Yoga breathing, also called pranayama, is the science of breath control. It involves various exercises aimed at maintaining the health and vitality of the body.
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The word pranayama is derived from the following terms:
- Prana – life energy, life force
- Yama – self-discipline, control
- Ayama – expansion, expansion, without limitation
Pranayama is intended to awaken and strengthen the inner life force, but with simple, deep breaths that is not done. It is meant for yogis and yoginis, to prepare for a yoga session and to get into a meditative mindset. The conscious breathing continues, like a thread through the yoga exercises .Only then can we really immerse ourselves and feel the positive effect of yoga.
The breathing process works like this: We breathe in, where oxygen gets into our body. It enters the entire body system via the lungs and the blood and charges it with energy. The second step is the exhalation of carbon dioxide, which also releases toxic substances from the body. In pranayama, we create the right balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide. The absorption of Prana through breathing in the widest sense connects body, mind and soul.
These are the four stages of pranayama:
As Puraka we refer to the unique inhalation of the breath. This process of inhalation should be calm and, above all, even.
Abhyantara Kumbhaka (break after inhaling)
After inhaling, Pranayama takes a conscious break in the second step. The air flow is interrupted, the air in the lungs kept and there is no movement of the body. How to perform this step correctly will be explained later in the tutorial.
The third stage refers to the exhalation. Just as with inhalation, calmness and regularity is required. The speed, however, depends on the particular breathing exercise and may differ from inhalation. Normally you need to inhale the muscles, while exhaling the relaxation of these sufficient. In the Pranayama breathing exercises, the air is often released quickly from the lungs, which can sometimes sound funny. Especially in a course with many participants. But you get used to it and now it is part of everyday life for me.
Bahya Kumbhaka (break after exhaling)
The fourth stage of breathing may seem strange to most beginners. Because after exhaling a break is taken. This closes the circle and the process starts again. The eternal cycle of the breath!
Positive effects and benefits of pranayama
Breathing is a constant and integral part of our lives. And yet we pay little attention to him. It is an autonomous mechanism of the body, which also works without conscious execution. But why is breathing (in yoga) so important to us?
Here are my 6 key points:
- Pranayama improves self-control of the mind and body. Through the conscious control of the breath one can control emotions better and the repartee (in a positive sense) increases. A clear mind leads to better decisions.
- Pranayama reduces the toxins in our body. The immune system is strengthened, which reduces the susceptibility to diseases.
- Pranayama teaches us how to breathe properly. Unfortunately, we got used to breast breathing and use only a small part of the lung for our breathing. Even if we know that this is not good, the automatism is difficult to change. With yoga breathing we increase the capacity of our lungs and bring more oxygen to the body.
- Pranayama helps us with the digestion (I was not aware of that before writing the article).With the right kind of breathing, one stimulates the metabolism and thus improves the well-being.
- Pranayama is a spiritual experience and takes us on a journey through body and mind (much like meditation).
- Pranayama promotes concentration and focus on the essentials. It is less distracting, which reduces stress and relaxes the body. The breath control leads to more serenity and inner peace.
The purpose of our lives is the conscious realization of our unity with the power of the Spirit. Whether it is conscious or unconscious, every human being tries to continue on his way to that goal. If man realizes the oneness with the universal Self, ie with his own spiritual existence, then such a person becomes one with the whole universe.
Cosmic consciousness is spread over the entire universe and it permeates everything. Human consciousness is limited to the human body and its environment. To reach cosmic consciousness, it is necessary to raise awareness of every living cell in our bodies and brains. The practice of kriya stimulates the clear functioning of the brain and also has a favorable influence on the development of the body. Through the exercises the whole body is magnetized, where all cells are nourished and saturated with permanent divine light.
The spirit is born of Himself. The mind is constantly aware. The attention of the divine Creator is equally divided and concentrated. We, as human beings, are created “in His image” and possess a latent power to concentrate and feel our presence everywhere. By living the right way and practicing kriya yoga at the same time, one can increase his normal consciousness and quickly reach the ocean of cosmic consciousness.
The science of kriya yoga is the knowledge that enables man to perceive his ever-present unity with the divine. Through the practical application of kriya, man can realize that whatever he is doing is done only by the power of God, which activates our entire system and directs all our activities.
Kriya yoga is a scientific technique
By practicing kriya yoga you can come into direct contact with the divine qualities of light, divine sound and a pendulum movement, whereby you become anchored in God-consciousness.
The science of kriya yoga is the most essential technique for Self-realization. The technique is in fact very simple and easy to practice. It gives immediate results. With the help of this scientific technique, someone can perceive the three divine attributes of the Soul described above. By concentration in these divine qualities one can remove all obstacles of deeply rooted mental impressions within a short time and thus attain a higher consciousness. Kriya yoga is a scientific technique. Its practice gradually reduces and removes all abnormal and negative tendencies and properties from the chakras (the spiritual nodes) in the human body. The practice of kriya restores and promotes the natural balance in man. It enables you to dispel the confusion and illusions and discover the divinity within yourself. The process of kriya yoga accelerates the realization of the formless in the physical form. It is an independent spiritual discipline that has everything in it to be able to lead someone to his highest good.
Kriya yoga is a universal science that does not belong to a sect, but which to a certain extent is endorsed by all religions and groups. Actually it is practical religion, but then free of all dogmas and assumptions. That is why it does not conflict with the teachings of other groups or religions. It consists of techniques that are scientific, that is to say that every step is based on experimental realization.
Just like the truths that result from the investigation of the physical sciences, kriya yoga gives humanity a practical technique that enables us to observe the truths proclaimed in the scriptures in practice. Concentration and meditation on the basis of a technique such as that of kriya, enable man to realize these truths.
The big advantage of kriya yoga is that it is a very short way. If practiced correctly, it is the most simple and certain way to the divine Kingdom, or the highway to Self-realization. Through the divine power one receives through kriya yoga practice, one can ignore the limited human consciousness and reach the cosmic Consciousness in “no time”.
Kriya yoga is the effective short-way technique
The word kriya means that you live your life as it is led from within by the soul. The soul guides you through the brain to the right activities. Without the soul, the brain can not function. Without the soul we would not get any thought or mood and our body would be a dead, inanimate body. That is why it is essential to remember over and over again that every thought comes from the “invisible body”, ie the soul that resides within. If you constantly perceive that the indwelling Self is the only doer in all your activities, and that He functions in your whole system, then you have achieved God-realization (the non-ego stage).
The simple and easy breathing techniques of kriya yoga restore balance in body and mind. The oxygen that is breathed through in a clean and precise manner through this process cleanses the inner mechanism of the body, activates the limbs and regulates the appetite. It gives strength and rejuvenation to the body, improves the memory capacity and the functioning of the brain in general. It simultaneously cleans body and intellect, and balances actions in daily life. There are no dietary restrictions if you want to practice kriya yoga.
The sincere practice of kriya enables you to raise consciousness to a higher level through the 3-fold experience of the cosmic pendulum movement, sound vibration and seeing light in your own body. Kriya yoga is a very simple yoga, and at the same time it is the common highway of all religions. It gives mathematical results; the deeper you practice, the more spiritual progress you make, that’s for sure. This technique can be practiced by people of all religions, races and religious beliefs, by man and woman alike. Every child can successfully practice this technique every 13 years. And even someone who is already in old age can benefit from it.
The practice of kriya yoga results in a simultaneous development of body, mind and soul, in the shortest possible time. It is a simple but vitalising process. Everyone can continue to develop in his own direction through kriya yoga. It is a living and innovative spiritual path that constantly adapts to the vitality of man, not only in everyone’s individual life, but in the life of all mankind.