Ayurvedic Treatment

PHYSIOLOGICAL BENEFITS OF PRANAYAMA


It is a deliberate technique of inhalation, retention of breath, exhalation and the suspension of breath in exhalation.

In Pranayama, the mind and consciousness is withdrawn deep inside to the core of the being. This stabilizes and optimizes all functions of the body. The five elements, the organs of perception and the organs of action are co-coordinated. This actually means prevention and removal of disease.

Pranayama must be practiced only after certain mastery in Asanas has been achieved. Normally, we donate inhale and exhale deeply. Oxygen utilization, though healthy, is not sufficient for the stress and strain of modern living. The science of Pranayama teaches us how to reduce the respiratory and heart rate, while increasing the quantum of oxygen drawn in and decreasing the outflow of breath. When the respiratory rate is lowered, the metabolic rate of the body is also reduced. All the cells are rested and relaxation ensues. The sympathetic overdrive is reduced, with consequent energy conservation. The mind is kept attentive so that the rhythm of breathing is regulated. Pranayama works directly to regulate the neuro-humoral system, which is the seat of energy in our body.

There are many types of Pranayama, each having different effects on the respiratory tract and rest of the body. All types of Pranayama works on a sound physiological basis, either stimulating or soothing the cells. The reduction of respiratory rate to about 2 or 3 per minute has a tremendous effect on body metabolism. The entire system hibernates and cellular activity is quietened. This rest is far superior to even six hours of sleep.

Effects on Cardio-Vascular system

  • Due to constant change in the chamber size, the cardiac muscle wall is properly exercised. This is without strain. Complete filling and emptying of the chambers is ensured.
  • The autonomic control of the heart is rested and heart rate is reduced. This helps in more efficient cardiac functioning, as the metabolic demands of the entire body are also reduced.
  • Elasticity of the arch of aorta is maintained, thus preserving and improving coronary blood flow.
  • As more and more of the capillaries are opened up microcirculation is enhanced. Hence, an enhanced supply of nutrients to cells occurs, increasing their longevity. All this happens without increase in pulse rate or blood pressure.
  • Sleep breathing reduces the sympathetic tone, allowing the vasomotor tone from the brain to reduce too. Better blood flow to all organs is the result. This applies to both normal individuals and hypertensive also.
  • The most important effect is washing away free radicals, which can damage the heart.

Effects on Respiratory system

The concept of Pranayama is often mistaken for deep breathing. In the later situation, movement of breath is fast and forceful. There is no time for the cells to get soaked in the inhaled oxygen. In Pranayama, the movements are so slow that there is adequate time for every alveoli to soak in oxygen.

Effects on Digestive System

The proper return of lymph and venous blood improves the digestive, absorptive and eliminating functions of the abdominal organs. The liver and gall bladder are massaged, improving their function.

General Effects

  • The body becomes lean, strong and healthy.
  • Too much fat is reduced. There is luster in the face. Eyes sparkle like diamonds.
  • The practitioner becomes handsome. He is free from all types of diseases.
  • Nadis are purified.
  • The mind is prepared for dharana and dhyana.

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