Am reading this book by Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati on pranayama and practicing pranayama after taking a yoga teacher training course in India and I feel so sad for knowing about pranayama so late in my life. I wish those who read this post get to know about it and teach their children Pranayama at an early age. Below I am sharing some excerpts from the book, sans the scientific jargon!
1. With sustained practice of pranayama, the structure, the skin and the smell of the body begin to change.
2. One is full of fresh energy and the senses are calmed and their outgoing tendency diminishes.
3. Impurities are removed not only from the physical and panic bodies, but also from the mental, psychic and causal bodies.
4. The intellectual capacity increases and the mind and thoughts become more powerful.
5. Negative tendencies begin to top off almost automatically. The small things that could earlier spin one out of control dissolve into nothing.
6.It creates static electricity in the body thus recharging the positive ions breathed in from the environment and converting them into negative ions. The effect is the same as that created by rain and thunderstorm.
7. Contrary to popular belief, the oxygen intake reduces by almost half in pranayama, does NOT increase. However, pranayama allows more time for oxygen to mix wth the blood, more time to eliminate waste through breath and blood. After pranayama, the strengthened respiratory apparatus is able to bring in more oxygen through the rest of the day.
8. All organs are massaged making the digestive and eliminatory system healthier.
9. Exercises whole cardiac system, especially Nadi Shodhana is excellent for Hipertensive people, as it brings the systolic-diastolic ratio to normal.
10. It harmonizes, purifies and neutralizes the secretions of the endocrine glands. During certain pranayama the circulation of the blood becomes very rapid and quality of the blood is also rendered very rich, the endocrine glands function in enhanced way.
11. Transition from childhood to adulthood becomes smooth if children start practicing pranayama at the age of 8. This is because pineal gland normally begins to decay with the onset of puberty. Pineal gland acts as a check for the pituitary gland. Pituatary gland is responsible for controlling the growth and functions of the other endocrine glands. If the pituitary gland is not regulated form an early age, an imbalance arises between the physical and mental development and the emotions mature before they can be handled. To prevent the decay of the pineal gland, children should start practicing pranayama at the age of 7 or 8.
12. The spine receives a pull during pranayama, thus toning the nerve roots and giving a strong stimulus to the whole nervous system.
13. Alpha waves are emitted and beta waves are reduced in the brain. Alpha waves bring harmony to the brain.