BREATH—AN INDICATOR OF HEALTH
The human body is the reflection of one cell. This cell is conceived in the womb and it gives rise to the various organs and tissues of the body on forming of the baby. Ageing works at different levels, with signs first appearing at the elementary level of a cell. It is the cell in which heaviness accumulates and, depending on the dosha type, the disease - whether obesity, depression or heart trouble originates.
The day the baby is born the process of ageing sets in the body. This ageing begins because of the breath, which is taken in. Every breath results in the production of energy and the equal and opposite effect is the ageing of the cell due to the production of toxins, called ama in Ayurveda. This same breathing process results in the loss of skin elasticity, reduction in the ability of the five senses and wrinkles, all of which are a sign of ageing.
A simple indicator to assess your state of health is the number of times you breathe in a minute. It is said that if your breath count is below 10, you will exude glow, youth and beauty, and if it is over 15 then sadness, sickness and old age have taken over you regardless of your upper age. When cells are exposed to large doses of oxygen or instant heat through certain types of hyperactive techniques, misrepresented as yoga, then initially one does feel good, but ultimately this results in depletion of the finite life force in the cell and shortens the lifespan.
Pranayamas are highly potent tools, the effects of which are unsurpassed if prescribed by a Guru after evaluation of one’s physical and emotional condition. However, they must be balanced with other pranayamas and kriyas to bring the body in a state of equilibrium and shanti. It is therefore important to understand how our systems work – how we produce, utilize and waste energy in the body, beginning with the essential act of breathing. Thus the practice of yoga and Sanatan Kriya becomes one-to-one between a Guru and shishya and cannot be carried out as a mass exercise.
Anu Vilakshan Kriya as detailed in the vedas naturally brings down your breath rate and reduces your diet, both of which slows down the process of cell decay and hence promotes longevity.