Yoga Spring Cleaning:Respiratory System

In yoga, cleansing and flushing out the lungs can be invigorating. There is an experience of lightness, greater energy, and vitality as the body and mind are energized. Yoga respiratory cleaning is a helpful step in flushing out the mind.  People suffering from asthma and allergies have found these yoga practices helpful. However, always consult your doctor and yoga teacher/therapist for your own specific needs.

Depending on individual capability and limitations, certain pranayamas are useful in flushing out the respiratory systems. The intensity, rate of breathing, and the number of breaths are calibrated to individual needs. Seniors, people suffering from high blood pressure, GERD, GI issues, hernias, respiratory issues, cancer patients, and all other medical problems should seek medical advice and a competent yoga therapist. Those who are comfortable and familiar with neti (click on link for more information) can first flush the nose out.

Gentle yoga cleansing of the respiratory system: full yogic breath, bhramari pranayama (buzzing bee breath is part of the track Calming the Storm) tracks are on mahasriyoga.com

Moderate yoga cleansing of the respiratory system: slow kapalbhati (skull-shining breath) done as instructed by an experienced teacher

Intense yoga cleansing of the  respiratory system: bhastrika (bellows breath) done as instructed by an experienced teacher

Digestive and respiratory cleansing can be done on the same day. The pranayamas are done in the morning, before a meal and after emptying the bladder and bowels. The two types of cleansing go well together.

Yoga digestive cleansing is a kind of fast that has many benefits. It gives the digestive and excretory tracts a rest along with a good clean. Wastes that accumulate regularly are tamasic in nature (heavy, toxic, associated with inertia and lethargy). So a good clean out is beneficial physiologically. All religions have ritual  fasts for these reasons. It enforces self-discipline. The body feels lighter and more energetic. As seasons change, cleansing and partial fasting help reset the metabolism. More on fasting will appear in a separate blog post.

When pranayama is combined with digestive cleansing, it is particularly effective. The pranic energy (samana, apana, prana) involved with digestion, excretion, assimilation is freed up to be directed spiritually. The whole pranic body is energized and it helps clear mental and emotional blockages. The process of yoga mental cleansing begins. There is a feeling of mental lightness and freedom that accompanies the physical lightness of being. It is a joyful feeling.

3 thoughts on “Yoga Spring Cleaning:Respiratory System

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  1. PLEASE LET ME KNOW BREATHING EXERCISE FOR CLEANING THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM AND ALSO LUNGS ,I HAVE DUST ALLERGY AND CONSTIPATION

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    1. You may go to specific pranayama practices via the links on the blog post or go directly to the website for audio tracks. A good yoga teacher can be very helpful and Satyananda Yoga/Bihar Yoga ashrams and teachers are very knowledgeable so you may want to contact one. You may also visit the ashram in Munger for help with specific issues–go to http://www.yogavision.net. The book “Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha” by Swami Satyananda (published Bihar School of Yoga) is another excellent resource.

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