PRANAYAMA is an ancient science to control, regulate and expand the subtle energy through breathing. The word Pranayama has two components, “pran” and “ayama”. “Pran” means the vital energy or life force. “Ayama” means extension or expansion. of vital energy through breathing exercises. Pran is a subtle part of cosmic energy which powers everything and is the basic of all existence. Though prana is closely related to the air we breathe, it is not the air. It is much more. Breath is only used as a vehicle to carry prana. Yogi’s discovered that prana is distributed in the body through 72000 channels, called nadis. There are three very important nadis, Ida, Pingala and Shushumna. Ida nadis runs on the left and Pingla on the right side of the vertebral column. Shushumna, which has a close proximity to the spinal cord, connects all energy centers, called charkas. These subtle energy centers are located from the bottom of the spine to the top of the head.
WHY SHOULD WE DO PRANAYAMA ?
Breathing is normally an unconscious activity. Many people breathe inefficiently. Their breathing is shallow and the air does not reach all parts of the lungs, especially the lower parts. These people do not get enough oxygen and do not eliminate carbon dioxide fully. The breathing becomes shallower under stressful situations. Bad postures, smoking and excess weight do not help. Pranayama will enrich your bodies with oxygen and at the same time remove toxins. For us to remain healthy, the energy in the body has to flow freely. Any blockage to the free flow of energy results in ill health. Pranayama combined with asanas and meditation helps in the free flow of energy which will keep us fit and healthy.
PRANAYMA CONTOLS AND REGULATES THE BREATHING
Prana is the subtle energy that permeates every part of the body. Yogis have given different names to the prana depending upon the area they effect, for example:-
Pran: Area between the diaphragm and larynx; associated with the organs of respiration and speech.
Apan: Provides energy to the kidney, large intestine and the sex organs.
Samana: It energizes the digestive system, heart and the circulation.
Udana: Controls the area above the neck relating to the sensory organs (eyes, ears and the nose)
and is also responsible for muscles, joints and the back.
Vyana: Over the whole body. It co-ordinates other Prana and movements.
Pranayama Techniques taught during the Nottingham yoga classes pranayama classes in nottingham with pranyogare the same as found in Swami Ramdev's book 'Pranayam Its Philosophy & Practice.' The book explains techniques of pranayama like Bhastrika, Bahya, Kapalbhati, Anulom - Vilom, Udgeeth, Bhramri and Ujjayee, and also explains about the chakras, and the kundalini, and Kundalini Awakening
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Pranayama is the fourth 'limb' of the eight limbs of Raja Yoga mentioned in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Patanjali discusses his specific approach to pranayama explaining the benefits of the practice. Patanjali does not fully elucidate the nature of prana, and the theory and practice of pranayama seems to have undergone significant development after him. He presents pranayama as essentially an exercise that is preliminary to concentration, as do the earlier Buddhist texts.