Pranayama for men

Migraine and heart problems are seen a lot in men but regular pranayama practice can get rid of these diseases. So, lets focus on some helpful breathing techniques :

1.Ujjayi Pranayama

Ujjayi Pranayama helps in maintaining peace of mind and warmth in the body.

Benefits:

  • Increases the ability to concentrate.
  • Increases internal energy and makes positive energy flow.
  • Helps with sinus issues and migraines.
  • Opens up clogged arteries and controls cholesterol levels.
  • Reduces the chances of heart diseases and problems like heart attacks.

2. Bhastrika Pranayama
In this pranayama, the breath is exhaled rapidly like a bellows to expand the prana vayu. Simultaneously, with the same speed, the breath is taken inwards as well.

Benefits :

  • Relieves three doshas i.e. Vata, Pitta and Kapha. When these three are balanced, a person remains free from diseases.
  • When done with slow breathing rate, its positive effect is visible on blood pressure. This may help control both the systolic (upper number) and dyslotic (bottom number)
  • Reduces weight and body fat.
  • Reduces stress, improves anxiety and mood.

3. Surya Bhedi Pranayama
Surya Bhedana is a kind of warming pranayama, or breathing technique, that focuses on one nostril: the right side. Surya indicates the right nostril which is connected to the body’s pingala nadi.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens the lungs.
  • Practicing on a regular basis reduces anxiety, depression and other mental diseases.
  • Digestive system gets strengthened.
  • It increases the heat in the body due to which Vata and Kapha, cold and cough are destroyed.
  • It is of great benefit in respiratory diseases like Asthma, Bronchitis etc.
  • Beneficial for people with low blood pressure and diabetes.
  • Removes impurities from the blood and removes skin diseases.

 

Recommended Courses: Meditation, Yoga & Pranayama

Asanas for men

Asanas beneficial for men

1. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold): 

Uttasana helps to stretch the muscles, increase blood circulation and is beneficial for relieving tension. It’s a great yoga pose for active men to nourish and reclaim their centre. A standing forward fold opens up the back body including the hamstrings, calves and knees. This pose is helpful in relieving tension in the spine, neck and back and can improve digestion as well.

If we practice slow, steady breathing along with this pose, it can also lower our blood pressure over time.

 

2. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)

This is a great yoga pose for men as it is a full body stretch which is a great warm-up and also helps to calm the mind. We often suffer from back pain due to chronic stiffness in the hamstrings and hips. It is also common for us to have very tight shoulders. Down Dog releases tightness in all those areas while building upper body strength.

 

3. Warrior Pose

Warrior Pose increases space and mobility in the shoulders, hips and knees where men need it the most. This is a great pose that generates great stability in and around the knee, perfect for high-impact workouts.

 

4. Bridge Pose:

Many men have tightness of the intercostal muscles and connective tissue surrounding the rib cage which can limit lung capacity. The bridge pose opens up the chest and releases those tight muscles, allowing for easier breathing and also helps with insomnia, fatigue, anxiety and headaches. Over time, practicing this mudra helps in getting relief from all upper respiratory problems.

 

5. Boat Pose (Navasana)

This asana is especially beneficial for men as it stimulates the prostate gland, helps reduce tension in the pelvic region and strengthens the digestive system.

 

6. Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose

This yoga pose is great for male athletes and anyone who does a lot of physical work as it strengthens the lower back. Any sport that involves running, jumping, or sprinting causes strain on the lower back and the cobra pose can help build strength in that area.

 

 

Recommended Courses: Meditation, Yoga & Pranayama

Dealing with PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

People with PTSD have distressing thoughts and feelings related to their traumatic experience that can last long after the traumatic event has ended. These types of people may relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares. They may feel sadness, fear, or anger and may also feel isolated from other people. Since Yoga is a technique that works on both the body and the mind, it can be effective in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Here are some simple yoga postures that will help you de-stress.

Setu Bandhasana (Bridge pose):
Bridge pose calms the mind, thereby relieving anxiety, stress and depression. For a person with PTSD, the bridge pose is one of the simplest and most effective yoga postures.

Technique:
First, lie straight on your back and then slowly bend your knees and keep your feet hip-width apart on the ground. Knees must be in line with your ankles and the soles of your feet should be close to your buttocks. Place your hands on the ground parallel to your body and keep your palms flat on the ground.

Corpse Pose: (Shavasana)
The corpse pose helps repair tissues and cells while relieving the body of stress. This asana also lowers blood pressure, anxiety and is very helpful for people going through PTSD.

