Tag Archives: history of pranayama

Introduction to Pranayama, part 2

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As we learn what is Prana from previous article, today it will be about Pranayama)) as a whole!!

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Pranayama was originated over 6000 years ago in India and is the breathing technique of yoga that works wonders in increasing physical and psychological performance. The ancient yogis and rishis studied nature in great details. They noticed that animals with a slow breath rate such as pythons, elephants and tortoises have a long life span, whereas those with a fast breathing rate – dogs, birds, rabbits live for only a few years. From this observation they realized the importance of slow breathing for increasing the life span. Ancient yogis discovered that breathing is the physical part of thinking and that thinking is the psychological part of breathing))) Each thought you think changes the rhythm of breath and each breath changes the rhythm of thinking. So, when we are happy and peaceful our breathing is Rhythmic, but from the moment we are disturbed with the stress or fear our breathing is irregular and interrupted. Ancient yogis noticed the relationship between breathing and mental activity and realized that by controlling breath, we can control mental activity – and…..thus, the art of Pranayama was born))) with various techniques which regulate breath…however about that in a different article)))

To summarize what is Pranayama?! We know its a fourth of the  eight limbs of yoga that described in the Yoga Sutras. The word Pranayama compound of two words: “prana” and “ayama”. Where Prana divided into “pra” – prefix ans “an” – to breathe, to live. As we know from previous article, Prana is life force or the cosmic vital energy and Ayama means to stretch, to control, to expand. We can say that Pranayamas control, increase and channelize the energy potential into a positive direction. By doing Pranayama or regulating breathing movements one can attain a healthy body and mind.

In the Yoga Chudamani Upanishad, it has been stated v.31: One who knows the significance of the ascending and descending of jiva(inhalation and exhalation) is the knower of yoga.

Scientists found out that many times due to effects of the wrong breathing habits, a person can have: nervous instability, numbness of the fingertips, craving for the stimulants and drugs, headaches and sleeplessness. Another research shows that the snoring and mouth-breathing is the cause of incomplete respiration. The good news is that with the proper breathing methods we can rejuvenate the decaying body and organs.

Some interesting facts to end today article)))

  1. We take our first inhalation when we arrive in the world, when we are born and the last exhalation when we die.
  2. We take about 21 600 breaths each day usually without giving the process much thought!!

Think about it)) and practice Pranayama!!

Love and Light!

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