In yogic breathing, Sama Vritti pranayama is one such powerful relaxation tool that consciously incorporates longer breath to clear our mind, relax our body, and allow us to focus on our natural breathing process. However, sama vritti is a simple practice in which the exhalation lasts as long as the exhalation. It focuses on the idea of ”equal” breaths, hence the name Equal Breathing technique.
Practicing this equal parts breathing technique helps to clear our mind, relax the body, and increase lung capacity as well life span. Sama Vritti Pranayama also forms the basis for learning more advanced pranayama. It incorporates conscious breathing retention to allow us to focus on our natural breathing process.
This is a simple yet highly effective yoga breathing exercise that can be practiced at any time of the day, just find a quiet place away from distractions.
What is Sama Vritti Pranayama?
Sama Vritti Pranayama is a type of controlled, moving, rhythmic yoga breathing exercise. Yoga is a breathing exercise. Sama is a Sanskrit word that literally means “same” and vritti means “mental fluctuation”, “flow” or “wave”. Here sama means “duration” and vritti means “speed of the breath”. Hence sama vritti pranayama is translated as equalizing the duration of each breathing movement. In ancient Indian Yogic Sciencese, it is described as square wave-like proportion breathing. To understand this pranayama practice more clearly, we can divide our breathing into 4 basic parts:
- Inhalation (puraka)
- Internal retention (antara-khumbaka)
- Exhalation (rechaka)
- External retention (bahya-khumbaka)
Sama Vritti Pranayama focuses on yogic deep breathing employed by the United States Navy SEALs. Its common name, “box breathing”, refers to the fact that the four sides of the box, the concept represented count to four for a total of four times, such as inhalation to a count of four (puraka), four counts of breath retention after inhalation (Antar kumbhaka), Four counts of exhalation (rechaka), and four more counts after you exhale or external retention (bahya-khumbaka).
So this pranayama technique also goes by other names, too. such as
- Equal breathing.
- Four-square breathing.
- Square breathing.
- 4×4 breathing.
- 4-4-4-4 breathing.
How to do Box Breathing Technique (Sama Vritti Pranayama)
Sama Vritti Pranayama practice can be done by any person anywhere and even children can learn. However, in order to master it immediately, it is very important to keep a few things in mind first. For example, sit straight at first, keep your mouth straight, keep the shoulders straight and tight which can help in reducing stress and anxiety very quickly.
Keep a peaceful environment around you and close your eyes to release tension. Keeping your palms in front, keep your hands comfortably on your lap, now focus on your posture. Now start exercising.
Step 1. Slowly inhale
- Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose to a count of four.
- In this step, slowly raise your head correctly.
- Feel that the air is filling your lungs and hold yourself there for a while.
Step 2: Hold the Breath In
Hold your breath while mentally counting to four. This will make you feel comfortable from inside.
Step 3: Slowly Exhale
Sitting upright, slowly exhale through your mouth, allowing all the oxygen out of your lungs. While doing this, keep your focus on the breath and be mindful of what you are doing.
Push the air out of your lungs and stomach. Fully feel the air leaving your lungs and slowly let it out.
Step 4: Hold the Breath Out
Hold the breath again through your mouth for a count of four. Continue this process of breathing in this manner.
Benefits of Samavritti Pranayama
Sama vritti pranayama has been shown to increase the activity of the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems, has numerous health benefits.
The biggest benefit of Sama Vritti Pranayama is relaxation, especially in times of stress. Studies show that regulating the yogic breath can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and maybe even help among other benefits, bradycardia, and reduction in systolic blood pressure.
This pranayama technique is a practice of breath control for enlightenment, purification, and relaxation, and it also has an aspect of meditation, which is a kind of mantra meditation that, again, helps clear the mind, calm the body, and brings you into the present moment.
Box breathing can help you navigate through times of stress by tapping into the parasympathetic nervous system.
The biggest benefits of box breathing technique is that it helps in effectively removing CO2 from the body. This gives a calm and relaxed feeling in the mind and body.
Effects of Samavritti Pranayama
- Lowers anxiety, depression, and panic attacks
- Reduces sweating and muscle cramps
- Post traumatic stress disorder
- Refining the breath and awareness of prana flow
- Improves awareness and focus
- Enhances the digestive process
- Improves lung capacity
- Enhances functions of the immune system
- Increase oxygen to the brain
Box breathing, also known as square breathing or Sama Vritti Pranayama. It has involved slow and deep breathing techniques.
Sama Vritti Pranayama is the only powerful relaxation tool that contains holding of breath twice in a practice.
This breathing technique is used in the U.S. It is used to reduce the stress response by Navy SEALs.
This slow & deep breathing technique has a stress-busting effect & makes us aware of every moment of the breathing cycle.
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