Benefits of Pranayama
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15 Scientific Benefits of Pranayama

When it comes to discussing the Scientific Benefits of Pranayama many people have different notions. But only a few know the full extent of pranayama. Many definitions have emerged during the period of time, but only a few describe the true meaning of pranayama.

Pranayama is based on “Prana” which is the important energy required by our physical as well as subtle layers, and without it, the body would perish. It is the life force within us that nourishes our mind and keeps us alive. “Prana” refers to the life force in the universe while “Ayama” means to regulate. Pranayama essentially means working in prana’s dimension.

Prana flows through various energy channels called “nadis” along with energy centers called “chakras”. State of mind of one is defined by the quality as well as the quantity of prana along with flows through these channels. Smooth flow and high level of prana mean the person is calm. Without the proper flow of this energy, a person can feel worried, fear, etc. Pranayama helps in maintaining prana and flow of energy.

Pranayama is the practice of controlling and regulating breath in yoga. Here are 15 benefits of Pranayama supported by science:

  1. Reduces stress and anxiety: Pranayama has been shown to have a calming effect on the mind, reducing stress and anxiety. A study published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine found that pranayama practice significantly reduced stress and anxiety levels.
  2. Improves lung function: Pranayama involves deep breathing techniques, which can improve lung function. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that pranayama practice improved lung function and breathing capacity.
  3. Lowers blood pressure: Pranayama has been shown to lower blood pressure in individuals with hypertension. A study published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that pranayama practice led to significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
  4. Boosts cognitive function: Pranayama has been found to improve cognitive function and attention. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that pranayama practice improved cognitive performance.
  5. Enhances immune function: Pranayama has been shown to improve immune function. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that pranayama practice led to increases in immune cells in the body.
  6. Increases energy levels: Pranayama has been found to increase energy levels and decrease fatigue. A study published in the International Journal of Yoga found that pranayama practice led to improvements in vitality and energy levels.
  7. Improves digestion: Pranayama can improve digestion and alleviate digestive issues. A study published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine found that pranayama practice improved digestive function.
  8. Relieves tension headaches: Pranayama has been shown to relieve tension headaches. A study published in the International Journal of Yoga Therapy found that pranayama practice led to significant reductions in tension headaches.
  9. Reduces symptoms of asthma: Pranayama has been found to reduce symptoms of asthma. A study published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine found that pranayama practice improved asthma symptoms.
  10. Improves sleep quality: Pranayama can improve sleep quality and reduce insomnia. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that pranayama practice improved sleep quality and quantity.
  11. Reduces inflammation: Pranayama has been shown to reduce markers of inflammation in the body. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that pranayama practice led to significant reductions in markers of inflammation.
  12. Enhances mood: Pranayama can enhance mood and reduce symptoms of depression. A study published in the International Journal of Yoga found that pranayama practice led to improvements in mood and reductions in depressive symptoms.
  13. Improves cardiovascular health: Pranayama has been shown to improve cardiovascular health. A study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research found that pranayama practice led to improvements in heart rate variability, a marker of cardiovascular health.
  14. Boosts immune response to vaccinations: Pranayama has been shown to enhance the immune response to vaccinations. A study published in the International Journal of Yoga found that pranayama practice led to higher antibody levels in response to vaccination.
  15. Enhances athletic performance: Pranayama has been found to enhance athletic performance. A study published in the International Journal of Yoga found that pranayama practice led to improvements in endurance and performance in competitive swimmers.

Talking about physiological points of different effects of pranayama, there are many inferences that can be made. Pranayama assists in the efficient and smooth functioning of various systems of the body. By means of inspiration, expiration along with retention, it results in the rise as well as fall of the diaphragm along with relaxation and contraction of abdominal muscles helps in massaging the bowels and the kidneys and hence helps in removing congestion if it exists. It results in toning of nerves and muscles of both the bowels and kidneys.

When it comes to the health of respiration, it is dependent on the strength of respiratory muscles along with the good elasticity of the lungs. During pranayama, the chest expands to its fullest extent many times which put the lungs on the utmost stretch. Hence, these organs are trained to operate with efficiency during the remainder of the day.>

All the organs associated with digestion as well as absorption like the stomach, the liver, and the pancreas, all get exercised in pranayama. It is done by gently massing of them by the diaphragm and the abdominal muscles. It leads to the removal of congestion in the liver along with the correction of the function of the unhealthy pancreas. It also removes gastric disorders.

By pranayama, there is a gentle massage of the heart, and it helps in working of the circulatory system with satisfaction. During pranayama, the diaphragm along with lower abdominal muscles pull the spine’s lower part as a whole. The venous blood from the brain is subsequently drained quite thoroughly, and fresh arterial blood is provided to the brain. This results in instantaneous refreshing results.

Conclusion

These are the major scientific observations and Scientific Benefits of Pranayama. Hope this provides you the necessary information regarding various aspects of pranayama. These observations are made by scientists from many countries over a period of time and are duly published in renowned journals.

Disclaimer

The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional