Saturday, February 26, 2011

Why we fuss so much about pranayama

Most instructors avoid teaching pranayama properly. Often it could simply because they themselves do not practice it. The other reason could be that they realise most students find it boring. However, it is a very core point of yoga. Also, u don't need to experiment wildly with several practices. Only after regularly practising a few daily can u advance to other pranayamas.

Some instructors are also inhibited teaching pranayama because they believe it has some psychic and mystical value(it has that also). But for a beginner in yoga, the impact is largely biological.

Below is why:
According to the well-researched book Freedom from Stress by Dr Phil Nurenberger the nasal passages regulate the pressure of air entering and leaving the lungs. This can be measured by the Cottle rhino meter.
This pressure sets off reflexes in other parts of the body, including the brain and the autonomous nervous system. This in turn can have important psychological and physiological impact.

For one, the nasal lining has a heavy cluster of nerve endings. It has erectile tissue similar to that found in the genital region, which manipulates the flow of breath which in turn affects the inner homeostasis. The roof of the nasal cavity is closest to the master gland pituitary which is constantly managing the homeostat of our internal biological functions like temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, breath rate, blood circulation etc.

And since it is also closest to the olfactory nerve, the nasal air flow is also linked to the most primitive part of our limbic system that strongly affect our subconscious and emotional impulses.

Now u know why I love pranayama:)


Anila said...

Yoga is like returning home. In all other practices, we constantly pressure ourselves to do more-be it running,dancing,boxing -our mind would be screaming to our body "come on, you can do it, just 2 more rounds, COME ON!"..But in Yoga, no one tells us what to do..We just go with the flow,and for me thats what makes it a lifesaver. In the modern corporate world that is full of shoving and politics and pretentiousness, yoga is the only place where I can be me :-)


Anonymous said...

Hi, first time on your blog. Really like the way you shAre your thought. Doing yoga for 2 years now. Want to explore prANaYam in depth. The literature is limited and bit confusing. And there are no classes for teaching only that. Can you suggest some way to dive deeper.? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

sairam mam, i gather 'pranayam' works in a subtle yet effective way. am resuming yoga after long, please bless me. warm regards...

Anonymous said...

sairam mam, i gather 'pranayam' works in a subtle yet effective way. am resuming yoga after long, please bless me. warm regards...