Pranayama, the term denoting awareness of the breath, is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘prana’, meaning ‘life force’, and ‘ayama’, meaning ‘extension’. Pranayama breathing techniques have always been an integral part of yoga, enhancing the positive effect of asanas. Add these breathing techniques to your training and you will see how your workout results improve.
If you can’t figure out how to get a flat stomach without doing conventional crunches and ab exercises at a gym, you might be surprised to learn that breathing techniques can be just as effective when it comes to burning belly fat.
HereWere has prepared a series of breathing exercises that will help you tone your abdominal muscles.
1. Diaphragmatic breathing
This deep breathing technique speeds up your metabolism and helps burn fat in your upper abdominal muscles.
- Start by lying on your back on a mat. If you are a beginner, place your hands on your stomach to better control your breathing.
- Inhale slowly through your nose so that your stomach expands under your hands.
- Exhale through pursed lips so that your stomach drops under your hands. Make sure your chest remains still.
- Start by doing this for 5-10 minutes. Later you can increase the time and do this exercise sitting or standing.
2. Stomach vacuum
This exercise is aimed at strengthening the inner abdominal muscles.
- Lie on your back on a mat with your knees bent and feet flat. Slowly inhale as much air as you can.
- Start exhaling as much air as possible, bringing your stomach closer to your spine.
- Hold the pose for 15 to 20 seconds. Try to breathe normally while holding the pose.
- Release the pose with an inhale. You can repeat this exercise several times. When doing the exercise, inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
3. Skull-shining breath
This technique consists of alternating short explosive exhalations and long passive inhalations.
- Sit on a mat with your knees or legs crossed. Place your hands on your knees.
- Breathe deeply. Then take a series of short, powerful exhalations, pulling your navel in toward your spine with each exhalation.
- Feel your lungs automatically open for a long inhale after a series of short exhalations.
- Do the exercise for 30 to 60 seconds.
4. Alternating nostril breathing
- Sit on your heels or cross-legged. Make sure your spine is straight and your shoulders are relaxed.
- Place your left hand on your left knee with the palm facing up. Bring the tips of the thumb and index finger in contact with each other.
- Place the index and middle fingers of your right hand on your forehead, between your eyebrows. Place the little finger and ring finger in the left nostril and the thumb in the right nostril.
- Gently press your thumb into the right nostril and exhale through the left nostril. Then inhale through the left nostril.
- Press the left nostril with the ring finger and exhale through the right nostril. Then inhale again through the right nostril. These movements cycle the exercise. Do 5 to 10 cycles.