In the past weeks at the Yoga Teachers Training, I learnt the most powerful aspect of Yoga (beyond those fancy asanas). That is the POWER OF OUR BREATH. Pranayama is sanskrit for regulating our breath through certain techniques. Prana means ‘vital breath/energy’ and Ayama means ‘breath regulation or prolongation of breath’.
The purpose of Pranayama is to control the breathing mechanism in an involuntary process, in other words with conscious control, unlike regular breathing. When Pranayama is practise regularly, it can be a cure to all diseases, maintaining healthy body and weight, improve efficacy at work and daily life, and develop peace and tranquility. AV also involves cleansing our vital energy which is also the pranic energy channels in our body. It can help to remove toxins built up daily and to some extend over the years.
There are many types of Pranayama. Anuloma Viloma (AV) (also known as alternate nasal breathing) is one of the ways and a good start for beginners.
All these can sound a little metaphysical. However, there were many scientific researches done on AV have justified the above benefits. Take for an example, one research article did an endoscopic evaluation of the therapeutic effects of AV, and the result showed that AV has positive effect on the nasal respiratory epithelium by enhancing the ventilation and oxygenation of the paranasal sinus. Another research showed that Nadi Shodana Pranayama (Anuloma Viloma with retention) improves the balance between the two brain halves, thereby an emotionally stabilising effect on the individual.
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Sinusitis is a common condition. Some suffers from more chronic nasal conditions. Many turn to doctors for sinusitis treatment which involve Endoscopic procedures or removal of implants, which can be invasive. AV is a natural therapy to sinusitis condition.
Personally, I had a mild sinusitis problem (common nose block on a daily basis) that may be a cause to my lethargic and short term memory. I always require at least 8 hours of sleep daily, otherwise, the entire day will be ruined by a headache. Ever since I started practising AV and Nadi Shodana on a daily basis, I feel more calm in my emotions, less lethargic (even without coffee), more alert and most importantly, my sinusitis is slowly easing off. I can breathe better and I feel good!