Hinduism

Pranayama

If you are too busy to practise yoga and meditation, try pranayama instead. This art of breathing techniques can improve physical and mental health. Pranayama has been described as “an experiment in stillness”. It stimulates the prana or vital force within us. Pranayama boosts both energy and relaxation, without the aid of any external stimulation.

Our day-to-day life brings many stresses and strains. Physical exercise on top of this may seem too daunting. If this is your situation, try pranayama to tap the deeper resources within you. The breathing exercises can increase your mind’s alertness, altering your outlook and thinking completely in a positive way.

The ancient sage Patanjali, said pranayama is a gateway to God. It enables one to switch off the five senses and concentrate on enjoying divine presence.

Benefits of Pranayama

Though breathing is essential, we hardly pay any attention to it. Improper breathing cannot alleviate stress and strain. That is why pranayama is important as there are many benefits in following correct breathing techniques. Some of these benefits include:

  • Our normal breathing is shallow and from the chest. We normally do not use the full capacity of the lungs. Pranayama increases lung capacity, leading to more oxygen flow to the body. Yoga breathing teaches us to breathe deeply and slowly, providing maximum benefit.
  • Pranayama reduces body wastes and toxins, preventing the onset of many diseases.
  • Digestion improves. Pranayama also boosts one’s health condition and metabolism.
  • Pranayama improves focus and concentration. It brings serenity, relaxation and peace of mind.
  • Pranayama boosts both physical and mental self control. It improves thought clarity, helping the mind to function clearly, thereby helping us to avoid wrong decisions and arguments.

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