Pranayama is beneficial for everyone, in various different ways.
Who doesn’t want high levels of energy, and high immunity? Who doesn’t want a glowing skin, and radiant health?
Pranayama benefits have been documented not only in ancient texts, but also by modern methods of testing and analysis, as well as practitioners all over the world.
Pranayama is excellent for young people, in the cusp of modern life, to help achievement and productivity.
It is excellent for people in middle age, to cope with stress, and give calmness of mind.
For older people, pranayama is a boon to reduce pain and stiffness, and increase vitality and well-being.
For women, pranayama balances the hormones, helps fight obesity and reduce weight, and gives mental focus and strength.
For men, pranayama is good for chronic stiffness and pain, boosting energy levels, better sleep, and overall sharpness, focus, performance and well-being.
Pranayama is the fourth limb in the eight limbs of yoga as explained by Sage Patanjali, who, nearly 2000 years ago, codified ancient, timeless, and life wisdom revealed to seers and sages. Ashtanga yoga, or the eight fold path of Raja yoga consists of Yama and Niyama, (personal and social ethics of living), Asanas (science of postural practices which make the body strong and disease free); Pranayama (discussed below); Pratyahara, Dharana and Dhyana (the higher, more subtle practices of withdrawing the body, the senses and the mind to a state of stillness) and finally Samadhi, (a state of super consciousness).
Pranayama is the practice and science of working with the breath, and raising the “electrical current”, or energy. According to yoga, the breath connects the body, the mind and the spirit. Any change of breathing patterns reflects in changes at any, or all these levels. Looked at from another point of view, when we are disturbed, we notice our breath is disturbed, and when we are calm, the breath is calm too. Awareness and control of breathing through various techniques, therefore, brings about magical changes in our state of physical, emotional and mental health.
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