Pranayama Breathing is a process that we rarely give any thought to. It occurs automatically without our awareness, yet at the same time it is something that most people do incorrectly. If breathing is a spontaneous function of the body, how is it possible to do it incorrectly?
The answer is that our respiratory muscles become lazy and cease to give optimum inhalation and Exhalation. Our whole life is entirely dependent on breathing. If we stop breathing then life itself ceases in the body.
Life and breath are intimately connected. Remember, when a person dies we say that he expires, the same word used for breathing out, or for breath leaving the lungs.
We can survive for a few days without drinking water, a few months without taking food, but how long can the average person survive without drawing air into the lungs?
In most cases no more than a few minutes. It is written in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the ancient text on yoga: “Life is the period between one breath and the next; a person who only half breathes, only half lives.
He who breathes correctly, acquires control of the whole being.” The ancient yogis were fully aware of the importance of breath; no breath no life breath is life.
What is pranayama
Pranayama basically means “breathing techniques”,but it is not just the breathing. The Prana is the subtle life-force energy, so it is not the same as the breath, it is more subtle.
But then, through the breath it is easiest to affect the Prana, to regulate the Prana.
Our life is basically just the flow of the Prana in the body. When the Prana leaves the body that means we’re dead.The body still remains but there is no life inside, there is no energy inside.
So Prana is that which keeps this body going, which keeps us alive, which keeps the organs functioning. And Pranayama is a way to regulate, to direct the Prana and to increase the Prana in us.
So there are different breathing techniques for Pranayamas which the ancient Rishis have given to this world, which allow us to use this Prana in different ways.
There are techniques to increase the Prana energy level in us, very quickly. Just within a few minutes you can feel such a difference. The mind is more clear, you have more energy, you feel more fresh.
There are Pranayamas to cool down the body and mind, or to increase the heator the warmth in the body. Pranayamas to increase concentration, to improve your digestion; so many things.
But the most beautiful thing I would say is that it allows us to manage our mind, to manage our emotions, which is so relevant and so needed in today’s world where people have become more stressful, life has become faster, it keeps speeding up.
There are so many impressions we have to deal with. And so many, more than 80% of all the health problems which people face today, they know are partially or entirely created by stress.
They are what is called psychosomatic. Because there is stress in the mind, imbalance in the mind, the body gets affected.
The hormone production in the body gets affected,the systems in the body get affected. So in today’s world, not just to study better to be more effective in your work, but even to be more healthy, physically mentally and emotionally, to be able to again and again come back to that peace of mind.
that centeredness, that joy and enthusiasm which is our nature, Pranayama is one of the easiest and most beautiful techniques, which is very practical, which allows us through attending to the breath to manage our mind, our emotions, and live a more healthy and happy life.
Purpose of pranayama
Pranayama has many objectives, one of them is to provide long life while giving complete health. By pranayama we can become happy by controlling the speed of breathing.
Even in nature, we see that the animals and birds who breathe at a fast speed are short in age. From the following table we can understand.
1. Turtle: Breathing cough 4 to 5 times / age approximately 200 to 400 years in 1 minute
2. Snake: Breathing exertion 8 to 10 times in about 1 minute, about 120 to 150 years
3. Humans: Breathing exertion 15 to 16 times in 1 minute, about 100 years
4. Horse: breathing problem 24 to 26 times about 40 years in 1 minute
5. Cat: Breathing exertion 30 times in 1 minute, age about 20 years
6. Dog: breathing disorder 30 to 32 times in 1 minute, about 14 to 15 years
In this way it is proved that by controlling the speed of breathing, we can increase our precious life.
Practice and duration of Pranayama
It is described in the eleventh verse of the second chapter of Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Sources say that from sunrise till morning, three clock days are up (one clock means 48 minutes multiplied by three it was about one and a half hours to two hours).
if sunrise is quarter to six then it is best to do pranayam by 8 am . Doing five parts in the afternoon, in the middle part of the day and in the evening before sunset and at three hours after sunset, in the evening.
Pranayama signs, precautions and rules
We are writing here almost all the important facts related to Pranayama – like what time should it be done, how should it be done, etc. We are including all such things in it, so that the readers can benefit immensely.
1. Pranayama is done properly by sitting in Padmasana or Siddhasana. (Older or patients may use other items such as stools or wells etc.)
2. The place should be pure and solitary, cleanliness and circulation of air should be well maintained.
3. A person doing pranayama should not consume vengeful things, non-vegetarian and intoxicating substances etc. To get the full benefit of Pranayama, sacrifice them and put four moons in your beauty, glory and strength.
After doing yoga and before meditation, do pranayama with a happy heart or do it according to your needs.
4. Try to have the time, place and direction of Pranayama fixed.
5. Pranayama time is related to sunrise and sunset but if due to some other reason, it should be at least four hours after meals. You can have food half an hour after Pranayama.
6. Practice pranayama by focusing or closing the nasal eye.
7. The mind should be fully engaged in breathing. With this, your concentration power, memory and mental power will develop at a fast pace.
