A crucial form of yogasana is the practice of Pranayama. Prana or breath is the very life force of the human body which keeps the energy flowing through it in a regulated manner. Commonly understood as breathing exercises, Pranayama is in fact instrumental in regulating our entire energy levels, and consequently, our health. This is precisely why in almost all systems of meditation tremendous emphasis has been laid on regulating or watching the breath. Therefore, in different exercises of Pranayama, breathing is regulated. The principle tenet behind this is that if we just learn to take deep and rhythmic breaths, we will be able to improve our holistic health significantly. The objective of Pranayama is to create a link between the physical body and consciousness and bring about harmony between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems of the body.
The technique of Pranayama consists of four stages, which are as follows:
- Purak (Inhalation)
- Rechak (Exhalation)
- Antrika Kumbhak (Holding the breath inside after inhalation)
- Bahya Kumbhak (Holding the breath outside after exhalation)
Depending on the manner in which exhalation and inhalation of breath are practiced, there are several types of Pranayama. Some of the more popular ones among these include the Surya Bhedi, Chandra Bhedi, Anuloma-Viloma, Bhastrika, Kapaalbhaati, Sheetali and Ujjai.
Benefits of Pranayam
Pranayama offers several benefits to its practitioners, the most significant being the regulation of the uninterrupted flow of vital energy through the nerves throughout the body. The deep breathing techniques of inhalation and exhalation provide energy to the body and cure abdominal ailments respectively. Some form of Pranayama such as Chandra-bhedi, cool the body, purify the blood and re-energize the body. Similarly, Sheetali pranayam quenches the thirst, regulates the blood pressure and enhances the glow of the face. Pranayama, by controlling the rate and rhythm of breathing also improves mental concentration and intuitive powers.
At Adhyatm Sadhna Kendra, Pranayama is an important component of the Preksha Meditation Camps to help participants achieve better physical health and cure disorders while attaining overall holistic wellness. It is conducted under the expert supervision of qualified Yoga instructors and trainers. To give participants in-depth knowledge about the correct practice and benefits of Pranayama, both theoretical and practical aspects of Pranayama are explained in the camps.