Pranayama is the practice of controlled breathing and is a part of the yogic system. Ayurveda incorporated pranayama into its system of self-healing because it is very effective for helping to balance the doshas, especially vata and pitta.
There are many different types of pranayama techniques. Ayurveda recommends pranayama practice depending upon one's main constitution as well as present moment doshic balance/imbalance. A person with a pitta imbalance benefits from breathing through the left nostril, then exhaling through the right nostril - using the thumb and middle finger to close and open alternate nostrils. This pranayama is cooling for pitta and the body as it enhances the female energy. Vata imbalances benefit from alternate nostril breathing while kapha benefits from breathing in through the right nostril, and out through the left - in reverse of pitta pranayama.
Pranayama is best learned and practiced under supervision of an experienced pranayama practitioner. Done incorrectly, pranayama can create disorders of the body's systems, organs, and doshas.
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended as medical advise, diagnosis, or to replace a one-on-one relationship with a licensed Doctor or health care professional.