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Pranayama - Too Esoteric ? Practice It And See It Illuminate


Last week I went to pick a friend of mine from the airport. I was going to see her after about a year or so. Her flight was delayed by 3 hours. Airport was a mess in its own way but look at her..she was composed and relaxed, truly speaking, She looked charismatic. But she wasn’t the same Radhika, I knew before. The ‘Radhika’ I had known would start crying at the drop of a hat. What had changed her, I was continuously thinking.

After a nice cup of tea, I asked her- Is it Love? She smiled at me and Ya its Love with Pranayam and meditation. She told me her meeting with an avid practitioner of meditation and pranayam. She said “ This experience changed my life and I am in love with everything and everyone. I am in love with life again”. I wanted to know more all this so didn’t interrupt. She said “Pranayama’ literally means ‘to expand Prana’ (vital force) and this philosophy has its base in internal focus and deep relaxation techniques. Pranayama purifies the nadis which are subtle nerve channels and allow for greater flow of energy. Various breath controlling techniques like Kapalabhati (or Breath of Fire as known in Kundalini Yoga) and Nadi Sudi or Anuloma Vilonoma - alternate nostril breathing are primary pranayamas for cleansing the nadis.”

I was gradually getting influenced by her and wanted to know everything before trying to practice it myself. I asked her did pramayama help her in any other way. She smiled and asked me come for a game of tennis just for old time sake. I was surprised, why didn’t she answer my question and why this game of tennis all of a sudden. Anyhow, we started the game. Few knocks here and there, a little bit of placing and I was all out gasping for breath. Radhika on the other hand looked as if she was sitting there all this while. Is she the same girl who suffered asthama and whose lungs would just come out to catch some air even if she walked two streets.

“This is what Pranayama has done to me” she said. She added further “Pranayama purifies tubular channels and removes sluggishness from the body hence cures diseases like bronchitis and asthma. It increases gastric fire and improves metabolism. It tones up the stomach, the liver, the bladder, the small and the large intestines and the digestive system. The constant practice of Pranayama strengthens the nervous system. The mind becomes calm and capable of concentration. And above all, regular practice of Pranayama increases spiritual power and gives mental peace.”

“You changed it all” I told Radhika. “I always believed what a few controlled breaths can do. But now I know what I am doing next, I was for sure going to learn Pranayama under supervision.” And Radhika gave me ‘Thumbs Up’ for this!!

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