My Personal Encounter with Pranayma

Growing up in an Indian boarding school I was forcibly introduced to yoga at a young age and had to incorporate it in my daily life, which is why I ABSOLUTELY hated it.I was more interested in other sports or forms of exercise.

I was shown how to do a version of yoga by the adults around me, and practiced a few stretches  everyday until it became a norm.

Not to sound dramatic, but one day everything changed.

The Start 

So I would wake up everyday and follow the routine my school had, some may think its very military like and to be honest I felt the same as well.But now I realised that it was the best way and sort of miss it.

I would always try to rebel and do my yoga poses in the morning half heartedly, During the rest of my breaks I would play, run, fall down but yoga was just a big NO-NO.

Then at the age of 15, I injured my knee so had to put sort of a break on my sports and took it slow, But I loved to play basketball with my friends and missed it. As soon as I recovered I started playing again and then during a match I got punched in my face. The pain was excruciating I held my face and the next thing I know there was blood dripping from my nose into my hands.

The Journey Part 1

In university, I continued playing but had a fear of my nose and knee being injured again, So I would work out by myself. My nose injury changed  me a lot, I suddenly became extremely allergic to dust, had a deviated septum and kept getting food allergies. It would get worse day by day.

I listened to the people around me and got back into doing some breathing techniques like Kapalbhati and Anulom Vilom. Honestly I didn’t see any difference but I was desperate cause I didn’t want surgery (maybe I was doing it wrong).

After 3 years of having a love – hate relationship with yoga, I was introduced to 2 cleansing techniques Jala Dhauti (cleansing of the stomach) and Jala Neti(cleansing of the nasal path). Now let me tell you that was the game changer, combined with pranayama and asana.My sneezes completely stopped.

The Journey Part 2

I would wake up in the morning around 6am to do Jala Neti, followed by pranayama ( Kapalbhati,Ujjayi and Anulom Vilom). At 11:30 I would practice some asanas. Before bed I would do Jala Neti again. I did this for 15 days.

The next 15 days I switched to Jala Dhauti at 6 am. Then practiced Pranayama and asanas around 4pm. I switched between this routine for every 15 days for 3 months, I dint sneeze or have any blockage during this time.

The Neti Pot suggested by a yoga professional
The Neti Pot suggested by a medical professional

The End (But not really…) 

At first when I saw the changes in my breathing and body, I thought its just in my head like a placebo effect. So naturally I stopped for 6 months and as expected all the allergies and sneezes came back in full force.

I went to a doctor to get my allergies checked and voila she suggested I do Jala Neti too. But of course she dint call it that. But I was happy to see modern day medicine suggesting me a better path and not surgery (eye roll) which made me realise the world might be changing and accepting the ancient methods for the better.

Needless to say, I have continued these cleansing techniques ever since and don’t plan to give up on it.