If pranayama is practised regularly; the benefits of proper breathing, proper oxygenation and purification of the blood will result, removing toxins and carbon dioxide from the body. This in turn will reduce unnecessary burden on the kidneys and enables proper functioning of all the organs increasing vigour and vitality.
These breathing exercises are beneficial to all and should be practised daily. However, these exercises are a must for the treatment of cold, cough, Asthma, TB and mental disorders like Polio, Meningitis, nervous breakdown and muscular dystrophy.
Pranayama - The Easy Way
Inhale the air, counting 1, 2, 3, 4; and then keep the air in the lungs counting 1, 2, 3, 4; and then exhale the air counting 1, 2, 3, 4. Then pause; do not inhale counting 1, 2, 3, 4. Repeat this at least 10 to 15 times a day and with practice increase the counting to about 10 to 12. This type of breathing has had astounding results with TB patients in a hospital in Chicago. Once the count of 10 is reached, you may develop the pranayama as follows: inhale counting 10, retain counting 20, exhale counting 10, refrain counting 10; ie in the ratio of 1: 2: 1: 1
For increasing heat in the body, close the left nostril, inhale and exhale through the right nostril whilst counting 1 to 4 as above. The right nostril is connected with the Sun and therefore this pranayama is very useful in the winter and for dis-eases like cold, asthma, polio, paralysis, bronchitis, arthritis, TB etc. where heat is required.
For increasing coolness in the body, close the right nostril, inhale and exhale through the left nostril whilst counting as above. The left nostril is connected to the Moon and is useful in dis-eases like fever, sunstroke etc. where coolness is necessary.
For balancing heat and cold
Inhale through the right nostril and then exhale through the left. Then inhale through the left nostril and exhale through the right. Close the nostril not being used, with the thumb. During the period that the breath is held inside, pull the stomach in for more effective results as well as for reducing the tummy. When lying on the left side of the body, the breath will flow from the right nostril. In India, people are advised to do this after eating for 10 to 15 minutes, so that the breath is linked with the Sun, producing heat in the body helping with digestion. If you lie down on the right side, the breath will flow from the left nostril which is useful when there is too much heat or fever.
Twenty Connected Breaths
The practice of breath awareness is a simple exercise called Twenty Connected Breaths. It takes only 30 seconds to do this exercise, so it is ideal for today's fast world. Just 30 seconds of breathing consciously brings fresh life energy into the mind and body. This is the way it is done:
There are four sets of five breaths.
1. Four short breaths.
2. At the end of each group of short breaths - a big breath.
3. The breathing should be done in and out through the nose.
4. Four short breaths and one long breath, four times without stopping.
You merge the inhale with the exhale in an unbroken circle. One inhale connected to one exhale in one breath. All twenty breaths should be connected so that they are one connected series of breaths.
• The purpose of the short breaths is
to emphasise the connection and merging of the inhale and the exhale
into unbroken circles.