Breath Is Life

Sunday, December 12, 2010

by Shareeza SS Faruqui

For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on earth.
~ Sanskrit Proverb

Breathing is life. It is one of our most vital functions. Pranayama promotes proper breathing. In a Yogic point of view, proper breathing is to bring more oxygen to the blood and to the brain, and to control Prana or the vital life energy. Pranayama also goes hand in hand with the Asanas. When Asanas are performed with proper Pranayama, the benefits of the postures are more profound and activate the body from within.

What is Pranayama? Pranayama is to restrain or regulate the act of breathing. It is this regulation or restraint that is known as Pranayama. Pranayama are yogic techniques that establish control over the movements of the Pranic forces in the body.

This brings us to the question of what is Prana? Simply put, Prana is Energy. Prana is derived from the Sanskrit word meaning “Breath”. However, it means so much more than its dictionary definition of “air that is inhaled and exhaled”. Prana is understood as the vital, life-sustaining force of every living being. Prana is the vital energy in all natural processes of the universe.

As mentioned above, “Prana” is the Sanskrit word for “Breathe” and “Ayama” is the Sanskrit for “Pause”. Together, “Pranayama” is a pause in the movement of breath.

Why is there a need to pause the movement of breath? There are almost 200 physical and psychological symptoms that can be attributed to improper breathing. They can vary from sighing or yawning repeatedly to dizziness, chest pain, headaches, pain in the neck or shoulders, feeling listless, distracted, unable to sleep, having difficulty concentrating and many more. Breathing is the link between the body and the mind, thus the regulation of breath helps condition both. When the breathing is poor, our bodies react.

Therefore, purpose of Pranayama is two-fold. It brings harmony to the entire body system and gives complete mental control. According to the ancient Scriptures, the control of Prana causes equality of vision over all. It generates happiness and deters the mind from being tempted by sensual objects arising in the mind itself. It seems that we are our own worst enemy! It helps regulate needs, wants and desires. It brings about the union of the self with the higher force.

However, before we can delve into the many Pranayama techniques, we must first learn to breathe properly. By practising the art of breathing as taught by the Yogi’s, you will realise how poorly you have been breathing.

Find a quiet place in a well ventilated room. Sit down on a comfortable surface such as a yoga mat or rug, in any seated posture. Place your hands on your knees in “Chin Mudra”. Chin Mudra is achieved by touching together the tips of your thumb to your index finger, while keeping the middle, ring and little fingers open. Relax your shoulders and neck. Close your eyes. Inhale through your nose for the count of 4 and exhale for the count of 8. Keep your concentration on the base of your nose. Concentrate on your breathing. Do this for about 10 minutes.

Consistent practise of this beginner Pranayama will leave you feeling refreshed. It will also help clear any nasal and respiratory congestion.


Anonymous said...

[url=] Breaking News[/url], opinions and blogs in business, sports, entertainment, travel, lifestyle, plus much more.
The leading news source for Long Island and [url=]NYC[/url]

Honey said...

Thanks for explaining the pranayama. In my hatha yoga teacher training we had told this sanskrit proverb which has deep meaning really. Beautifully you presented this blog.


salvinder said...

Sivananda Ashram Yoga retreat Bahamas founded by Swami Sivananda. We offer yoga therapy, Yoga retreat, Yoga teacher training course, Retreat Yoga and many other.
yoga retreat

salvinder said...

retreat yoga
Sivananda ashram Yoga retreat Bahamas offers course of deaf yoga retreat with Lila Lolling, an experienced yoga teacher and the founder of Deaf Yoga Foundation

Anonymous said...

Shivananda Yoga course
Are you a bit baffled by all the different types of yoga out there? Need help picking a style that's right for you? While different styles of yoga are all based on the same poses, there are some major differences between them. Find the style of yoga that will best suit your body and personality here.

Anonymous said...

5 Million Articles + 95. [url=][/url]

sattva yoga said...

200 hrs and 300 hrs yoga teacher training course in rishikesh Yoga teachers training course at Sattva yoga Academy in Rishikesh are experiential, transformational, and progressive – a differentiating edge from the standard yoga courses you can get anywhere else. Courses at sattva yoga retreat are holistic and integral, making relevant yoga studies relevant to today’s times.

About This Blog

This blog is dedicated to providing Yoga resources for all our students and anyone interested in well-being. We hope that through our posts, we help spread health and happiness.

Important Notice

While every care is taken to provide you with complete information, it is always advisable to approach your Yoga practice with care. This blog is not a replacement for actual classes and it is important that you are fully aware of this.

  © Blogger templates Newspaper II by 2008

Back to TOP