It is the most vital function of our Body. Breathing right can make a world of difference to our body. Proper breathing practices can be used to ease many ailments of the body. Most people with breathing problems turn out to have wrong breathing pattern. Correction of breathing patterns is one of the most effective ways to solve such problems in both children and adult.
Two very useful breathing techniques that can ease your spinal problems and breathing problems – Shashankasana breathing and Tiger breathing. What’s common in both the breathing techniques is that they provide a good workout to the spine and are recommended for breathing ailments like asthma. But like many asanas these have limitations.
This breathing technique is practiced in the pose and stance of a tiger breathing and it executes the movements of a tiger breathing, so therefore the name, tiger breathing. The practice draws air into all three lobes of the lungs, helping to expand the breathing capacity, and at the same time releasing tension in the spine and surrounding tissues.
How to do?
Sit in vajrasana, lean forward and place your hands flat on the floor in line with the shoulders with fingers pointing forward. Your arms, thighs, and heels should be about one shoulder width apart. You are in a position where your palms are pressed on the ground and are standing on your knees.
While inhaling, raise your head and look at the ceiling. At the same time, depress the spine, making it concave.
Exhale and arch the spine and bend the head downward, bringing the chin towards the chest.
This completes one round of tiger breathing. Repeat the practice for five more rounds.
Maintains and improves flexibility of the spine and tones the spinal nerves. Tiger breathing stimulates blood circulation and promotes digestion. It deepens the breath and is good for breathing ailments such as Asthma. It relieves hypertension, head ache, back pain, neck pain and is good for menstrual disorders. Strengthens and stretches the muscles of the abdomen, back, buttocks, hips and legs. Relaxes the sciatic nerves. Loosens up the legs. Reduces weight from the hips and thighs. Tiger pose strengthens the core body and stimulates the nervous, lymphatic and reproductive systems.
Shashankasana or the “Hare Pose” is so called as the asana resembles a hare in the final position. This asana is performed by lowering your body and placing your head on the floor. While doing this asana it stretches the spinal cord and help to relieve back pain. Shashankansa is a very easy asana to perform and can be done by anyone regardless of age.
How to do?
Sit in vajrasana with palms on the knees.
Raise your arms up. Stretch upwards from the trunk.
Then keeping the arms straight, lower your body towards the floor. Rest your hands on the floor. Then try to touch either the forehead or the crown of the head on the floor. Ensure that your elbows are straight.
Close your eyes and maintain the pose for three to five breaths.
To come out of the asana, first lift your head off the floor, then raise the body and hands up. Slowly bring the hands down and rest them on the knees, come out of vajrasana and sit in a relaxed manner.
Shashankasana improves concentration as the brain and all the sense organs in the head get a good supply of blood. The spine gets a forward stretch and becomes flexible and strong. It relaxes the leg muscles of the limb while folding. The lower part of the stomach gets more blood flow. It strengthens the kidneys and stimulates its functions.
It stimulates the functionality of Pituitary, pineal, thyroid and parathyroid glands. Shashankasana plays an important role in treating disorders of the gastrointestinal tract and reduces the excess fat in the abdominal and waist. This asana is best remedy to cure constipation and controlling diabetes. It makes you calm and relaxed, increasing the memory power if done regularly.