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As we age into the sixties, we find that we tire easily, sometimes simply by performing routine household chores. This could be because of lack of muscle tone brought about by the inability to exercise due to any number of health conditions. Women in their sixties may be dealing with an onset of osteoporosis, smoke-affected lungs or reduced stroke volume.
The first organs that bear the brunt of lost muscle tone in women lower uterus and incontinence control due to a weakening bladder. Fortunately, performing pranayama routinely serves beautifully to those who are unable to exert themselves physically to get back their organ muscle tones. Baharya Pranayama particularly addresses the problems of weak uterine and urinary bladder muscles.
If you are new to Baharya Pranayama, you may begin with doing the steps mentioned below just thrice. You may increase the number of times very gradually to say, 5 repetitions after a fortnight of following the practice. However, at no time should the practice be done more than 15 times.
Here is how you can execute Baharya Pranayama:
1. Put a mat on an even floor.
2. Sit on it in the Lotus position
3. Keep your head, neck and body erect (in a straight line).
4. Begin by closing your eyes and breathing in and out calmly and deeply.
5. Now, take one deep breath in (inhale) to the count of four
6. Exhale totally and completely to the count of six
7. Pull up your pelvic muscles and close your anus – this lock is termed Mooladhar Bandha
8. In quick succession, follow this up by pulling in your navel so that you draw your stomach and abdomen toward your spine. Pull up your abdomen toward the lower chest – this lock is termed, Udiyaan Bandha
9. Slowly, bring your chin down to rest on your chest – this lock is called the Jalandhar Bandha
10. Hold on to this position to the count of six or until you are comfortable.
11. Gradually, open the locks starting with the chin, following it up by opening the abdominal lock and lastly undoing the anal/root lock
12. Inhale slowly and deeply.
13. Steps five through 12 may be repeated three to five times for a beginner slowly working up to 15 repetitions as the weeks pass by