Meditation, is putting one's mind aside. People who claim that
meditation is a discipline of the mind are far from right
Right word for disciplining of the mind is its crystallization.
The ordinary mind of a common man or woman is most often in a chaotic
state. Yogic discipline gives one a crystallized mind together with
centeredness. And the more one's mind is crystallized, the more
you draw closer to real self. For example, the crystallized mind
can read somebody's thoughts, which the ordinary mind cannot dream
of. Non-crystallized mind cannot read its own thoughts what to talk
of reading somebody else's thoughts.
Scientists claim that even the most talented person uses only fifteen
percent of his pranic energy the emphasis here is on the most talented
individuals and not about everybody.
Albert Einstein perhaps used fifteen percent of his energy. The
average, ordinary person never uses more than seven percent of his
energy. Einstein by using fifteen percent became aware of many things
which the ordinary persons would not be even aware of. It was claimed
that during the period when he was alive there were only twelve
people in then whole world who could understand his theory of relativity,
which means that only twelve persons all over the then world could
understand him exactly. If one is capable of using thirty percent
of one's energy or even fifty percent of it who knows how vast the
universe would then look to him.
found that meditation reduces blood levels of stress hormones,
which are associated with poor health and aging.
- Reduces levels of lactate, a substance related to
high levels of anxiety
or normalizes blood pressure and pulse rate.
respiration, oxygen consumption, and metabolic rate.
- Lowers abnormally
high cholesterol levels.
- Enhances immune system
- Increases alpha brain-wave
activity, which is present during times of creativity and relaxation.
- May increase concentration, memory, and creativity
- Is deeply relaxing and rejuvenating.
Some long-term meditators have been found to be five to twelve
years younger biologically than they are chronologically, as indicated
by their blood pressure, visual acuity, and hearing. New research
shows that meditators have up to nearly 50 percent higher levels
of a hormone called DHEA. Low levels of DHEA are considered to be
a marker for exposure to chronic stress and for aging. High levels
of DHEA are associated with reduced incidence of disorders such
as heart disease, breast cancer, and osteoporosis.
1.Ujjayi is often called the "sounding"
breath or "ocean sounding" breath -
2.It involves constricting the back of the throat while breathing
to create an "ah" sound thus the various "sounding"
When to do it
During asana practice
Anytime you want to concentrate
- Focuses the mind
- Increases mindfulness
- Generates internal heat
Known as the "complete"
or "three-part" breath, dirgha pranayama teaches
fill the three chambers of the lungs, beginning with the lower
lungs, then moving
up through the thoracic region and into the clavicular region
When to do it
- During asana practice
- Prior to meditation
- Prior to relaxation
- Anytime you feel like
Promotes proper diaphragmatic breathing, relaxes the mind
and body, oxygenates the blood and purges the lungs of residual
Naadi Shudhi-purification of subtle perception
This pranayama is done sitting in padmasana posture.
Note: Early morning and late evenings are
good time for the above practice.
The benefits of above practice may be seen in 4 to 6 months
time. This leads to purification of Nadi's. There are supposed
to be 7.2 million nadi's in the body. This is very beneficial
before sitting in meditation as it helps to improve concentration.
It also lightens the body, improves brightness of eyes, and
digestion system. It helps to reduce hypertension and anxieties
Benefits of pranayama
- Massage the abdominal muscles
- Tone up the working of various organs of the body.
- Proper ratios being maintained between inhalation,
exhalation and retention
- It enhances
life span of a person
- It improves the
in regeneration of new body cells
- Back bending postures open the
chest improving both lung and heart functioning.
- Practice upper back bends and
chest opening postures if it is harder to exhale
Pranayams: The Breathing Exercises
Pranayama is defined as "the regulation of the incoming
and outgoing flow of breath with retention."
- "PRANA" Means BREATH "AYAMA"
- Five types of prana are responsible for various pranic
activities in the body, they are Prana, Apana, Vyan, Udana
- Out of these Prana and Apana are most important.
- Prana is
upward flowing and Apanaa is downward flowing.Practice of
Pranayama achieves the balance in the activities of these
pranas, which results in healthy body and mind
Inhalation (puraka) stimulates
the system and fills the lungs with fresh air Retention (kumbhaka)
raises the internal temperature and plays an important part
in increasing the absorption of oxygen
Exhalation (rechak) causes the diaphragm to return to the
original position and air full of toxins and impurities is
forced out by the contraction of inter-costal muscles
Asthma and pranayama
Several studies have shown yoga to be a powerful adjunct
therapy to reduce the frequency and intensity of asthma attacks
as well as to decrease medication use_ Consistent practice
of yoga postures and pranayama (breathing exercises) increases
the lung's airflow, air capacity, stamina and efficiency.
Pranayama cultivates the ability to maintain a relaxed and
controlled breath that can prevent or reduce asthma attacks_
Breathing problems can be corrected by yoga through the practice
of Pranayama_ Pranayama has various techniques that are designed
for the maximum capacity utilization of the lungs - something
tat most of us do not do.
