Control of breath is control of life itself!
By Jaseela Mujeeb
When the senses are still, when the mind is at rest, when the intellect wavers not – then, says the wise, it has reached the highest stage.
The steady control of body and mind is defined as Yoga. It is the eternal union of mind and the body through asanas and pranayama. Life is a journey between two breaths – one just after birth and the other just before death.
So, control of breath means controlling one’s life. Yoga is not obtained by the mere theoretical reading of sacred texts. Success is not obtained by wearing the dress of a Yogi. But success follows him who practices Yoga.
I myself have something to share here. I was suffering from Asthma now and then. Then it became a routine – antibiotics once or twice a month.
Then I realized the harm antibiotics cause me. I started Pranayama – Anuloma Viloma Nadishodhana on the advice of a friend. My illness left me completely and I turned more and more to Yoga. Asanas bring steadiness, health and lightness to the body.
A steady and pleasant posture produces mental equilibrium and prevents fickleness of mind. Asanas evolved over centuries to exercise every muscle, nerve and gland in the body. They reduce fatigue and soothes the nerves.
Pranayama implies extension of breath and its control – i.e. proper rhythmic patterns of slow deep breathing. These rhythmic patterns strengthen the respiratory system, soothes the nervous system and reduces craving.
As desires and cravings diminish, the mind is set free and the body becomes a fit vehicle for proper life. As the fire blazes brightly as the covering of ash over it is scattered by the wind, the divine fire within the body shines in all its majesty – through asanas , whereas the ashes of desire are scattered by the practice of Pranayama.
Jaseela Mujeeb is a yoga trainer and a certified health coach with experience in counseling and psychotherapy. The world marks Lung Health Day today.
(The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Daily Tribune)