Refrain from pranayama, breathing Kriyas in Polluted Cities!

Lungs chokingPujneeye Acharyaji,

I wanted to mention that after having initiated in Tattva Shakti Vigyaan when I started my ‘Essential-practices’ for the first time which was late July, my breathing count was approximately 4/2/6. Two weeks ago after reaching Delhi I had to take antibiotics to treat my cough/cold for 5 days. However I did not miss my practice even for a day. Perhaps that affected the breathing pattern. Yesterday I tried breathing without doing the ‘Y-Breathing’ first. It was slightly better. I wanted to give the full picture & hopefully with your suggestions my practice gets better.

With reverence & gratitude,
 – Neelam C, New Jersey, USA

Shivoham!

Beloved Neelam,

Delhi is awfully polluted and it is virtually choking its inhabitants – the proud Delhiites. Delhi is no exception most of the metro cities across the globe are dangerously polluted to the levels where they have virtually become death-traps. People are suffering, kids are fainting, children are developing respiratory diseases, energy levels are low, Thyroid, toxicity and what not..  the overall life expectancy is reducing; this is just that little extra cost a common man pays for country’s GDP and its indulgence in Industrial race.

You hail from a town which is probably not polluted as much and your lungs couldn’t handle the levels of toxicity you were exposed to in Delhi, India. That is the reason you developed URI and had to consume antibiotics. One thing which most of the Yoga-savvy people are forgetting in modern times that all the fanning of inner-fire by virtue of their ‘breathing regimes’ and ‘kriyas’ are in fact endangering them especially those who are braving the high levels of air-pollution. What to talk of health benefits in fact such people are endangering their own health!

dirty fanIf someone wishes to understand what suspended particle are and how they could be choking one’s delicate airways within the lungs they just need to look at a ceiling fan (the one which has not been cleaned for a month or two) in urban areas. You shall be frightened to see how much dirt, dust and carbon has been deposited on the edges.. Now imagine just in one or two months this much filth gets accumulated on the blades of a fan what this unclean air would be doing to poor lungs which are continuously being shocked by this ‘breath-taking’ reality!

Innocent people (or should I say ignorant instead) still unaware of the consequences go out in parks and amid greenery (in such cities the pollution levels are worse outdoors as compared to indoors) start making ‘Hissing sounds’ through a dangerous practice which they call ‘bhastrika‘ hoping to comeback home with more oxygenated blood and cleaner lungs – Are we joking? If at all this is a joke.. it sounds a deadly joke. It would have been wiser to stay back indoors and complete whatever practices of ‘oxygen overload’ they wished. There is no point endangering one’s own life for being publicly known as someone who is in to ‘Yoga and Pranayama‘. Its high time Yoga and Pranayama enthusiasts consider installing ‘Air-Purifiers’ to avoid harmful side-effects of breathing in dust, dirt, charcoal powder and large suspended particles.

Neelam, as you are back to US you are  just be gentle on yourself during the processes. If you are feeling discomfort then you can even stop the practices. Meanwhile take steam and natural expectorants like Yashtimadhu with honey. You can also take 1TSP ‘sitopaladi churna’ along with honey twice daily (continue for minimum 1 week). When you re-start (if stopped) your practices do not overexert, let the lungs adapt to the practices gradually.  The permanent changes in breathing pattern take considerable time and are generally produced due to environmental reasons. Here environment should be taken as both  ‘the inner and the outer environment’. We have discussed about only material aspect of outer environment here however there could be situations, our own lifestyle and even people who might be contributing to a stressful outer environment. The inner environment is affected by negative thoughts, stress, fear and anxiety. Although certain anatomical/pathological changes can not be undone however inclusion of ‘Sound of Lungs’ will help by optimizing the ‘physiological’ aspect.

However one thing every human should understand clearly.. the life is not permanent and this body, with whatsoever good and healthy we try to keep shall continue to deteriorate. It never matters how long we live rather our focus should be to assess how deeply we are living.. what unseen, unexperienced, untouched shores we traveled. That doesn’t come by keeping the body in best of condition either but only a deep desire of knowing the ‘yet unknown’ makes that happen. It happens by following and flowing through the sadhana.. getting immersed in sadhana. Urgency in Sadhana makes us sail through this temporary opportunity called life while reaping the best.

Blessings from Masters..

– Acharya Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath

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