The Science of Brain Breathing: Part 1

This is the first part in our two part series on Brain Breathing. The science of brain breathing is also known as SWARA YOGA. Swara means sound of ones own breath, and yoga means union. Therefore it means a state of union with God/ atma with the help of ones own breath. It is the oldest science explaining about rhythms of pranic body by controlling prana by manipulation of ones own breath by changing either swaras (ida, pingla, sukshmana - Explained later). In the language of modern science, prana is compared to the inherent energy/bioenergy of the body. Pra means constancy and na means movement. Therefore prana is a force in constant motion like a vibration moving to and fro without any interception. This can be the electromagnetic fields of our body which can be detected by kirlian photography. The vedas clearly mention about the pranic energy field around every human being. This is in the form of aura of light. If we look at old pictures of saints and Gods then we find that their head is surrounded by the circle of light. This swara yoga has been the major means of tantric tradition in India for the upliftment of the soul to supreme. Swara yoga should not be confused with pranayam as both deal with prana. Pranayam is the methodology of breathing and controlling prana through various breathing techniques, while swara yoga is the science that deals with the pranaic rhythms by analyzing the type of breath.

a practitioner can become a perfected yogi. Various other texts like Shiva Samhita. This helps in physiological control of our nervous systems.. Chitta controls five sensory nerves in our body like eyes. It means we are affected by this alternate breathing pattern. and both at a particular time. then we call it as sukshmana swara.2 Swara yoga was first explained by primordial guru Shiva to his disciple Parvati. the analysis of breath unfolds the deeper secrets of cosmos. that is chitta. This happens when you are doing physical actions like eating. If we attentively observe our breath then we will realize that we actually breathe only through one nostril at a certain time. Without breath we cannot normally stay alive for more than 3 minutes. In vedic terms mind it is referred to as CHITTA. They are ida. indicating that the life force is weak. Swara is the breath flow and udaya means waking or rising. The right nostril indicates life force indicating that the pranic force is stronger and the mental aspect is weaker. The explanation by lord Shiva to Devi Parvati was recorded as swaroday shastra. Every hour or hour and twenty minutes the nostril changes. It is not just by chance that the nostrils keep on changing. This stimuli or alternate breathing pattern is not random and irrational. The left nostril is related to mind energy. spiritual energy is in power. Physiologically speaking the nervous system level is also affected. and spirit as ATMA. as this breathing produces certain stimulus in our body. The left nostril breathing is ida swara. ears. According to this science. With the gradual practice of swara one can rise to the highest human consciousness. indicates that the spiritual force. With this science. We breathe 24 hours a day. and Goraksha Samhita also mention a little about it. nose. This normal regular breathing has a deep impact on our consciousness and the body in general. Breathing from either nostril keeps on changing during different times. giving ultimate wisdom/union with God. . pingla and sukshmana. This happens when you are praying or meditating. life force as PRANA. memorizing or very thoughtful. while from the other at other times. We have 3 different types of swara i. which we call sukshmana. But it directly relates to our brain hemispheres. flow of breath. This happens when you are worried. walking talking. It has coded meanings in it. tongue and skin. urinating etc. Functioning of both the nostrils together. also known as siddha yogi.e. The right nostril breathing is pingla swara and when both the nostrils are open.

relaxing and introverting. Eg. Its energies are compared to that of the sun and hence also known as solar nadi. Thereby creating relaxation of the superficial muscles and thereby lowering the body temperature. viz left for mental actions. right for physical actions and both swaras together in spiritual actions. And it is a proven fact about how these ions affect our whole body mechanisms. feet. It is only that when both the currents are on. all visceral. then though physically we are undisturbed. It is associated with the sympathetic nervous system. It is for these reasons that it is said to be cooling.Prana controls five organs of action that is speech. like unstableness or restlessness of body. This means if the right nostril flows while we are meditating. our spiritual powers are on. And therefore Swara yoga claims that with the manipulation of the breath flowing in and out through our nose we can regulate the inner body mechanisms and develop control over all pranic and mental activities. Pingla is a transmitter of prana shakti. Ida is associated with the parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for the stimulation of visceral organs. We will further learn how to correct our swaras for correct action. It is a surprising fact that the proportion of autonomic nerve fibres in the nasal cavity is said to be twenty times more than the other parts of the central nervous system. It is only that when both the nostrils are open. reproductory and excretory system. Each of our actions can be classified under these 3 types of swara. It activates the physical body and externalizes the awareness. These positive and negative currents are compared to the positive and negative ions of the human body. Further. hands. that our mind becomes one pointed and focused. the negative channel brings consciousness into every part of the body. The obstruction in the air flow inside increases the heart rate and decreases tissue oxidation. Its energies are compared with that of the moon and hence also known as lunar nadi. so as to bring mind-body and soul in perfect harmony. Breathing also affects our emotions and the release of different neurotransmitters. Similarly if the left nostril is flowing while meditation. The right and left swara function like positive and negative currents in our body. then we will have physical obstacles. It is a very well known proven fact that any disturbance in breathing affects the entire circulatory system. which releases . disturbing in the alkaline base levels of the blood. The ida. This brings a body in disease to a free state. but the mind will wander here and there. reproduction and excretory organs.

and stimulates .healthjockey. control and motivate our responses in day to day life. By – Dr. while the left hemisphere is responsible for sequentially. Hiren Parekh http://www. heating and extroverting. It is for this reason that it is said to be energizing. Ida is connected to the right hemisphere and pingla to the left. This system prepares the body to fight against stress and external activities. artistic and musical abilities. The cerebrum consists of the right and left hemispheres. The right hemisphere is thus responsible for psychic and extrasensory perception. linearly and logical abilities. The right hemisphere is governed by the left side of the body and the left hemisphere governs the right side of the body.the adrenaline to stimulate the superficial muscles. In this way the hemispheres in association with the nadis.

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