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Breathing Exercise for long life

What has been scientifically proved and on which

inumerable studies have been done both in India and abroad, the conclusion

has always been consistent and uninamous, namely, Pranayama is undoubtedly beneficial. Sri Ravi Shankar is popu;arising this as sudarsanakriya and lakhs of people have followed this and got relief from diseases.

Alongwith all the other material bounties, the eternal Vedas have bestowed

on humans this wonderful gift. Many are not aware of this unfortunately

and are therefore unable to fully exploit.

Especially, those of us who wear the sacred thread wherein we are enjoined

to do the Sandhya daily until death. Not once, but several times during

the Sandhya the pranayama keeps on intervening. It has been very very

scientifically structured by none other than the eternal Vedas, the great rishis, seers and other elevated beings. The Pranayama in the Sandhya is to ensure purificaiton of the mind, nervous currents, internal impulses, nerve signals and circulation etc. such that by the time the Greatest Mantra Gayathri is about to begin the entire being is totally purified and stands alone to receive the divine benediction.

The rough meaning of the word Pranayama is Prana + Ayama i.e elongating the prana, the vital life force. Prana is not to be confused with breathing, oxygen, air etc. Prana is Prana thats all.Prana is THAT force which is all pervading and without which nothing subsists. It is a long journey to discover the various gamut of the entire range of Prana. As a general rule the concept implies that by trying to regulate, control, acquire mastery over prana one can slowly progress to a stage when higher things can be touched if not reached. Understanding dawns, intuition sharpens and there

is a definite inner change for the better. Normally, we breath

unconsciously from the level of the chest,thorax. We hardly use the

stomach, lower abdomen. And we are hardly aware of our breathing pattern.

In fact most of the orthodox Yoga schools all agree that Pranayama is to be seprately dealt with and cannot be clubbed as a casual subject.. Even in the Ashtanga Yoga of Sage Patanajali, pranayama occupies the center stage after which one is lead into Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana all of which are progressive stages of deeper levels of concentrations.

The bottomline is : if we can just ensure that we somehow do the daily

Sandhya three times, if feasible, with dedication after learning from a

reliable Guru/teacher, then thrice a day we are without our being aware

involved with Pranayama, the purifying effect on our well being, and all

round progress can be witnessed directly in the long run.

There are some who may scoff - and this writer has received mails from

certain quarters on this count - at this or prefer to do the pranayama

practices under Yogic systems taught undoubtedly by respected, learned Yoga teachers, but lets not mix oil with water. If you have a sacred thread, apart from any other practices which you may be involved in, Sandhya is a must. Other practices, even though they may include Pranayama devoid of neglect of basic duties (dictated by Dharma) may not be helpful in the long run.

EMAIL: bhattathiry@yahoo.com

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