Pranayama: on the path to health and enlightenment
The word ” Pranayama ” is usually translated as ” prana – the pit -” “breath control” or “control of the breath.” To some extent this is true, because breathing Yoga exercise increases lung capacity, making breathing even and deep, taught to keep a long delay on the inhale and exhale. But if we dig a little deeper, pranayama – control is not breathing, and most prana – the life force. More correct, as claimed by a connoisseur of pranayama as Swami Satyananda SaraswatiWill translate the word “pranayama” as “prana Ayama”, ie literally “lengthening of the prana,” or in the sense of “expansion of vital energy.” Naturally, it is not a banal extension of the length of the inhalation and exhalation – although this is also the case, as the first and most coarse level of understanding – and more about working with a subtle life energy, “prana”.
Pranayama – it is, in fact, the method of activation of Prana, ie vitality, and her control technology in order to exceed the normal limits of human possibilities and achieve a higher level of energy vibration. At the master level, pranayama turns into Prana Vidya, knowledge, or “vision” of energy when the yogi can directly feel the energy flow in your body, and to manage them. This is done with the purpose of improvement of the banal * (very effective), and to achieve siddhis (extraordinary ability), and the purpose of cultivation of vital energy, and ultimately – to reach higher states of consciousness (Dhyana, Samadhi ) and the Enlightenment. Ending the practice should be the full realization of lifetime latent in the human body “divine” potential.
But, as they say in China, “the way of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” And for beginners way of mastering Pranayama is most important to properly build a basic practice, avoid common mistakes, not to hurt yourself, but rather, improve their health. The primary purpose of pranayama is a gradual, gentle cleansing of the so-called ” Nadi ” channels in the pranic body, which circulates prana, as well as blood flowing through the vessels of the gross physical body. Once this person becomes capable of doing long (several minutes) breath on inhalation and exhalation. But do not confuse the end with the means: to start “vlob” simply to delay the air in the lungs is not effective. First we need to gradually, step by step, to take control of the inhalation and exhalation, gradually learning to slow down and lengthen the breath.
During the preliminary exercises we learn to breathe a bit unusual ways, strengthen the lungs, let us nervous and pranic system in a state of balance, harmony, and in the mind learn to be aware of the breath (it seems elementary, but in reality it is, in fact, is the most difficult). True to the practice of pranayama increases resistance to stress and mental stability and control as well as release from false identifications: bad habits and irrational behavior (in particular, with the help of pranayama is easy to quit smoking). On the physical level Pranayama improves the cardiovascular system, making the person looks attractive (improving skin condition, complexion) and internally charismatic, energetic. Man acquires qualities of independence, freedom, leadership, and at the same time it becomes calm and balanced.
Starting pranayama program may be as follows:
Block preparatory practices pranayama level (beginner):
Breath awareness . We sit in any comfortable position with your back straight (you can not even on the mat and sitting flat on the chair), and observe its natural breathing. Try to be aware of every breath and every exhalation. Do not control, do not change your breath! Practice as 5-10 minutes a day. A typical error – breathing becomes intentional, power, tight. No need to “try” breathe quite normally. The objective here is not to make a deep breath, and to share the process and the observer. Become an observer! Practice will be implemented when you are not only clearly mark the inhalation and exhalation (as well as a short pause in between), but also keep track of all the sensations in the body related to breathing, is not “running away” to other thoughts. It may take 1-2 weeks of daily training, more or less, depending on the ability to concentrate. After mastering the transition to the practice №2.
Abdominal (diaphragmatic) or simply deep breathing . Lie on your back or sit in a comfortable position with your back straight as you prefer. Put one hand on your stomach, on the navel, and the other – on the chest. Begin to breathe, “belly”, ie Cycling lower parts of the lungs. Palm, which lies on the chest should not move up and down, but the one that lies on the abdomen should rise and fall. On the inhale inflate the abdomen as possible (comfortable) more as you exhale gently presses the belly button (navel) inside. All the attention should be on the movement of the abdomen and the process of respiration. Do not let the consciousness be distracted by extraneous thoughts. Dive into the “here and now”, ie a body sensation, sensation of breathing. If you can keep the concentration on the breath at least 1 minute, you will find that watching the breath – not “boring”, and every breath and every breath is accompanied by a rather curious sensations in different areas of the body. Watch these feelings, but do not ponder them. Exercise will be implemented when you are aware of all the main points of the emergence of sensations, and there will be a “rotation” of consciousness to these points (with breath: tip of the nose or nostrils, down the throat into the lungs and the stomach – and vice versa). Practice 1 week for 5-10 minutes every day. Such breathing gives us confidence, peace of mind and the strength to make informed decisions.
Pulmonary (breast) breathing . The same, only breathe exclusively “breast”, “light”. Palm, which lies on the chest, makes moving up and down, and the palm, which is lying on his stomach, immobile. Execution: 5-10 minutes a day, 1 week. This aggravates breathing, thin emotions.
Clavicular (surface) breathing . The final practice of this series. The same thing – lay or sit straight, one hand on his chest, the other – on the abdomen. A few minutes breathe “lung” (thoracic) breathing. Then start “dovdyhat” a little air at the end of inspiration – do it superficially, only the upper portions of the lungs – as if one collarbones. In this case, the shoulders and collarbones will rise slightly, slightly strained neck. Exhaling, lower the first and relax your collarbone, and then the chest. Find a comfortable breathing rhythm to dizzy (if this happens, slow down your breath), so as not to choke and not suffer undue stress. Let the breath is easy and natural. Do this for 5-10 minutes every day for a week. Such breathing gives lightness and sharpness of thought.
“Yogic” (yogic) breathing . The ending of this range of practices. We sit in a comfortable position with your back straight. In practice the technique №1 for 1-2 minutes. Then combine the art №2,3, and 4: starting a slow, deep breath “wave” from the bottom up. Initially fill “stomach” (i.e., the lower parts of the lungs), and then lift the chest expanding (pulmonary respiration) and the end surface do “podvdoh” ( “clavicular breath”). Exhale in reverse order, from top to bottom: first “collarbone”, then from the upper parts of the lungs ( “breast” breathing), then “from the belly”, lightly press the navel inward. Do not rush, otherwise dizzy. Breathing should be calm as possible and comfortably slow, smooth and almost silent. Breaths are no jerks, no steps. Do 5-10 of breaths – and return to the technique №1: sitting still, watch your breath. If you breathe in harmony, with the passage of breath will not change much. Correct “yogic” breathing comfortably, do not get tired of it! On the second week of the practice of “yogic breathing” start doing a short (a few seconds), breath holding after exhalation. Throughout the practice, you should be very relaxed physically and mentally. Let no one bothers you. Increase the daily practice from 1-2 to 10 minutes. Allow 1-2 weeks for the development of such a breath. “Yogic” breathing is very useful, practice it every day, preferably in the same time.
As a result of these exercises, you will be physically and mentally ready for safe and proper development of more complex pranayama: Anulov-Bel, Nadi Sodhana, Agnisara -kriya, Bhastrika, Bramari, Ujjayi, etc. But the final practice (№5) – «Yogic. breath “- will remain with you: this is not the preparation, and complete pranayama. Practice this breathing when you are upset about something, worried or tired – for peace of mind, and filling the new forces. You can do it in the morning and in the evening, preferably on an empty stomach. “Full yogic” breathing increases lung capacity, evens the breath makes it more physiological. Another secret of yoga is that you can bring your asana practice to the next level, if you make a “yogic breathing” (practice №5) during their confinement.
* If you have a chronic disease, before the start of practice, consult with your doctor and yogaterapevtom.
Author: Alex Sokolowski