We are already aware that “Prana” stands for life force and this is believed to be the vital energy or life force that embraces the body. This also serves as the link between the consciousness and the mind. We also know that Pranayama is the art of breathing to balance and control the Prana. Now in this article we shall talk about the Benefits of Pranayama, Significance and Importance.
Benefits of Pranayama – Importance & Significance
Pranayama is one of the important energetic components of Yoga that directly or indirectly affects the proper functioning of different systems of the body. If you practice pranayama regularly and understand the right breathing technique, this can create a huge impact to your thoughts and actions. Bear in mind that every thought can change your breath rhythm. If you are happy, breathing is rhythmic. If you are also stressed, your breathing will most often be interrupted or irregular. If you master the “art of breathing”, you can easily understand self-healing. Regular practice of Pranayama brings in beneficial impacts upon respiratory system, cardiovascular system, digestive system and endocrine system. Continue to read below to understand the deeper benefits of Pranayama.
The Benefits of Pranayama are both tangible and intangible. Prana is the supreme source of power provided by God to all human beings. If one knows to properly utilize this Prana through Pranayama one can see remarkable changes in their health, vitality and self-confidence. Listed below are the few important benefits of Pranayama.
Improved Blood Circulation
While doing Pranayama, during inhalation, the fresh and oxygenated blood travels from lungs to the heart. We know that the heart pumps blood via arteries and blood vessels to every part of the body, and from there it reaches into every tissues and cell. Due to this fresh and more oxygenated blood, the blood circulation in the body improves and more Prana energy reaches all parts of your body. With this:
- You will have a healthy look and feel.
- Your skin will have a good healthy color and you will feel warm to the touch.
- The improved blood circulation helps improve brain function and helps keep your mind sharp and focused.
- You will also be more prepared to handle stressful situations in life.
Reduced Breathing Rate
With regular practice of Pranayama, you can train yourself on breathing more slowly and deeply. This will help lessening the rate of breathing .You can reduce your breathing rate from about fifteen breaths a minute to 5-6 breaths a minute, which reduces the breathing rate by one third. Reduced breathing rate leads to:
- Slowing down the heart rate as more oxygen can be pumped with lesser number and deep breaths.
- Your internal organs gets strengthened.
- Blood pressure get lowered, relaxing body and softening nerves.
Controls Aging and Increases Lifespan
As per yoga philosophy, Long life depends on your breathing rate. Reduced breathing rate is likely to increase your life span. For example, it is said that a tortoise takes four to five breaths in a minute and it lives up to 200+ years. Performing Pranayama in the early morning helps to obtain naturally glowing skin. The secret to ageless skin is Pranayama. You will not need to spend money on expensive beauty products to hide your age once you get to know the results of pranayama practice. Pranayama is the key to better living. This is one of the main benefits of Pranayama that can help to reduce the old age problems like:
- Loss of excitement.
- Accumulation of uric acid in the blood stream which often leads to joint pains.
- Backaches, headaches, rheumatism, stiffening muscles and joints.
Superior Mental Health
Pranayama practices done with breath awareness can help to bring calmness of the mind. They can reduce anxiety and tension. A calm mind is a prerequisite for meditation and higher practices of Samadhi, which leads to spiritual evolution. Fluctuations of mind can be removed. Listed below are the few benefits of Pranayama at the mental level.
- It helps dealing with situations in life with awareness, without reacting, in steady and calm manner. This helps in creating healthy relationship in the society.
- Provides freedom from negative and harmful mental conditions like anger, misery, greed for money, egotism etc.
- Oscillations of mind are controlled and it prepares the mind for meditation. You will start experiencing lightness of body, start feeling inner peace, better sleep, memory and concentration thereby improving the spiritual powers as well.
Better Functioning Of Body Organs
Listed below are few benefits of Pranayama on the internal body organs.
- Improves the working of lungs, heart, diaphragm, abdomen, intestines, kidneys and pancreas.
- Digestive system improves and decreases diseases pertaining to digestive organs.
- General prickliness due to lethargy/ fatigue disappears.
- By regular pranayama practice all body organs gets more oxygen, hence poisons are removed from body, therefore onset of various diseases are prevented. Pranayama strengthens the immune system.
Further to the general Benefits of Pranayama, there are specific pranayama benefits from each of the Pranayama Techniques like, anulom vilom, bhastrika pranayama, ujjayi pranayama, bhramari pranayama, sheetali pranayama and Kapalabati pranayama. All these specific pranayama has its own purpose and benefits.
In summary the benefits of Pranayama, with all breathing techniques is that it frees the mind from deception, ignorance and all other painful and unpleasant experiences of the body and mind; and when the mind becomes clean it becomes easy for the Sadhaka to concentrate on the desired object and it becomes possible for him to progress further in the direction of Dhyana and Samadhi, which happens to be the ultimate goal of an Yogi.
- Be regular in the practice. Regularity in the practice is very necessary if one wants to realise the maximum benefits of Pranayama. Those who practise by fits and starts will not derive much of the above mentioned benefits of pranayama.
- Do not give up the practice in case of any problems. You will yourself learn how to adjust. Common-sense, instinct, and your soul voice will help you in the path. Everything will come out smoothly in the end. Start the practice this very second in right earnest and reap the benefits.
- Please do not experiment with any Pranayama Techniques, it is recommended to learn and practice Pranayama, as taught in Yoga classes, from an experienced Yoga Teacher.