Pranayama in technicality, means, the regulation of breath via certain exercises. If we were to focus on it’s true meaning though, it would come to be defined as the the perfect control of the life-currents via breath control and the secret understanding of the exclusive prana and ways to maneuver it. It is impossible to make any serious progress in the field of spirituality without the practice of pranayama. It is said that if a person is able to succeed in grasping this prana, succeeds in grasping the very core of cosmic activity and life and ultimately reach perfection.
Pranayama holds the ability to free the mind from any kind of ignorance, untruthfulness and every other kind of unpleasant pain or experiences of the mind and the body. It is said that when the mind is clean, it allows for the Sadhaka to be able to easily concentrate on the desired object, making it easier for him to progress in the direction of Dhyana and ultimately, Samadhi.
In practicality, Pranayam seems to be a systematic exercise of respiration that helps in blood circulation, making the lungs stronger, and ultimately making the man healthier. Physiology says that the prana or the air we breathe in, fills our lungs and then spreads in our entire body; thus, enrichening it with all the things essential to our body and then throwing out all the unnecessary ones through the act of exhalation. If this is done by the respiratory system regularly and efficiently, our lungs become stronger and the blood becomes pure.
Mental disturbances like anxiety, excitement, anger, fear, lust for sex (lasciviousness), disappointment and other such mental perversions can be calmed down and put down to much lower, negligible levels via the regular practice of Pranayama. Also, the practice of Pranayama improves the functioning of the brain cells which results in better memory retention, better observation skills along with improved concentration and decision-making skills.
Our karmas or deeds result in the formation of certain tendencies, which, in turn, determine the nature of our next birth – either as a human or as animals (of various categories). A man, who regularly practices Pranayama, takes lesser number of breaths and therefore, lives longer.
Some rules for Pranayam
- Select a clean peaceful environment for practicing
- Sit in either of the asana: Padmasana, Vajrasana, or Sidhasana
- Breathe only via your nose and not your mouth
- Pranayama shall always be performed four or five hours after the intake of food
- Always keep your mind calm and composed