Technique:

  • To do the corpse posture, lie down on the ground on your back and relax the body completely.
  • Take long and slow breaths
  • There should be a gap of 1 foot between the feet, the palms should be slightly away from the body and should be towards the sky.
  • Close your eyes and think that the body is resting. Feel that the body is relaxing.

Tadasana (Mountain pose):
Mountain pose relieves stress and fatigue. This yoga pose helps in keeping the effects of PTSD away by relieving the body from stress.

Technique:

  • Stand up straight and place your feet on a flat surface at a distance.
  • Hang your hands along your body and keep your body straight and look in front.
  • After that take a deep breath, raise your toes and slowly stretch your body upwards and balance yourself on your ankles.
  • Remain in this position for 10 to 30 seconds or as long as possible.
  • Now while exhaling, slowly come back to the starting position.
  • You can repeat this 10 times.

Marjariasana (Cat pose):
Cat pose increases blood circulation, and is very effective for calming the mind.

  • Technique:
    Start the tabletop with your hips directly above your knees. Your hands should be at shoulder distance and slightly ahead of your shoulders. The wrist folds should be parallel to the front of the mat.
  • Press firmly with hands.
  • Now exhale and round your spine towards the ceiling. Drop your head and tailbone. Draw your lower abdomen in and up.
  • Keep your hips straight over your knees and your arms to maintain motion in your spine.
  • Return to a neutral spine, to release the pose

 

Recommended Courses: Meditation, Yoga & Pranayama

Yoga for Obesity

The development of yoga has benefited many people in losing weight but many people believe that just doing yoga does not reduce weight.


People become obese due to unbalanced behavior, mental stress, sugar, BP, laziness and many other reasons. Yoga Asanas improve energy and vitality, balance metabolism, improve athletic health, increase muscle tone and aid in stress management. For these reasons, yoga can be effective in weight loss and developing mental health as well.

Here are some Yoga asanas and tips for weight loss.

  1. Trikonasana – Triangle pose: Trikonasana improves digestion and simultaneously helps in reducing the fat stored in the abdomen and waist. It also stimulates and improves blood circulation throughout the body. The movement of this asana helps burn excess fat from the waist and builds muscle in the thighs and hamstrings.
  2. Sarvangasana – Shoulder Stand Pose:
    By fully inverting yourself with the help of your shoulders and your abdominal muscles, Sarvangasana helps strengthen your core and shoulders. It not only boosts metabolism but also helps in balancing thyroid levels. Sarvangasana or shoulder stand strengthens the upper body, abdominal muscles and legs, improves the respiratory system and improves sleep which reduces obesity.
  3. Sankhya Pranchalana asana is very beneficial for obesity.
    Asanas involved in the Sankhya Pranchalana Kriya are
    Tadasana
    Tiryak Tadasana
    Kati Chakrasana
    Tiryak Bhujangasana
    Udarakarshana Asana
  4. Sethu Bandha Sarvangasana – Bridge Pose
    This asana works wonders for the thyroid gland and weight loss. The bridge position works on improving muscle tone, digestion, hormone regulation and supporting thyroid levels. Obesity also occurs due to thyroid malfunction and this asana is a panacea for thyroid issues.
  5. Dhanurasana – Bow Pose
    In this posture, keep yourself flat on the ground on your stomach and join your hands and feet from behind. It massages the abdominal organs, improves digestion, strengthens the thighs, chest, and back and is a perfect way to achieve a flat stomach. It stretches your entire body and strengthens and tones your muscles along with better blood circulation.

Recommended Courses: Meditation, Yoga & Pranayama

What is Stithpragya?

In the Bhagavad Gita, Stithpragya is called a sage/ Muni. Simply put, Sthitipragya means equality between happiness and unhappiness. It is to be comfortable and calm even in the face of impulses like attachment, jealousy, lust, anger and greed.

Isthiti Pragya means to be situated in one’s own intelligence which is beyond external perceptions and above ideological bonds. To know one’s own intelligence, it is necessary to know and feel the soul. In order to feel the soul, one has to be spiritual. After a while of making spiritual progress, the soul becomes realized (Pragya).

The seeker whose mind is not restless with sorrows, whose longing for pleasure vanishes, who becomes free from fear and anger, who does not have affection for anything, who is not happy about receiving good things and is not sad after receiving something bad is called Stithpragya or a Muni.

To become a Stithpragya, one needs to withdraw the senses from worldly objects which will eventually cause the intellect to become stable. By this, the restlessness of the mind is removed and the person will possess a steady intellect.

Stithpragya does not mean that one should withdraw oneself from worldly objects and worldly responsibilities. We still have to do our work but we should not be happy with good results or unhappy with inauspicious results. In every situation, we have to live with the same spirit.

