Gateway to a healthier lifestyle: Pranayama

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These days life of people is very complicated. Sedentary lifestyle is the most harmful thing. So by adopting few preventive measures may do wonders in this busy scheduled life. You may go for Pranayam by spending just 15, 20 or 30 minutes in the morning. 

Pranayam aims at bringing the involuntary functions of the respiratory mechanism within human control. The term Pranayam has been constituted by two words: Prana + Ayama. Prana is the vital force which pervades the whole cosmos. Prana is more subtle than air and can be defined as the energy essence that is within everything in the universe. Prana is the principle of development and sustenance both of the nervous and cellular tissues of the body and the mind. In the process of breathing when the prana air is inhaled definite action takes place. One is related to the ingestion, definite action takes place. One is related to the ingestion of oxygen into the alveoli and the other to the ingestion of the nervous energy into the brain system.

Ayama means to control or to give a rhythm or a definite flow. In this sense Pranayama may be defined as a process and technique through which vital energy can be stimulated and increased: and this brings about perfect control over the flow of Prana within the body. Hence, Pranayama (or Pranayam) is a Sanskrit word meaning “extension of the pra or breath” or “extension of the life force”. The word is  composed of prana which means life force or vital energy particularly the breath and ayama which means to extend or draw out. 

Patanjali described eight elements of yoga in yogasutras and pranayam is the fourth one among yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, Samadhi. Pranayam not only means inhaling and exhaling. Basically there are three constituents also. Puraka (inhahalation), Kumbhaka (reataining the breath) and Rechaka (exhalation). There are over 50 particular Pranayama techniques , few are :

 Anuloma Pranayam- alternate nostril breathing.

 Ujjayi Pranayam- also known as ocean breathing

 Bhastrika Pranayam- long and deep diaphragmatic breathing 

 Kumbhaka Pranayam- breath retention

 Viloma Pranayam- the air is inhaled and exhaled with pauses

Kapalbhati Pranayam- skull shining breath

Udgeeth Pranayam- chanting of the “Om” mantra

Pranayama techniques are beneficial in treating a range of stress-related disorders, improving autonomic functions, relieving symptoms of asthma. He who practices Pranayama will have good appetite, cheerfulness, handsome figure, good strength, courage and enthusiasm, a high standard of health, vigor and good concentration of mind. Will power also becomes strong through its practice.

Important instructions for pranayama are- 

1.Place for pranayama should be clean, peaceful and airy.

2.Pranayama should not be performed under a fan on full speed.

3.Pranayama should be done in morning hours preferably before the dawn.

4.Body must be cleansed before sitting for pranayama

5.Duration of pranayama should be increased gradually.

6.One should not sit for pranayam after meals. Atleast a gap of 3-4 hours is essential.

7.Pranayam should be practiced after asanas and before meditation.

8.One should not strain the body.

More so Pranayam can keep u free from various diseases. Be fit, be healthy!

 

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