Practised for more than 5000 years, yoga is an ancient science that creates harmony among the body, mind and spirit. Pranayama is one of the main components of yoga. Prana, in Sanskrit, means ‘life force’ and Yama means ‘control’. Pranayam is an effective practice that involves breath regulation and modulation to balance Tridoshas in the body and create a holistic impact on the body. By controlling the timing, frequency and duration of each breath, Pranayama strives to remove toxins from the body and score many physiological benefits.
The respiratory system is responsible for managing and controlling the fuel of the body i.e. oxygen. Through various breathing techniques, Pranayama helps in regulating the respiratory system and increasing its efficiency. Pranayama is also extremely effective in increasing the immunity of the body. Our biological defence system is effective enough to prevent the creation of many diseases. Pranayama boosts the immunity system of the body through the modulation of breathing patterns.
Increases the Respiratory Endurance:
Respiratory endurance is the ability of the respiratory system to absorb and use oxygen over a prolonged period of physical exercises. Pranayama is a significant practice to increase the respiratory endurance in the body, leading to a healthy lifestyle.
Increases Strength of Respiratory Muscles:
The inspiratory and expiratory powers of the respiratory muscles improve with the regular practice of Pranayama. Pranayama strengthens respiratory muscles by modulating the frequency of breathing, leading to a healthy respiratory system.
Increases the Breath-holding Time:
Increased endurance and improved strength of respiratory muscles increase the breath-holding time in the body, leading to a better developed and efficient respiratory system.
Stimulates the Stretch Receptors:
The activity of pulmonary stretch receptors is enhanced by Pranayama, leading to an increase in lung volume and a reduced respiration rate.
Removes tension from the muscles:
Pranayama removes stress and brings the body and the mind back to its relaxed stage. Through this, Pranayama relaxes the respiratory muscles as well and increases the efficiency for smooth functioning.
Stimulates the Release of Lung Surfactant and Prostaglandins:
Pulmonary surfactant and prostaglandins make breathing easy by allowing more air to enter the lungs. Pranayama stimulates the secretion of lung surfactant and prostaglandin.
The imbalance of Tridosha creates a negative impact on the immunity system. Pranayamas such as Anuloma-Viloma balances Tridoshas and boosts the immune system.
Boosts Metabolism and Controls Blood Pressure:
The immune system and metabolism are closely related. Metabolism influences the function of immune cells. Yoga and Pranayama help regulate metabolism, which in turn also effectively controls blood pressure.
Removes Toxins From the Body:
According to Ayurveda, most diseases are caused due to toxins accumulation. Pranayama such as Kapalbhati can effectively remove toxins from the body and boosts the immune system.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety and Increases Concentration:
Stress and anxiety can reduce the ability of the immune system to fight off the antigens. Pranayama reduces stress and anxiety and boosts the immune system. Additionally, Pranayama also increases concentration.
Boosts the Nervous System:
The central nervous system is responsible for the activities of all the organs and systems of the body, including the immune system. Pranayama such as Udgeeth Pranayama improves the nervous system, thereby boosting the immune system in the body.
With the effective breathing techniques of Pranayama, one can not only enhance the function of the immune system but also welcome many imminent benefits of Yoga in our life. Pranayama has a significant number of benefits in our respiratory health. The respiratory system is one of the most important systems of the body, by strengthening respiratory muscles and enhancing the functions of the pulmonary organs, Pranayama fuels the body for better results. By affecting two major systems of the body -the respiratory system and the immune system – regular practice of Pranayama may have extremely effective benefits in the body. During the times of COVID-19, it has become extremely crucial to boost our immune system and keep our respiratory system healthy.