4. As you start with pranayama, you may feel some emotions, itchiness or tingling feeling due to release of toxins from the body. If the symptoms go away with practice, it is fine otherwise seek help of a yoga teacher.

5. Finally relax in shavasana for 5-10 minutes to achieve complete relaxation of the body.

Hope this helps
Daljit

References
Yoga Breathing
Guidelines for pranayama
Rhythmic breathing




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