The Pranayama is the central part of patanjalis astanga yoga system. The pranayama is derived from two Sanskrit words ‘Prana’ and ‘ayama’, .Where ‘prana’ means Energy ‘ayama’ means elongation. So the word meaning of pranayama is Elongation of pranic energy. Where as great Yogi Patanjali defines Pranayama as
‘Tasmin shwasa prashwasayor gati vichhedaha pranayamaha’
This means controlling the motion of inhalation and exhalation.
The life span of the animal depends on the number of breathe they breathing per minute. For example, a tortoise breath once in three minute, its life span is around 300 years, a rabbit breath 45 times in a minute, it lives up to fifteen years, Like this the breathing rate of the living species decides its life span, By reducing the number of breathing one can extend healthy life, this one can achieve only by regular practise of breathing exercise or Pranayama.
During normal breathing we are using only half of the lungs for breathing, this one can easily understand by taking a deep breath. During the practice of pranayama we are using at least Eighty percent of our lungs. As utilisation of lungs more the pure oxygen entering to blood immediately increases, so the each blood cell increases their efficiency, so the whole body get benefitted. Normally our thoughts and breathing have direct relations, when we are angry or restless, the number of breathing per minute increases rapidly, this everyone is experiencing in day today life. By controlling the breathing one can control the emotions and unnecessary thoughts; this is possible only by the practice of pranayama. If one practises the pranayama surely he will get control over unnecessary thoughts.
PRANAYAMA HAVE 3 STEPS THEY ARE-
- Pooraka (Inhalation)
- Rechaka (Exhalation)
- Kumbhaka (Retention)
Where as in kumbaka there are two types, again Antar kumbhaka (holding the breath after inhalation) and Bahya kumbhaka (holding the breath after exhalation).
But Holding the breath very harder and you have to follow certain ratios while holding, So during beginning stage of Yoga practise its always better to do pranayama with out holding breath,. If you practise with out holding the breath you can surely get the benefit of pranayama.
As per classical texts of Yoga there are eight pranayamas, they are Ujjayi, Soorya bhedana, Bhastrika, Sheetali, Seetkari, Bhramari, Plavini, and Moorcha. But present days for therapy purpose lot of variation in pranayamas were introduced.
NUMBER OF ROUNDS: As per classical texts of yoga one has to do pranayama four times a day, 21 rounds with each time. But for the health purpose once in a day is enough.
BEST POSTURES TO PRACTISE PRANAYAMA:
The best postures for the practice of pranayama are padmasana, siddasana, vajrasana, swastikasana. But beginning stage yoga practice, if you cannot sit any of these postures just cross your legs in off, because if you sit with difficulty-your concentration going to your pains instead of breathing. Remember always pranayama should practice after the practice of Asanas (Postures).
GENERAL BENEFITS OF PRANAYAMA
- In general Asana practices useful for get steadiness of the body, were as pranayama useful to get steady mind, but they are interrelated, you need to do both in your yoga sessions.
- Therapeutically pranayama has lot benefits, its calm down once mind, and makes him slowly ready to go to practice postures.
- For all health problems, one has to do pranayama; the selection of pranayama is depending on the needs of the person.
- One can get good will power, concentration, and memory by practice of pranayama.
- For over coming from all-psychosomatic diseases like hypertension, diabetes, depression, insomnia etc. Pranayama is the ultimate answer.
- Pranayama even one can do while traveling also, so it’s considering as a medicine within your hand.
- If one practises yoga for spiritual purpose, pranayama is a must to prepare him mentally for meditation.