The Power of Pranayama
I use to suffer from adult asthma, thinking back my trigger was probably stress, before my yogic lifestyle I would be running about like a crazy women trying to fit in too much into my day... Everything had to be perfect!I had terrible chest problems constant chest infections, bronchitis, pleurisy and once I had pneumonia, my immune system had really suffered. Since becoming a serious yoga practitioner and teacher my asthma is gone, no inhalers used for over a year, yesterday I saw the asthma nurse and now have a greater lung capacity than I should for my age weight and height!!
So what do 'I' do every day:
Well first on waking some gentle slow breathing, it can make all the difference to your calmness throughout the day. On waking before I get out of bed I breath in slowly for the count of 3 or 4 and then breath out for a slow count of 3 or 4, aware of my abdomen rising on the inhale and falling on the exhale practising 5/10 rounds - noticing the effect on my mind. My Sadhana (spiritual practice/to practise something difficult) is a fairly short asana (posture) practise, then pranayama practice - I do 3 rounds of 30-50 pumpings of kapalabhati which is a kriya (a cleansing technique from hatha yoga) to purify my respiratory system, mind and body. Then 5/10 rounds of anuloma viloma (alternate nostril breathing) pranayama with breath retentions and bandhas (to lock in pranayama). I shake out my legs then come into a cross legged position to practise my meditation for 20/30 mins. You may notice the word 'practice' used quite often, everything in life that we want to be successful at takes practice!
Its important to say that this type of breathing may not be suitable for you, if you have a lung problem its best before embarking on breathing practises to seek the advice of your GP and to learn these practises from a qualified yoga teacher that works with pranayama. (I am available for private breathing sessions contacting me by email)
My Mum passed away from this life from Idiopathic Pulmonary Lung Fibrosis, this is a serious lung disease for which to date there is no known cure. The word Idiopathic in front means they have no idea of the cause . My Mum never smoked or worked in a smoke filled environment or was around toxic substances other than what we are all surrounded by every day of our lives. My Dad has lung problem now so I am aware of this family history, so I shall continue to do all that I can to keep myself as free as I possibly can from any lung problems.
My massive improvement in my health is all thanks to yoga. In the 3 years that I have been teaching I feel very blessed to have passed on my knowledge to others. Helping people, with problems from back ache, breathing, anxiety, feelings of sadness, feelings of being disconnected, mild to moderate depression etc. Pranayama is a big part of what helps, it calms the mind, calms the emotions - 'when the breath is made steady the mind is steady'.