Pranayama, the term denoting conscious awareness of breath, is derived from the Sanskrit word “prana” which means “life force” and “Ayama” which means “extension.”
Pranayama breathing techniques have always been an integral part of yoga, increasing the positive effect of the asanas. Add these breathing techniques to your training and you will see how the results of your exercises improve.
If you can’t figure out how to get a flat stomach without doing conventional crunches and ab exercises in a gym, you’ll be surprised to learn that breathing techniques can be just as effective when it comes to burning belly fat.
We’ve put together a series of breathing exercises to help you tone your abdominal muscles.
6. Diaphragmatic Breathing
Start by lying on your back on a mat. If you are a beginner, put your hands on your belly 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 falls under your hands. Make sure your chest remains still.
Start by doing this for 5 to 10 minutes. Later, you can increase the time and do this exercise while sitting or standing.
5. Stomach Vacuum
This exercise aims to strengthen the internal abdominal muscles.
Lie on your back on a mat with your knees bent and your feet supported. Slowly breathe in as much air as you can.
Begin to exhale as much air as you can, bringing your stomach as close to your spine as possible.
Hold the pose for 15 to 20 seconds. Try to breathe normally while maintaining your posture.
Release the pose with an inhale. You can repeat this exercise several times. As you exercise, inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
4. Skull Shining Breath
This technique consists of alternating short explosive exhales and long passive inhales.
Sit on a mat on your knees or with your legs crossed. Put your hands on your knees.
Breathe deeply. Then take a series of short, vigorous exhales, bringing the navel towards the spine with each exhales.
Feel your lungs automatically open for a long breath, after a series of short exhales.
Do the exercise for 30 to 60 seconds.
3. Alternating Nostril Breathing
Sit on your heels or with your legs crossed. Make sure your spine is straight and your shoulders relaxed.
Place your left hand on your left knee, with your palm up. Place the tips of the thumb and index finger in contact with each other.
Place your index finger and the middle finger of your right hand on your forehead, between your eyebrows. Place the little finger and the ring finger in the left nostril and the thumb in the right nostril.
Gently press down on the right nostril with your thumb 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 through your right nostril again. These movements make one cycle of the exercise. Do 5 to 10 cycles.
2. Bellows Breath (Bhastrika Pranayama)
Sit on a mat in a comfortable position with your spine and neck straight and the palms of your hands on your knees.
Relax your stomach muscles and close your eyes. Begin to inhale and exhale with force.
Make sure your breathing is deep, powerful, and rhythmic. Take about a second for each inhale and exhale. Do the exercise for 5 minutes.
1. Humming Bee Breathing (Bhramari Pranayama)
Sit on a mat with your legs crossed. Make sure your shoulders are relaxed and your spine straight.
Close the ears with the thumbs and place the index fingers on the forehead, above the eyebrows. Let the ring and middle finger rest on the closed eyes.
Inhale and exhale slowly with your mouth closed. Make a humming sound as you breathe out. Feel the vibrations of the sound with your fingers.
Breathe in and out several times, then place your hands on your knees. You have now completed an exercise cycle. Do 5 to 10 cycles of exercise.
Be aware of the risks
Remember that pranayama techniques, like any other exercise, have their own risks. Consult your doctor before exercising if you have any health problems.
These breathing exercises have been shown to be effective in combating abdominal fat. However, keep in mind that combining exercise with a healthy diet will improve your training results.
Which of these breathing exercises would you like to try? Have you ever tried pranayama? Tell us in the comments!