Practical Guidelines, Physical Prerquisites And Basic Cautions For Pranayama
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Yoga

Control of Breath – Pranayama.

Practical Guidelines, Physical Prerquisites and Basic Cautions For Pranayama .

These days the ancient practices of yoga have come in vogue. This is very good for the society that after experiencing a lot of negative advancements we are progressing towards the natural ways of developing health and nurturing the self once again. It is like going back to basics and learning them afresh to derive maximum advantages from them. However, knowing them in a detailed way is important for reaping benefits.

Some people begin the practice of pranayama very enthusiastically after listening to some other practioners, or in this age of fast track communication, after watching many others practicing it or reading about the beneficial results of it. The new age communication and technological advancement is very advantageous, but ancient practices of yoga, especially pranayama are powerful procedures. These can be extremely curative and favorable if done properly, but can be extremely harmful if not done in the correct way. So it is advantageous to understand each and every aspect of the practices of pranayama before it is regularly practiced. Some details are given here to throw light on some essential elements of practice of pranayama.

Practical Guidelines:

In the practice of pranayama a breathing pattern has to be established, which is smooth and regular. This is to be done to extract maximum benefit out of the whole practice. The final breathing pattern has to be long and smooth. This pattern also indicates a certain achievement of balance of all faculties of mind and body. This can be detected by monitoring and paying attention to one’s general breathing pattern and evaluating the one attained after practicing pranayama.

It is also advisable to judge the benefits required from the pranayama practice before beginning so that accurate techniques can be sought and developed. Also the breathing ratio should be chosen with care so that it can be continued without taxing the body throughout the practice of pranayama exercise. This can also be interpreted as that the exhalation and inhalation should be planned in proper way so that one need not inhale or gasp for breath while the state of exhalation is being done. A perfect ratio can be achieved after a few days practice.

Many changing factors also have to be kept in mind like if a heavy meal is taken the night before it may hamper the breathing the next morning. One should not worry too much about these. The practice of pranayama is not about competing against oneself, wherein one must beat the previous day’s record. It is a practice in continuity and maintenance of constancy.

Holding on to concentrating on the breath is very important. It is imperative to not let the mind be distracted.

Starting and ending slowly is important. Resting a bit and contemplating upon the exercise after it is over is also important.

Physical Prerequisites:

A person should be in a physical state that he can sit comfortably for the duration of entire practice.

There should be proper mental preparation for the entire exercise. This has to be done before starting the practice. The person should be able to do this to derive maximum benefit from the whole exercise.

The practice entails proper concentration of all senses, which a person should be in a position to do.

The individual should have eaten food in moderate quantities. There should not be excessive consumption of alcohol or any other such unhealthy stuff.

A person should master sitting in asanas for the practice of pranayama.

Basic Cautions:

It is good to consult a good practitioner before starting out the practice. But if this is not possible, as it is extremely rare that one finds a real guru who does not have any selfish motives behind teaching, one must not get discouraged. One can evaluate oneself also rationally and decide the correct practice that may be best suited to oneself. By ending every session with some time allotted to retrospection this can be slowly and systematically achieved.

The effects that are witnessed during the practice of pranayama can be both physical and emotional. Sometimes extreme emotions like crying or depression also happen. This is because these dormant emotions suddenly express themselves in the body. This is perfectly normal and one need not worry too much. However, if this continues it would be a good advice to seek help through yoga nidra or meditation or even consulting a psychologist to find the real emotional reasons.

Some ill effects that are commonly induced are pain in the chest, hiccups, bronchial disorders, and pain in the eyes. These are mainly caused because the people jump to doing pranayama soon after doing other strenuous exercises. Care should be taken to let the breath be stabilized before beginning pranayama.

Performing poorak, rechak or kumbhak for an overextended period is very harmful for the system. Holding the breath for too long a time may result in hernia, tremor and pain in the abdomen. Retention of the breath also similarly can be harmful for those suffering from heart disease, neck problems and other muscular and skeletal disorders.

It is thus important to evaluate one’s physical and mental state accurately before initiating practice of pranayama

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