Being a Yoga Consultant, I usually come across many questions like,
When to practice Pranayama?
How do I prepare myself to practice Pranayama?
Do’s and Don’t for a safe practice of Pranayama.
Doctor has advised to do only Pranayama.
Should we start Yogic Practice with Pranayama?
My body is not enough flexible to practice asanas. I am in medical conditions and can I practice only Pranayama?
My statement on above questions
”Sequential Yoga Practice is key to get rid of physical and mental ailments”. Also, “Pranayama comes 2nd stage in Hatha Yoga after Asana”.
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Well my take on this
Read below, analyse it, consult a competent yoga trainer, practice under guidance, experience the difference and then believe what you feel.
Only when the body is regulated by Asana and moderate diet , one can be ready to practice Pranayama.Moreover, one thing we need to understand i s that Asanas does not mean only difficult and complex postures, whereas it is specific position which can open the energy channels and psychic centres. Asanas can be modified as per age and medical conditions of the body. That’s why, people with health conditions should work with an experienced teacher who can help modify or avoid some yoga poses to prevent side effects.
Now, let’s go one by one to understand why yoga should be practiced sequentially:-
- When you practice asanas, stiffness of the body is removed, you will be able to sit longer in a steady manner to practice Pranayama. On the other hand, without practicing asanas, spine doesn’t support and lower back pain starts.
- It also prepares body to move prana(life) freely. By restructuring the prana flows, steadiness of the body and mind takes place. And, only when the body is regulated by Asana, we can begin the next stage of Hatha Yoga i.e. Pranayama.
- Asanas balance sun and moon energy of the body. In yogic terms, balance of Ida and Pingala Nadi. The breath does not pass through the energy channel owing to the impurities of the nadis, how can then success be attained? The body and mind come under control easily with breath connection during asanas practice. And later, pranayama can be steadily added as per guru guidance.
- Pranayama is not merely simple breathing control, rather a technique through which the quantity of prana in the body is activated to a higher frequency.
Live experience and live treatment
I would also like to share one’s experience, who came to our studio with some medical conditions. He was suffering with gout and high uric acid deposition in the body. Due to which, he was having severe joints pain throughout the body since 2012.
Though, he was practicing Pranayama for an hour, there was no difference found in the joints pain.
As per his medical conditions, we started giving therapeutic class, trainer was asked to give modified posture along with loosening joints exercises. Within a week, he was able to fe
el the signs of improvement. As per his feedback, we kept on adding variations of asanas.
Later on the Pranayama practice was guided to him. Now, we reached to a stage where there is no pain in the body. But, still we are struggling to understand the severity of the problems, since if there are more than 4 days gap in yoga practice, pain starts. It’s been only 3 months ON and OFF yoga practice for him, however if sequential yoga practice will continue for six months with conducive diet, problems can be cured 100%.
See, what even Hatha Yoga Pradipika says: –
अथासने दॄधे योगी वशी हित-मिताशनः |
गुरूपदिष्ह्ट-मार्गेण पराणायामान्समभ्यसेत || १ ||
athāsane dṝdhe yoghī vaśī hita-mitāśanaḥ |
ghurūpadiṣhṭa-mārgheṇa prāṇāyāmānsamabhyaset || 1 ||
Posture becoming established, a Yogî, master of himself, eating salutary and moderate food, should practise Prâṇâyâma, as instructed by his guru.
The scriptures clearly state that you must not practice pranayama unless you are fully established in your asana routine.