Yoga and pranayama also help in regulating the temperature
of the breath flow thereby solving a lot of problems related
Types of Pranayama Breathing Exercises
Surya-Bhedana (Right-nostril breathing)
This refers to an exercise in which one inhales through the
right nostril and exhales through the left, holding the inhaled
breath as long as possible before exhaling. Although one may
eventually develop an ability to do this without using the
fingers to close either nostrii, beginners, at least, should
expect to use their fingers. You may close your nostrils in
any way you choose to; but the traditional technique has become
standardized as follows. After pressing the index and middle
fingers of the right hand against the palm of that hand, use
the thumb to close the right nostril and the ring and little
fingers to close the left nostril. Left-handed persons may
reverse this procedure. When both nostrils are open, the fingers
rest on the bridge of the nose. during asthma attacks. Practice
forward bends and lower back bending poses if it is more difficult
to inhale. Inverted postures drain excess mucus from the lungs
and balance the immune system. A general yoga practice reduces
stress, physical tension, and muscle tightness and increases
overall feelings of well being by activating the parasympathetic
General Principles of Pranayama:
- Breathing Exercises should never be pushed to
the point of weariness or exhaustion Exercises should not
be repeated too often.
- They should
not be merely mechanical.
- There should
be no hurry or haste.
Attention should be concentrated on the exercise while it
is being performed
should always be variety and change in the exercises. Exercise
should always be gentle and nonviolent.
- Breathing should not be jerky or
irregular, but smooth, steady and continuous.
- the bee breath
the nerves and calms the mind
- Inhale through both nostrils,
taking a slow deep breath in. Exhale through both nostrils
using the throat to make a soft "eeee" sound,
like the buzzing of a bee. Do 5-10 rounds, making the buzzing
bee noise louder as you progress, but do not strain.
- Variation: Block off the right nostril with the
thumb using visnu mudra (as in nadi sodhna pranayama) and
inhale through the left nostril using Ujjayi pranayama.
Exhale through the left nostril using the throat to make
a soft "eeee" sound, like the buzzing of a bee.
Block off the left nostril and repeat on other side, practicing
for 5-10 round
It also helps in improving concentration. It is also known
as door step tomeditation. In public meditation, the humming
sweet sound, generated out of this pranayama from different
people sitting around, help increase concentration
It helps reduce anger and fear..
Pranayama is a key methodology towards good and balanced
health. It is advisable that the starters must do it under
guidance until they become perfect. Note: Everybody can do
this pranayama including BP and heart patients
In Sanskrit, Bhastrika means bellows. Just as a blacksmith
blows his bellows rapidly, the same way one has to blow the
in a calm meditative posture with straight backbone. Inhale
breath with force and speed from both nostrils. The stomach
and chest will balloon up and shrink fast too.
- Practice this for ten times_
Inhale deep, retain the breath, as long as comfortable
and exhale. This will complete one round. One can easily
go unto ten rounds.
Take 2-3 deep breaths after each round to avoid tiredness.
- This type of Pranayama leads to
high speed circulation of blood with increased
- The benefits are
plenty. Inflammatory diseases of the nose and chest, asthama,
gas wind etc. can be cured or prevented It creates extra
strength in the body. If combined with Kumbhaka,•it
regenerates vital energy of the body. It also purifies the
Note: Patients of hypertension and heart
should not practice this.
Sitali (Beak tongue pranayama)
- Fold the tongue like a tube lengthwise and push
it out of mouth
- Inhale, through the tongue with
a hissing, Siiiiiiiiii, sound. Both the cheeks
swollen like balloon with breath retained as long as comfortable.
- In order to help hold breath, one may
lower chin so as to touch throat.
- Lift up the chins, and release breath slowly
The remaining breath may be vented out through mouth.
- Practice this for six times. This can be done
even while standing.
Sadant (Breath through teeth Pranayama)
- Press the
upper teeth on the lower ones. Slowly breath in through
gaps of teeth's with a hissing sound like Siiiiiiiiii. While
breathing in, feel the coolness of air
taken in. Allow the breath to stop automatically.
- Exhale through both nostrils. Repeat the cycle as much
as one can do, comfortably.
Both Sitali and Sadant are cooling pranayama. The cool feelings
helps to calm down the mind by removing tension and anxiety.
The respiratory system becomes more vigorous. It helps to
reduce pyorrhea and hypersensitivity of gums. It is particularly
useful during summer season. These Pranayama may not be practiced
in extreme winter and humid weather.
- alternate nostril
balancing, calming, anti-anxiety, and very relaxing
- Place the
right hand in Vishnu Mudra (forefinger and middle finger
bent towards the palm; thumb, ring, and pinkie in the air).
To do one round: close off right nostril with the thumb
and inhale into the left nostril; close left nostril with
ring and pinkie fingers, open the right nostril and exhale
through the right, then inhale into the right nostril; close
the right nostril, open the left, and exhale through the
left nostril. Continue, doing 5-20 round
Yoga means Health
Maintaining balanced lifestyle Development
Maharshi patanjali, described asana STHIRASUKHAM ASANAM..
Gives stability to the body
Gives sense of well-being
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