Yoga and pranayama both play equally important roles when it comes to promoting good health. Yoga purifies body and increases strength. Pranayama not only purifies soul but even on performing it, body achieves excessive energy through respiratory process. Mind is very active and thus it is rightly said that mind is fleeter than wind. Our thoughts seem to travel at a rate by which neither wind nor light can travel. Pranayama regulates its activeness and brings as much stability as possible. This will help in achieving good health. Most of the diseases today are psychosomatic illnesses. In simple words, they are caused due to stress and tension. Our each thought has an impact on our body. Positive, necessary thoughts have positive impact on body whereas negative, waste thoughts impart negative, harmful effects on our body. We need to understand and channelize our each and every thought in proper direction. If we awaken ourselves and create only positive and necessary thoughts, we can keep ourselves stable and thereby keep ourselves free from all the dreadful diseases.
Benefits of Pranayama
Daily regular practice of pranayama helps us to remain stable and will always keep us happy, as we will not easily get disturbed by anything occurring on external level. As will be our thoughts and mind, so will be our body. Once we will be able to maintain health and achieve active and strong body, glow automatically increases on our face. Thirst and hunger gets regulated. This means we will neither suffer from stomach fullness nor will we ever lose our appetite. In same way, neither we will complain of dry mouth and excessive thirst, nor will we anytime go for excessive intake of fluids. This kind of proper regulation can protect us from disorders that occur as a result of irregularities. Digestive system becomes strong and digestion power increases. Thus, enabling quick digestion. Premature greying of hair, formation of wrinkles and other signs and other symptoms indicating old age does not appear. Pranayama delays aging, giving that young look for a long period of time. Any kind of blockage in arteries get removed and blood circulation increases. Individual starts losing excess weight. In this way, daily practice of pranayama on itself can correct large number of diseases.
Pranayama Purifies Elements of Body
Metabolism of lots of activities of body is done through soul. Body contains five elements. They are fire, water, air, ether and earth. Confluence of these five elements is done by soul. This itself result in carrying out various activities that can be through brain, mind or soul. Body is mortal whereas soul is immortal. During death, soul is the one which separates from body. Oxygen contains element of life and oxygen itself is not life. If it was life then doctors would have treated all diseases by administering oxygen itself. Almost all the dead people would have been brought to life and the one who are in the stage of collapsing would be helped greatly by giving the oxygen therapy. But this is not possible. Each and every cell in our body requires this vital element which keeps them active and full of life. This element is derived from atmosphere through respiration. This element of life is present in plenty in atmosphere and can be absorbed through respiration. Breathing is also an exercise. It has to be rhythmic, proper as well as channelized. Simply breathing in and breathing out does not make any great difference. An individual can learn proper technique of breathing and can absorb all these elements of life in plenty which can further help in the progress and development of body, mind, intellectual strength and abilities. As a result, hidden skills get enlightened and individual becomes skillful.
Pranayama Regulates Activities of Body
Once this element we call as life comes out, a person is considered to be soul. All the activities a soul carries out in the body is through life. In absence of life, soul too is helpless and lifeless. it cannot carry out anything in its absence. In a dead person, soul is present but in absence of life it becomes function-less and in living person, it becomes active because of presence of life. Pranayama is a method by which all the activities of body are carried out in a proper, regulated way. It is a technique through which we can learn to regulate breath and absorb excess amount of life matter from the atmospheric air. One must gather sufficient information about breathing in detail before beginning pranayama. Breathing in, breathing out, proper methods of doing so should be studied in detail. A person derives lots of benefits from it. Life is absorbed form air through inspiration and is sent to each and every part of the body mixed in blood. This whole activity is done by respiratory system. Through expiration, carbon dioxide sent from various body parts is exhaled out. Through both inspiration and expiration, element of life flows constantly. When its rhythm is proper, then one is blessed with good health, healthy mind and high intellectual level. But if rhythm is not proper then sometimes either high energy gets created and sometimes low energy. Consequently, balance of body and life gets disturbed and this results in occurrence of many diseases. In a healthy individual, rhythm is well maintained. Normally, 15-17 times in a minute a person breathes in and breathes out. In kids and in old age, this cycle goes above 20 times. Speed increases when person needs excessive energy and decreases when he does not require more energy. Excess of irregularities in breathing can be due to irregularities in eating habits, physical work, stress, anger etc.
Decrease in the cycle of inhalation and exhalation can increase life span and increase in cycle of inhalation and exhalation can decrease life span. Due to any reason if this cycle gets disturbed, can bring harm to the body. In other words, if this cycle does not follow proper rhythm then body becomes prone to diseases and illnesses. Various treatments are available for various diseases but no treatment is free of side effects. Such kind of treatments are not very beneficial because root cause does not get treated. If the root of the cause is not removed then the same disease may recur or some other disease may form. Difference in energy can result in difference in production of heat. Sometimes heat production may increase, sometimes may decrease. All these again result in causation of various diseases as body temperature has to be maintained in the body. So many fluctuations are not very good for health and it is an open invitation to various ailments. First vital organ to get affected in body is digestive system which results in weakening of digestion and as a result it causes various digestive related disorders. At the same time, mental balance too gets disturbed.
Each and every one of us wish to live a long life which if free from ailments and completely healthy. To remain healthy, we need to first respect rules and regulation of mother Nature and never try to interfere with them. We too are confluence of many entities and balance between these elements can keep us healthy. We should accept yogic science and understand its importance and regularly follow it. We should it even spread it among others so that others too benefit form it. Also, pranayama is an activity which blesses us with great health benefits as well as helps us connect with God. All these factors when followed and taken care of will yield us great health benefits.
Those who have adorned the sacred thread on their body has to do Sandhyavandan and in that ritual Pranayamam is a part. That means closing of one side of nostrils with thumb and ring finger hand we try to breath. Such pranayamam is the exercise to control our respiration abilities. In those days the Rishis and Yogis who used to live in forests without food, were able to lead happy life with fruits and doing Pranayamam regularly daily. Among Brahmins, when a child attends 7 years of age, Upanayanam is done and from that day the father would teach the child how to do Sandhayavandam for three times in a day, do Gayatri japam daily and also to do Pranayamam. So when a child does these rituals from young age, surely it is considered a part of exercise for our own health and that would facilitate good health eventually.
Since ancient times, Pranayama is been practiced in India. Prana is believed to be vital energy, in absence of which our body would perish and this life force is responsible to keep both mind and body alive. Ancient sages recognized its importance and thus preached its practice which helped everyone to live energetic and active. However, today our busy schedule and lack of interest some how do not allow us to practice it regularly. If we make it a point to practice it regularly then we can successfully create harmony between our mind, body and soul enabling them to achieve good health.