Classic Yoga

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Swana Pranayama

Introduction

Swana Pranayama is a preparatory practice for Agnisar Kriya, Nauli Kriya, and Uddhyana Bandha. It prepares the abdominal muscles for yogic cleaning practices. Though the name suggests it is a Pranayama, it is just a preparatory technique for yogic cleansing practices.

Swana Pranayama Meaning

Swana + Pranayama = Swana Pranayama. The Sanskrit word śvāna (श्वान) means Dog and Pranayama means a breathing exercise. Literally, it is Dog Breathing Exercise. The technique is similar to panting like a dog. You may have come across some mammals like dog pants by keeping the tongue outside and making breathing that sounds like ‘ha’ ha’ ‘ha’. This is because they won’t sweat like humans and they have to maintain their body temperature. Therefore a breathing technique like this is called Dog Panting Breathing Exercise.

Swana Pranayama Steps

Step 1

Assume Bhadrasana. Ensure the big toes are in contact with each other. Then, place the palms on the knees.

Step 2

Then, close the eyes and relax the body for a few seconds. Thereupon, lean forward and straighten the arms keeping the head erect.

Step 3

After that, open the mouth wide and extend the tongue outside. Then, breathe like the panting of the dog. Extend the tongue outside to the maximum.

Step 4

Contract the stomach while exhaling and expand the stomach while inhaling. The movements should be spontaneous and not forceful. A beginner may breathe ten times which constitutes one round. Perform three rounds like this. An adept may go up to twenty breathes of three rounds. Relax for 30 seconds to one minute between two rounds.

Swana Pranayama Benefits

  • It helps to maintain body temperature.
  • Moreover, it improves digestion and remove diseases like indigestion and acidity. Hence, it aids in digestive process.
  • Besides, it is a good preparatory practice for Agnisar Kriya, Nauli, and Uddiyana Bhanda.
  • It activates Navel Chakra.
  • Above all, it strengthens the muscles of abdomen and diaphragm.

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