8. Children under age should not practice Kumbhak.
9. Do not do pranayama quickly nor do it at the time of pleurisy.
10. Rest in Shavasana after Pranayama.
If you do pranayama after bath, then there will be more benefit. But do not bathe right after Pranayama. Stay for about half an hour for a bath.
11. If there is too much mental anguish, mind and body are upset, frustration, sadness or any confusion, then do a light posture or give peace to the mind by breathing and then start only.
12. Not doing pranayam properly makes the mind restless, causing irritability, restlessness and tension. Its effect starts appearing on the face as well, so always avoid such impure practice.
13. With regular posture, the fibers of the lungs get elastic and pranayama is done properly.
Bladder and intestine (intestines) should be emptied before pranayama.
14. Do not do pranayama during loud sound and during panic.
If there is any type of physical and mental problem during or after Pranayama, consult a yoga teacher immediately.
15. It is necessary for a normal human being to have sufficient amount of oxygen in the blood flowing in his pulse. This fulfillment is done by Pranayama.
16. According to yoga scriptures, the interval of complement, Kumbhak and Laxative should be 1: 4: 2. That is, the amount of time spent in the supplement should be quadruple in Kumbhak and twice as long as in the supplement.
17. Determine the number of pranayama. Increase the number by following all the instructions.
18. Some pranayamas increase the heat and some cold. Therefore, practice whatever suits the situation.
19. Primarily, two things are necessary for the practice of Pranayama. One is the stability of the mind and the other the stability of the spinal cord.
Practice keeping the spinal cord in such a position that it is neither inclined towards the back nor forward. Bending towards the back will cause pleural effusion.
They do not spread due to bending forward. Therefore, the practitioner should bring stability in the spinal cord.
20. Siddhasana, Padmasana, Sukhasana and Swastikasana are more useful for Pranayama. Concentration of mind and rhythm is very important in breathing.
21. In the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the sutrakara says that as the trainer gradually domesticates a lion, elephant or leopard, similarly the seeker must control his breathing faith respectively otherwise the results are opposite.
22. Serious patients and pregnant women should consult a yoga teacher and should never do pranayama immediately after having a resident or an empty stomach or having food.
23. The place where you do Pranayama, if possible, purify the atmosphere as well. Applying lamps of incense, googling or pure ghee also increases purity in the mind. (Purity of mind increases.)
24. If the posture is not done properly, the respiratory function is slowed down and tolerance is reduced.
Benefits from pranayama
1. Pranayama provides long life.
2. This is the celibate factor. That is, it makes the point upward, which increases the energy, speed and force.
3. Brahmacharya and Pranayama can also be called complementary to each other. Because the person who does pranayama with pleasure, his subjects are far away.
There is a quenching of lust and the one who follows Brahmacharya takes pranayama very fast.
4. Tritosha is destructive (Vata, Pitta, Kapha destroy).
5. With pranayama, life and power are communicated throughout the body.
6. Pranayama keeps old age away. Due to the slowing of breathing in old age, the heart does not get full amount of oxygen, due to which the air cells of the lungs become compressed.
Through pranayama, the seeker normalizes the speed of blood circulation and completes the respiration.
It purifies the contaminated channels and makes the body agile.
7. Pranayam not only increases physical and mental strength, but it also uplifts the soul. Therefore, pranayama should be made a part of life.
8. The practice done in a pure manner turns away from worldly subject-desires and the seeker has the ability to subdue the five senses.
If we mature in the posture and then take the benefit of pranayama, then we will get unexpected benefits.
9. Pranayama activity intensifies gastritis, which does not cause constipation and other such problems.
10. Pranayama is very much related to our nervous system. If these are destroyed then the mind cannot concentrate. If there is tension in the nerves, then there will be tension in the mind also, and unless the mind is in a state of peace, is not receptive, then pranayama cannot be practiced.
11. Pranayama develops immunity.
12. Pranayam is the light of imperceptible knowledge and ignorance is destroyed.
13. By doing pranayama, we become helpers in giving health to this world in a way.
14. It cures all diseases of the abdominal area, as the digestive system is completely healthy, due to which the constipation is destroyed. Stool does not stick in the intestines, so air disorder is also destroyed.
Therefore, air-related diseases like headache, migraine, untimely white hair, rheumatism (knee pain, back pain etc.) are suppressed.
15. Due to the digestive system functioning smoothly, food is digested well. Therefore, the vitamins, proteins and mineral salts found in food provide nutritional value to our body, which keeps our body healthy till old age.
And a healthy brain is produced in a healthy body, so there is no mental excitement or mental illness in old age. Due to which diseases occurring in old age do not get encroached.
16. Since Pranayama, the digestive system, lungs and heart region work smoothly. Therefore, the body gets plenty of oxygen and blood purity increases.
Blood circulation occurs properly. If blood circulation is good, the whole body gets new life, new consciousness, elation. The body is rejuvenated. Oz-fast increases.
There is no wrinkling in the face, there is glow in the face. Eyes look beautiful When we always look refreshed, the front is also happy.
The environment around us also becomes pleasant, due to which we inspire home, family, neighbors, friends, city, region, country and world by energetic body made of this Panchatattva.
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