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Benefits of Pranayama

Posted by Rahat al imran Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Breathing is the only way by which we get oxygen in the body. Oxygen is the vital nutrient that keeps alive and healthy. We can survive without food or water for several weeks, but without oxygen, we can survive only for a few minutes. Sedentary lifestyle reduces oxygen supply to the body and the brain. As a result, there is sluggishness, pain negative thoughts and illness. Many people take breathing for granted; they don’t realize that breathing influences and controls the functions of the systems in our body and also clams the mind.

Normal breathing is shallow breathing. We have made shallow breathing a habit. We use only a fraction of our lungs, and so the cells are deprived of oxygen, and the impurities build up. Over time, it depletes the functions of all systems, and leads to premature ageing and illness.

The ancient yogis realized this truth and developed many types of pranayama that enhance health and longevity. Prana means energy, life force or breath. Ayama means restraint, control, regulation or expansion. Prana is subtler than air. It is the cosmic energy that pervades within everything in the universe.Pranayama is much more than normal breathing it is the heart of yoga. It is a scientific technique of prolonging the breath, increasing the vital energy, allowing it to percolate efficiently into all the cells and eliminating maximum toxins from the body. It refreshes and strengthens the brain, mind body and immune system and cures and prevents many diseases. Pranayama consists of three process. Puraka or inhalation, Rechaka or exhalation and Kumbhaka or retention. With deep and steady inhalations, there is more oxygen drawn in than normal breathing. And, the impurities are removed without leaving any residue in the lungs.Exhalations in normal breathing are so quick that only part of the lungs are emptied. When impurities build up, it leads to illness. With retention there is perfect absorption and distribution of the prana or oxygen. Retention is not recommended for beginners. The yogis believed that the breath is the bridge between the mind and the body. When the breath is extended there are positive changes within and it illumines our lives.
Pranayama is a kind of meditation that creates awareness, controls the unsteady mind, refreshes the brain, nourishes the cells, boosts oxygen to all organs, efficiently removes impurities and provides total freedom from pain and disease. Many types of pranayama have been designed each one contributes substantially to physical mental and emotional wellbeing. Pranayamas recommended for everyday practice are Ujjayi, Kapalabhati, Nadishodana and Brahmari. They can be practiced anytime when travelling in the car stuck in the traffic, working on the computer or in the kitchen and when the mind is disturbed.


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