As discussed in The Principles of Yoga prana means energy, so Pranayama is the Control of Energy. This energy is referred to as cosmic energy, since it is understood as the way the Universe transmits its energy.
Pranayamas are a set of breathing techniques through which that cosmic energy is controlled. Some of the techniques practiced today have been taught for millennia and passed from generation to generation and from student to teacher for hundreds of years.
It is said that there are three types of breathing, the abdominal, intercostal and clavicular, the breathing in which all three are involved is called the Complete Yogic Breathing.
The correct way to inhale during breathing is to first do abdominal breathing, which you do is inhale by filling the abdomen, then continue to inhale and fill the ribs or ribcage, which is intercostal respiration and finally fill the area of the clavicles, ending up inhaling well with clavicular respiration. To exhale the exercise must be done in exactly the same order, first exhale and empty abdomen, then ribs and then clavicles. Thus giving rise to a correct Yogic Complete Breathing.
Try practicing it by placing one hand on your abdomen and feeling the flow of breath.
Such as breathing exercises or the most important pranayamas are:
It is not only a breathing exercise, it is also a form of purification and cleansing of the lungs.
It consists of emphasizing exhalation by exhaling the abdomen outwards and inhaling automatically when relaxing the abdomen. So the inhalation is passive and the exhalation is active.
Forced air discharges remove all carbon dioxide left in the lungs, leaving room for fresh, oxygen-rich air. In this way the respiratory system is purified and is a revitalizing exercise.
It is also called Alternate Breathing. This exercise consists of inhaling through the left nasal cavity, covering the two by holding the breath and exhaling the air through the right cavity.
In a ratio of 1 : 4 : 2 seconds. The same is repeated but this time inhaling through the right cavity, retaining the air and exhaling through the left one in the same proportion of time as before. And so on.
This breathing exercise serves to balance the two cerebral hemispheres thus harmonizing the entire nervous system.
The yogis discovered, through self-observation, that through respiratory flow one part of the brain or another was activated. For example, they realized that when it’s easier to breathe through the right nasal cavity, it means that the left brain hemisphere is more active. And the same thing happens the other way around, when it’s easier to breathe through the left nasal cavity and more air flows, it means that the right brain hemisphere is more active.
This exercise is also ideal to focus before any practice being this way perfect and essential to have a healthy mind and body.
Both techniques that have been explained are intermediate level breathing exercises, so they should be practiced, at least at the beginning, with a master expert in this type of pranayamas.