What is Prana|What is Pranayama|Benefits of Pranayama|How to do Pranayama|Objectives of Pranayama :
What Is Prana?
Prana can refer to energy, life, or breath. In other culture, it is called chi or qui. Pranayama is a technique of breath control. Prana is a Sanskrit word that translates as “vital life force”.The essence of life is connected to neuro-physiology. When the left snout is dominating, the right side of the brain is active.
Prana moves and acts upon akasha, space, and brings forth the various forms when the vibration is set up. The brahmanda, macrocosm and pindanda, microcosm, are combinations of prana and akasha. An important aspect of the pranic body is the chakras or energy centres. In yoga, we focus on the seven major chakras that exist along the line of the spine, each one connected to specific glands and organs of the physical body, as well as areas of our mind that impact our personality. It is believed by many that health and wellbeing come when there is a balanced energy flow through each of the seven major chakras.
In order to be able to extend and improve their own energy and thereby improve their health and wellness Yogis may wish to gain a greater understanding of prana.
In the body, prana is said to flow through energy channels known as nadis.
This sea of energy Submerges into atoms and sub-atomic particles, which become the basic building blocks of all matter.
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WHAT IS PRANAYAMA?
The word Pranayama is derived from the Sanskrit, prana, meaning “life force,” and ayama, meaning “extension.”Pranayama is an integral part of yoga. The inhaling enables both the rhythm of performing yoga poses and relaxing the mind for meditation.
Pranayama is the fourth of the eight limbs of yoga, according to the ancient sage Patanjali. In the second book of The Yoga Sutras, we find the description of pranayama as “regulation of breath or the stoppage of inhalation and exhalation, which follows after securing steadiness of the posture or seat, asana.”
I like to think of my pranayama practice as mental weightlifting. It is strengthening the mind as it builds focus and concentration. Patanjali explains that the modifications of the breath are either external, internal, or suspended. When he speaks of location, Patanjali is referring to where we place our focus. This is where mental strengthening comes in. It is natural to allow the mind to wander. Developed concentration allows one to focus awareness, for example at the base of the spine or the third eye. As we dive deeper into pranayama, our single-pointed abilities will expand.
According to Patanjali, the next step of pranayama should come naturally and effortlessly. In states of meditation, the breath will pause to reflect the stillness of your experience, as the breath reflects what is going on in our mind and body.
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When we make the effort to cultivate discipline into our practice, Patanjali says that the veil of heaviness and darkness over our inner light and clarity is destroyed. The mind then becomes fit for concentration, which perfectly leads us to the next limb, pratyahara (consciously withdrawing from the senses). Until then, breathe in and breathe calmly.
Benefits Of Pranayama:-
- Pranayama affects the autonomic nervous system, therefore, controls heart rate, glandular secretions, respiration, digestion and blood pressure.
- Pranayama helps in lungs expansion hence improves its efficiency and makes it healthy.
- It also helps in contending blood pressure and heart diseases, therefore, makes digestion smooth.
- Pranamaya makes you free from constipation and indigestion problems.
- Pranamaya stimulates the autonomic nervous system, sympathetic nervous system and parasympathetic nervous systems. It helps to ease stress, anxiety and tension. It also eases depression, dullness and lethargy.
- Pranayama control deteriorates.
- Pranayama is the key to Intelligence.
HOW TO DO PRANAYAMA?
If you’re stressed out, emotionally off-kilter, or making your way through a challenging yoga class then pranayama breathing can renew and sustain you. There are several techniques each with specific benefits.
- Morning, on empty stomach or 15 minutes after tea /coffee. This is a technique to fill the mind and body with fresh air hence morning is the right time for doing this.
- The place should be vast or comfortable, with sufficient air and light.
- Keep the window open because fresh air is very essential.
- The place should be noise-free.
- Sit on a mat placed on the floor crossed legs.
- The back should be erect and straight.
- Head should be straight.
- The person with knees problem can use a chair.
- Eyelids closed with pointing towards the tip of the nose.
- The mind should be relaxed as well as no extra thoughts should occur.
- Sit for one minute. Breathe deeply, breathe easily. During this, you think that you are going to receive fresh air and energy to the body and mind, become too strong.
- With this, you think that you are going to throw all the impurities of the mind and inhaling the fresh air and energy.
- The breath fully filled with positivism and energy.
OBJECTIVES OF PRANAYAMA:-
- Pranayama must lead you towards the mastery of a spontaneous, effortless and total absence of breathing activity in your body.
- Prana must bring about the total mastery of Hatha yoga.
- Pranayama must lead to the ‘fourth state of the consciousness’ called ‘turya-avasthaa.
- The emotions and the mental activities are related to the nervous system and through it, they change our breathing.
- Pranayama aims primarily at the control of the mind. When the mind is a standstill, no thought processes or emotional disturbance is possible.
- As long as breathing is continued and the air is moving in and out of the body, the mind remains unstable.
- When breath stopped, the activity of the mind is also controlled. Thus a yogi attains a completely motionless state of consciousness.
- By practising Pranayama, the ability to perceive, to know the reality, is intensified. The mind is trained and made capable of the process of Dharana.
- Since the mind becomes steady and peaceful after the practice of Pranayama, it becomes suitable and capable to concentrate on one object at a time.
- Pranayama eradicates all types of malas from the body and mind. Mala in yoga is that toxic factor which gives rise to an imbalance in the body and mind.
- Psychologists have shown that the particular type of personality corresponds with a typical breathing pattern.
- If Pranayama is not practised judiciously, then many diseases may arise, e.g. asthma, constant hiccup, pain in the head, ear and eyes etc. It seems possible since the breathing is associated with the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and ANS is related on the other hand with mental and emotional reactions.
- By the judicious practice of pranayama, one attains sound health, steady and peaceful mind, slim and lustrous body.
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