We saw the first limb of Ashtanga Yoga, i.e., Yamas-the principles, second limb of Ashtanga Yog, Niyamas- the rules and third limb Asanas-the postures in our articles, Lifestyle management through Raja Yoga or Ashtanga Yoga, part 1, 2 & 3.
In this article we will study the next step of the Ashtanga Yoga, “Pranayama”.
Pranayama is basically the breathing exercises, which are to be practiced once the aspirant is steady in the Asanas.
Sage Patanjali quotes,
तस्मिन् सति श्वासप्रश्वासयोर्गतिविच्छेदः प्राणायामः॥
When asana is accomplished, pranayama- breath control follows.
This consists of the regulating inhalation and exhalation of breaths.
He further quotes,
बाह्याभ्यन्तरस्तम्भवृत्तिर्देशकालसंख्याभिः परिदृष्टो दीर्घसूक्ष्मः ॥
The modifications of the breath are either external, internal or stationary which are to be regulated by space, time and number and are either long or short.
Pranayama is basically controlling your breathing- the intervals, speed & energy used in breathing. The word Prana is very aptly used to denote breath, because the breath we take is the basic vital force of energy required for body.
As we know the human body is comprised of billions of cells that form our organs, skin, hair, nails and blood. Then there are the organs, some of which together form a system. The primary requirement of these cells which are building blocks of our body is oxygen. Pranayama is thus making ample oxygen available to the cells in a controlled manner!
Advantages of Pranayama range from curing and preventing problems of all body systems namely,
Pranayama makes your body toned by burning excess fat, makes your skin look younger, solves issues of vaat-pitta-kafa doshas, cures everyday health problems like constipation, indigestion, diabetes etc, it restores one’s immunity and reverses the side effects of prolonged medication or habits like smoking. It makes one emotionally strong & mentally alert, increases concentration & memory, boosts up one’s determination.
In short, it adds life to the living.
Along with its therapeutic uses, it plays a very important role in making a person embark on a journey to his inside self.
Sage Patanjali says,
ततः क्षीयते प्रकाशावरणम्॥
Which means, Pranayama unveils the curtain over true light & energies within the aspirant. This makes his further journey on the path of salvation or his eternal goals easier.
So guys, breathe in-breathe out-control-hold-release-cure-relax and Live!
Stay Awesome, Stay Blessed.
For any queries or help on the same, reach out to me on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at www.pravaahwellness.com & leave a message here PRAVAAH.