Pranayam addresses stress on the layer more subtle than the physical one, that is the vital energy layer. According to the yogic theory, mental & emotional imbalance first affects breathing and pranic imbalance and prolonged imbalance at this layer may affect the physical body.

On the physical level , stress can change the one’s pattern of breathing. One of the ways of responding to stress is holding our breathe, and the other response is fast or shallow breathe. This happens automatically without being our controlled to combat the stressful situation. In either case, the pattern of breathing is disturbed & affected. If the stress is prolonged, it becomes chronic stress & this pattern of breathing becomes our habit & natural to us.

Breath is a bridge between body & mind. Any changes in your body & mind affect your breathing. The same way changes in the breathing affect body & mind.When the mind is tensed or disturbed , breathing is fast & shallow & mind is relaxed or calm, breathing becomes slow, regular & deeper. The imbalances in the breathing in the long run disturbs the body & mind . & deep breathing produces relaxation effects in body & mind.

The act of breathing is an involuntary action, an unconscious process, can be controlled and changed voluntarily through pranayam.The vital energy flows through pranic channels called nadis, & according to yogic texts there are 72,000 nadis in human body , out of which 3 are main nadis, Ida, Pingla & Sushumna. The flow of prana through Ida & Pingla is connected to the left & right nostrils respectively also connected to the left & right brain.Ida is Chandra/Moon nadi, and its predominant activity promotes slowing down or cooling effect, similar to found in parasympathetic stimulation. Pingla is surya nadi & it’s predominanat activity stmulates activity & energy, similar to sympathetic stimulation.

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