My last blog was titled “Just Breathe!”. It was written from the yogic perspective of curing and healing our body with conscious breathing, hope you all took a moment to unravel poetic thoughts. In Yogic Science, there are a plethora of breathing techniques categorized under Pranayama. To set the context, in Gitananda Yoga tradition, Swami Gitananda has highlighted nearly 120 pranayama techniques. It is to notice that normal breathing is not Pranayama. One has to be initiated by a trained teacher to accurately understand techniques of different forms of Pranayama. This practice of guru-shishya paramparya, although rare to find, is still practised in some old and strictly traditional schools of yoga ashrams.
In olden days, yoga was never a commodity. It was a secret science, knowledge of which was transferred from an experienced guru to only dedicated disciples through direct one-to-one interaction. The purpose behind such tradition is not only meaningful but also critical. It ensured guru to minutely analyze each student, recommend appropriate adjustments necessary based on their body type, ailments, psychology and climatic conditions. Most importantly this was always done in most serene and natural environmental setting. Erroneous practices may bring out undesirable results which may turn dangerous for long-term health. In the modern setting, only a few techniques of Pranayama are being adopted and popularized limiting the scope and benefits of many other highly effective techniques.
This is primarily because yogic techniques are being marketed to hundreds and thousands at the same time. Many are just reading newspapers, magazines, books or watching videos on TV, internet without any direct contact and supervision of the guru. Recent advancement is learning yoga through Mobile Apps from glamorous, zero-figured/six-packed and picture-perfect yoga gurus. Although this has helped yoga reach millions by making it look simple but at a hefty cost. The cost is the progressive loss of our deep-rooted values, traditions and genuine practices.
Well, we have always known everything comes at a cost. Mechanical and Technical advancements come at their own cost and our current generation is already paying for it with the onset of numerous lifestyle disorders. Respiratory disorders like Asthma, Bronchitis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Pneumonia, Tuberculosis and nasal allergies have become common for the common man and are emerging as major health problems. Inadequate breathing pattern, industrial pollution, faulty food habits, frequent consumption of medicinal drugs all lead to allergies of one or other form and sometimes may appear unrelated to respiratory disorders. According to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the deaths due to lung diseases in India were on the rise accounting for 11 percent of the total deaths. Respiratory diseases are no longer restricted to elderly but are now being detected even in younger age groups, severely affecting whole life of children.
Modern medical science has so far not found any solution to cure these problems. There are medicines available to seek relief from major chronic respiratory attacks but their effect is temporary. There is no improvement in the condition of patients even after regular medication for years. The health of patient only deteriorates as they age. Doesn’t this trigger a question: what is the necessity of wasting so much of efforts, money and precious time of our life? Shouldn’t we be searching for something more substantial, effective and long-lasting?
Yogic Science comes to our rescue at this critical juncture. As always, we have to move back to nature and seek the ancient wisdom to effectively cure these seemingly incurable diseases. By simply learning the art of conscious breathing and regularly practising specific yogic techniques, one can overtime get relief from such disorders. Lungs start to heal, inflammation fades away, blockages appear to clear up, the immune system is strengthened and blood circulation restores to normalcy. Even if the lungs are permanently damaged, as in chronic bronchitis, yogic practices improve the mechanical ability of our breathing and help make the most of our lung capacity. This is all possible and has been proven effective for those who trusted the healing powers of yogic science under the guidance of trained teachers and adopted the yogic lifestyle.
The integration of yogic science and modern medicine can create a happier and healthier world. Pranayama, a component of yogic science, is one of the best remedies to tackle illnesses caused by air pollution and other naturally occurring respiratory illnesses. When you start adopting the yogic lifestyle consciously you begin to experience the magical healing powers of nature working for your body, mind and soul.