 

Recommended Courses: Meditation, Yoga & Pranayama

Prakriti And Purusha

Prakriti evolves in response to the Purusha and its internal elements undergo further change forming the Pancha Maha Bhootas or the Five Great Elements. The physical universe with which we are familiar mainly consists of the Pancha Mahabhutas namely Akash (Ether or Space), Vayu (Vayu), Agni (Fire), Jal (Water) and Prithvi (Earth). Nature is three-dimensional and unconscious and since Sat, Raja and Tama are three qualities of nature, the world is the direct result of these three Gunas. In Samkhya philosophy, Purusha is the immovable spiritual cosmic principle. It is pure consciousness that is unattached and unrelated to anything else. Purusha is passive, immutable, eternal and pure and gives birth to life through association with Prakriti (Matter).

What is Avidya?

Avidya is the root cause of sorrow. This affliction is the origin of all other afflictions. All movement of the intellect (Buddhi) is considered to be the originator of the affliction called Avidya.

Avidya is:

  • To consider the pleasures of extremely unhappy events as pleasant.
  • To consider the impurities like violence, crime, deceit and sin etc. to be pure.
  • Considering the impermanent world as eternal.
  • Considering an impure body consisting of cough, bile, blood, faeces and urine to be most pure.
  • Holding on to the past.
  • To make an impression about oneself that they are a certain way.

If the seeker wants to avoid the kleshas or sorrow (Avidya), he has to control all fluctuations of the mind. Without the restraint and control of the mind, a seeker can never achieve success in yoga practice. By doing Kriya yoga (to bear the conflicts like happiness-sadness, honour-disgrace and profit-loss etc., and study of salvation texts, dedicate all your work to your Guru without desiring any results), we can weaken Avidya.

 

Recommended Courses: Meditation, Yoga & Pranayama

The Concept of Yoga

Yoga is the science of living the right life. When the word yoga is mentioned, people often think of stretching and physical exercises to reduce stress. Although this is one aspect of yoga, it is in fact a very small part. In a broader sense, the real meaning of yoga is the science of the mind.

Yoga is a means of establishing balance and harmony between the body, mind and emotions. This is done through the practice of asanas, pranayama and meditation.

The goal of yoga is to bring various bodily functions in perfect harmony so that they work for the well-being of the whole body.

Yoga works on the body, mind, emotions and energy levels of the individual. There are four broad classifications of yoga. Karma yoga in which we use the body, Bhakti Yoga which uses emotions, Jnana Yoga where we use the mind and intellect and Kriya Yoga which harnesses energy.

 

Recommended Courses: Meditation, Yoga & Pranayama

Sanyam

What is Sanyam?

According to Patanjali, practising the three parts of Ashtanga Yoga (Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi) in a single subject is called Sanyam. In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, sanyam collectively describes Dharna Dhyan Samadhi.

The three components of Sanyam are as follows:

  1. Dharna : (commonly referred to as “concentration) To concentrate the mind at any place, internal or external, is Dharana. We can concentrate on the throat, nostrils, navel chakra, star, moon, portrait of a great man, an idol etc. Removing the mind from all the places with a sattvic attitude and establishing it in only one place is called Dharana.
  2. Dhyan: (often referred to as meditation) Continually focusing the mind on one subject without breaking is called meditation or Dhyan.
  3. Samadhi: (referred to as absorption or integration) In meditation, when there is only the realization of the goal and the individual form of the mind disappears, then that meditation becomes samadhi.

Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi becoming one is called Sanyam. By being restrained ( sanyamit), the light of wisdom shines and it leads to the light of pure knowledge. In this state, the intellect becomes free from avidya, attachment, and aversion.

Recommended Courses: Meditation, Yoga & Pranayama

What is Bhramari pranayama?

The Bhramari pranayama is also known as the Humming Bee Breath. It is a calming breathing exercise that soothes the nervous system and helps connect us to our inner nature.

Benefits of Bhramari Pranayama:

  • Effective for calming the mind immediately
  • Is one of the best breathing exercises to free the mind from distraction, frustration or anxiety and to get rid of anger to a great extent
  • Removes mental illness and stress
  • Helps with insomnia (sleeplessness)
  • Removes stuttering

The Science Behind Bhramari Pranayama
It acts to calm the nerves and soothes them, especially around the brain and forehead. The humming sound creates a natural calming effect of vibrations.

How to do the Bhramari Pranayama:

  • Sit up straight with your eyes closed.
  • Put your index finger on the cartilage.
  • Take a deep breath in and while exhaling, gently press on the cartilage.
  • You can hold the cartilage down or press it in and out with your fingers while humming loudly like a bee.
  • Breathe in again and continue the same sequence 3-4 times.

 

Recommended Courses: Meditation, Yoga & Pranayama