Pranayam: a universal self-healing technique
to the ancient Sanskrit texts Pranayam is a proper breathing technique which can
lead us into meditation to heal our mind, body and spirit ."Pran" means
vital force of energy, because of it every living creature breathes and "Ayama"
is the storing and distribution of energy.
With the increasing pressure of time and work load almost all of us forget to
breathe properly, our posture is almost invariably poor and we go through life
using hardly 30 per cent of our lung capacity. As the cells of organs such as
the heart, lungs, brain cells, blood, muscles and bowel get deprived of oxygen,
disease slowly starts developing. Therefore, it is important to learn correct
breathing, and maintenance of correct posture . According to the ancient
Sanskrit texts Pranayam properly done can cure all diseases, but wrongly
done will invite the same diseases! The key to perform Pranayama is to
loosen the body from the head to the toe and become an observer to all our
Essentials of performing Pranayam:
of Pranayama in a tranquil, open and clean environment is ideal.
Pranayama should be performed only on empty stomach and after passing
Performing Pranayama in a Lotus posture is ideal. In this posture the
backbone is absolutely straight and hence there is a flow of blood in each
and every vertebrae of the body. Since the ribs are upright there is full
oxygen flow in the lungs. Because of this the distribution of the Prana Vayu
(flow of energy) takes place in a complete and systematic way.
During retention of breath, learn to retain the first indrawn breath
with stability. If stability is lost, it is better to release the breath ,
rather than strain to hold it.
Attempt Pranayama only when the yoga asanas
have been mastered.
It has to be practiced with the greatest sincerity and precision. One
has to be ready for Pranayama.
Take care not to disturb or jerk the vital organs and nerves, or stress
the brain cells.
Pranayam in action:
Sit in asana. Breathe inside slowly, very slowly, allowing the smooth passage of
prana to each molecule, fiber and cell of the body. Expand diaphragm, so more
air will come in lungs. Hold for 4/5 seconds. Exhale slowly by contracting
diaphragm giving the air cells sufficient time to re-absorb the residual prana
to the maximum possible extent. Again hold breath out for 4/5 seconds. Repeat
During Pranayama one should be totally in fineness of inhalation, exhalation and
in the naturalness of retention. Each inhalation activates the Central
Nervous System into stimulating the peripheral nerves and each exhalation
triggers the reverse process. During retention of breath, both processes take
place. While inhaling or retaining the breath in pranayama cycle, remember
to ensure that the abdomen does not swell.
Benefits of Pranayam:
In pranayama breathing, the brain is quiet and this allows the nervous system to
function more effectively. Benefit of pranayam is that mind gets steady & sharp.
Concentration power increases. Mind can be focused on any micro thing. By
practicing Pranayama, we learn to move energy vertically, horizontally and
cyclically to the frontiers of the body. Another benefit is that out of triguna-
Satvaguna increases and Rajoguna (Wayward), Tamoguna (lazy) decreases. Increase
in satvaguna (seven healthy characteristics) is very necessary for human's
If you fail after a few cycles, be content with the knowledge that you have
practiced three-four cycles with awareness and attention. Do not turn away from
failures. Accept them and learn from them. Gradually you will learn to master