Dear Readers, disciples and friends,
I have been warning people about the indiscriminate usage of a particular Yogaanga pertaining to breathing – The Pranayama. It has only been out of compassion and in the spirit of keeping the ancient discipline of Yoga intact. I have probably wrote the maximum number of articles and posts concerning this subject. Looking at the statistics of this blog site, comments and hits on various posts I can safely say that by now at least 4,00,000 people read the posts relating to pranayama and probably have gained insight through these posts. Although it becomes quite repetitive for me to mostly keep writing about one subject but despite that I can do that for still millions are to be educated.
The team that manages the blogs , facebook page and help centre had been and still receiving thousands of mails and comments from people across the globe ever since the posts on authentic processes of Yoga and Pranayama were made live. These comments and mails are mostly in appreciation, quite a few queries and many condoning but some are skeptic too. All that is fine but then some people started posing serious doubts on the intention behind these writings of mine. Such as below –
Danny Stark (email@example.com)
I understand such comments come only from those practitioners of Pranayama and various Kriyas who have seemingly benefited from their breathing exercises. In some posts I have explained this too that ‘how’ and ‘in what conditions’ of your body such Kriyas and even wrongly done pranamayas seem to give good benefic results on physical level. There are many well documented studies to prove the fact that eunuchs have more rugged and powerful bodies than ordinary fertile men. Why should most of eunuchs ( gone through forced castration) have longer life and otherwise feel full of energy despite that missing ‘creative force’ (Virya) in them? It happens so by forcibly shutting down or stopping the energy flow in certain channels (nadis) of your physical body your physical strength and longevity can improve drastically.
There are many reasons to believe that engaging in indiscriminate practices of high-speed breathing (pranayamas) kriyas involuntarily and unknowing breaks many subtle energy channels of your body therefore depriving you for many subtler creative and higher abilities but can definitely make you more body stronger. Are we okay to let go the finer functions of mind-body complex by creating such a havoc in energy-body through voluntary turbulence of wind (breath) without having prepared our system to handle it? It is upto us what we wish to settle for.
Its is not my person view but all authentic books on Yoga including writings of Vedic period such as Yoga-Tattvopanishad, Yoga-Choodaamani Upanishad etc. that Nadishodhan is a prerequisite for any other pranayama. I have quoted this verse many at times but on the cost of repetition here it is once again given –
Hikka kaasas-tathaa-shwaasah Shirah-karnaakshi-vedanaa ||
Bhavanti Vividhaa Rogaah , Pawanasya vyatikramaata || 117 – Saamaveda : Yoga Choodamanyopanishad || (Also find this shloka in Goraksha Samhita )
“Hiccups, Coughing, Asthma, pain in head, eyes, ears and innumerable ailments happen when prana-vayu gets disturbed. Effectively meaning … “with wrong methods of breathing one can create almost any disease especially pertaining to head and chest region.”
Now it is left to the reader to see these issues (there are hundreds of more with us) reported by people after attempting pranayama without preparation have any validity.
I have been practising bhastrika – 20, kapalbhati 600 ( one per sec), anulom bilom 80 times as per video from Ramdevji. It felt amazing untill three dats back I had a constant buzzing sensation on the top of my head. I have stopped all pranayamas. What should I do to get rid of this buzz? Kindly please help.
Thanks & regards
Sree Malakar (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Since last 2 months I am suffering from below illness bcoz of doing wrong Pranayam steps by my own. please help me how do I overcome from my illness-
lack of stability in thoughts
vomiting sensation (nausea)
uneasiness, easily excitable mind
breathing difficulty ,
psychological imbalance, restlessness
worsening of depression
Dryness of mouth,
increase of internal fear,
excessive perspiration, salivation
variation in blood pressure and blood glucose levels,
Increase in stress level,
bodyache, back ache.
Shekhar Gawde (email@example.com)
I am feeling chest pain while breathing. At the time of walking, eating or getting busy in something the pain dissaper. When I sit quietly for study, meditation or something else it again start. I have previously practised pranayam for 2-3 month. I have quit this since 20 days .I think I have done pranayam in some wrong way. There is pain in my chest with everything inhale & exhale, it feels like center of chest become warm. I am also feeling short breathing,nasal congestion and cough.
Pryanjit Parida (firstname.lastname@example.org)
There are hundreds of such queries and complaints arising out of the indiscriminate act of engaging in Pranayama, Kapalbhati, Bhastrika and certain types of Kriyas etc. Now as an intelligent reader you would definitely apply your discretion. I am not fighting for anything but only educating the Yoga enthusiasts.
There are so many questions asked above for which answers have already been provided in my earlier posts and therefore I would advise beloved readers to please go through all previous posts on Pranayama and Kriyas. If you don’t find any answer there in previous articles then please do post your questions here. I shall try to reply them as much soon as possible.
Finally, a question that I pick up for answering today –
Rockie D’Souza (email@example.com)
This is a good question Rockie and I am given to understand that you had asked this question long back and waited too. Here’s the answer.
The Nadishodhan is a slow and gradual process that demands regularity and discipline in lifestyle. For achieving moderate level of Nadi-Shodhan following steps should be followed.
NadiShodhan is to be done four times a day as per authentic Yoga scriptures. During Nadishodhan regime one should adhere to sattvic and sweet food. The practitioner should not engage in excessive labour, avoid exposure to excessive hot and cold temperatures and also keep away from too much people to people interaction.
- Begin your practices with Anulom-Vilom (Alternate nostril breathing without any Hold in between inhale and exhale).
- The practice should be done empty stomach.
- You should do not more than 80 rounds (One round is counted upon reaching the same nostril in the process of alternating) of Nadi-Shodhan in one sitting.
- Practice can be split in 40 rounds twice a day. Morning and evening well one hour or two before dinner.
- If you are doing in once a day then the best time to engage in this practice is within 2 hours (before or after) of sunrise.
- For 60-90 days you should practice only Anulom Vilom.
- After 2-3 months only switch to full process of Nadi-Shodhan that uses kumbhaka (hold) as well.
- After at least 2 months practice of Nadi-Shodhan without bandhas begin to use bandhas. It is recommended to learn correct way of applying the bandhas from a qualified and experienced teacher.
- Once full fledged NadiShodhan is learnt do this practice four times a day (in 24 hours) for 1 year to achieve complete nadi-shuddhi.
Hope these instructions suffice. If not, then you are always free to write for help on firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
– Acharya Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath