Breath… the essential element of life. It is the first thing we take when stepping into the world and leave while stepping out of it. In this span, we take zillions of breaths. But, during this time, do we ever realize its connection with the mind and body? Do we ever notice the influence of our thoughts and physiology on the breath? Do we ever think how changing the breathing pattern can do wonders for the mind, body, and soul? Yes, that is right. Learning the art of controlling the breath can be great in improving one’s overall well-being, and this can be done through pranayama.
For a common man, pranayama is just a breathing technique which helps in stress reduction and provides relaxation. But the benefits of pranayama yoga are more than what you have heard of till now. The science of inhalation and exhalation brings the involuntary action under human control. Composed of two Sanskrit words, ‘prana’ means breath and ‘ayama’ means to control. Pranayama is a technique of controlling the breath with regular practice. Special breathing exercises increase positive energy levels in the body, removes toxins, and keeps a person healthy and calm. Through the right breathing, more oxygen is supplied in the lungs and other vital body parts, leading to improved functioning and better focus.
Anyone can reap the pranayama yoga benefits as it has no restriction of age, gender, body type, etc. In the present scenario of yogic trend, even doctors recommend yoga and pranayama to keep oneself healthy. People suffering from cancer, depression, anxiety, and other ailments benefit a lot from practicing Pranayama.
Let’s see the benefits of pranayama for the mind, body, and soul…
1. Increases Life Span:
It has been observed in animals that the rate of breathing is directly proportional to the longevity of lifespan. Practicing pranayama allows practitioners to breathe at a systematic pace, hence increasing one’s lifespan.
2. Increased Oxygen Absorption:
Normal breathing doesn’t allow us to use the whole of our lungs capacity. With deep breathing, we can meet our body’s oxygen requirement to a great extent. The regular practice of pranayama increases the capacity of lungs, leading to improved overall health.
3. Helps Gain Control Over Emotions:
You must have noticed that respiration has a direct relation with emotions. The more disturbed, exhausted, or nervous we are, the more rapid will be our breathing. Hence, controlling the breath helps in getting control over anger, restlessness and other negative emotions. Deep and regulated breathing guides our emotions in the right direction.
4. Get Rid of Unnecessary Thoughts:
Often when we are stressed, nervous, or depressed, a bunch of fearful and negative thoughts may ruin our peace of mind. Pranayama helps gain control over wandering, unnecessary thoughts. It helps to focus, analyze and solve complex thoughts.
5. Decreases The Risk of Hypertension:
Hypertension or high blood pressure is the fatal condition in which arteries steadily elevate the blood pressure above the normal requirement for healthy heart functioning. Deep breathing exercises relax and calm the mind and body, and relieve stress and tension. Pranayama yoga is beneficial in bringing down the level of blood pressure. Also, it helps control other such conditions as psychosomatics, insomnia, depression, etc.
6. Enhances Concentration and Memory:
Regular practice of pranayama improves concentration and memory. It enhances oxygen supply to each cell in the brain and gives a sense of peace and rejuvenation instantly. It relieves stress, calms the mind, and strengthens willpower.
7. Enhances Physical Fitness:
Optimal breathing techniques can improve physical fitness? Yes, you read that right. Pranayama makes the body lean, strong and healthy, especially if complemented with other yoga asanas. It balances the digestive system and appetite. People with vocal cord problems also benefit a lot from pranayama. Regular practice of pranayama makes a person more vigorous, happy, calm, and cheerful.
8. Overall Well-Being:
Apart from strengthening five pranas and balancing the energy flow evenly in all the parts of the body, the right breathing technique is known to purify about 72,000 nerves in the body. It accelerates intellectual development and greatly improves cognitive functioning. It reduces signs of oxidative stress and helps develop a sound judgment and steady mind. The most vital benefit is it helps us embark upon the path of soul-searching.
So, practice pranayama on a regular basis and live every moment of your life to its fullest. ♥