In Pranayama (breathing techniques), the whole body is affected and involved in the activity. The human body is comprised of billions of cells that form our organs, skin, hair, nails and blood. Then there are the organs, some of which together form a system. For instance, the digestive system comprises a series of organs from the mouth to the livers, kidneys or intestines. Broadly speaking, the human body comprises the following systems:
All of these systems depend on each other, without which there is no functioning. That which holds all these systems together is what, in Yogic parlance, we call Prana. This is bio-energy, vital-energy or life force and is contained in our breath. Keep in mind however, that breath is not Prana, just as plasma is not blood. It is an intricate and vital element of the blood. So also Prana.
While it is true that we use the Respiratory system for practising Pranayama (breathing techniques), whether we are aware of it or not, every single pore of the human skin is constantly breathing. And more so during the practice of pranayama; which is why you feel certain tingling sensations, crawling sensations or heat spreading through your body during and immediately after the practices.
This being said, you also understand that every cell of the body thrives on and survives, ultimately, only on account of Prana (bio-energy, vital-energy or life force) without which that cell or organ would just perish, as happens sometimes. In the light of this you will come to understand why we have certain weak links in our system. Some people suffer from chronic constipation or diarrhea, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, some suffer chronic respiratory tract problems, some suffer from diabetes (inadequate functioning of the pancreas) or blood pressure or heart trouble. According to Yoga the reason is an inadequacy of Prana (bio-energy) in that system and through the practice of Yogic Pranayama (breathing techniques), we try and restore that organ or system, together with certain other practices, of courses. But Prana (bio-energy) and its lack lies at the core of all problems.
This only goes to prove that even though, for all practical purposes, we use just the Respiratory system for practising Pranayama (breathing techniques), in actual matter of fact, the whole body is involved in Yogic Pranayama (breathing techniques).
Submitted by A on March 10, 2009 at 03:58