Pranayam is a technique related to breathing pattern in which balanced, regular, and rhythmic inhalation and exhalation in specific method is performed. It is comprised of four stages:
- Purak (Inhalation)
- Rechak (Exhalation)
- Antrika Kumbhak (Holding the breath inside after inhalation)
- Bahya Kumbhak (Holding the breath outside after exhalation)
The concept of "prana" can be illustrated through an example. Electricity flows through a wire to a bulb. The presence of electricity can only be felt when the bulb lights up. Similarly, prana is the vital energy that like electricity flows through the human body and gets manifested through our actions. Pranayam is the technique to master over this prana.
Types of Pranayam
There are several types of pranayam, which mainly differ in the way exhalation and inhalations are performed. Some popular ones include
Objectives of Pranayam
The main objective of pranayam is development, expansion, control and regulate the flow of of vital energy throughout the body, create a link between the physical body and the soul, to heal physical and mental disorders and bring about harmony between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems of the body.
Benefits of Pranayam
The various stages of a well-performed pranayam provides many benefits...
In general, pranayam promotes uninterrupted flow of the vital energy through nerves. Inhalation gives energy to the body. Exhalation cures the abdominal ailments. Holding the breath awakens the inherent potentials. Some pranayam such as chandra-bhedi cools the body, purifies the blood and re-energizes the body. Similarly, sheetali pranayam quenches the thirst, regulates the blood pressure and enhances the glow of the face. It also reflects the coolness and tranquility of mind. It helps control the breath rate and improve mental concentration. It also helps in realization of divine and intuitive powers
It is essential to learn the correct technique of pranayam before we practice it. An ill-performed pranayam may effect the health adversely. Following are some of the precautions that must be considered in order for pranayam to be effective.
- Select a neat, clean, and noise-free location
- Always perform pranayam with empty-stomach
- Keep the neck and the spine erect and straight
- Keep the body relaxed
- Never perform pranayam if intoxicated
Pranayam is a scientific technique of correct breathing process. Well-performed pranayam not only assist in sustaining good physical health but also heal diseases that are otherwise difficult to tackle. Pranayam is an important part of Preksha Meditation Camp and conducted under the direct supervision of well trained Yoga instructors and trainers. Both theoretical and practical aspects of pranayam are taught during the camps so that participants get an in-depth knowledge of the correct way of doing it.