Ayurveda Yoga: The Whole Picture

Yoga has become one of the most popular of the spiritual healing practices. What most people don’t understand though is the whole picture that creates the yoga lifestyle. There is much more to a healthy yoga life style than the traditional western ideas of stretching on a purple mat. In the 1990’s when the yoga craze really started to become a media sensation, people really didn’t understand what the whole picture of yoga and the yoga way of life was actually about. It was something they just did to make themselves feel good.

Today, the whole picture of the yoga, or Pali, life style is becoming more apparent with each year. The proper yoga technique takes the right type of mind-set, breathing, and posture. Since most people do practice the stretching and mental quietness of yoga, it’s important to understand the importance of the yogic art of breathing, called Pranayama.

Without knowledge of Pranayama the whole picture of the Pali experience will be lacking, to say the least. To start off your knowledge of this ancient practice, we’ll begin with a quick definition and history of the word. After all, all things are based on their history. The word Pranayama comes from two root words, prana and ayama. Prana is literally translated into the “life force.” The word ayama can be translated into three different words, all with similar meanings, which are – “expansion, manifestation, or prolongation.”

This definition makes the goal of Pranayama to expand your own prana, or life force, so that it can harmonize with the larger universal prana. The ending result will be the whole picture of creation. The end goal is a total oneness and awareness of your own consciousness combined with complete universal consciousness. This idea is carried over from yoga to every aspect of ancient Indian healing including Ayurvedic practices. It is when this union of personal and universal consciousness occurs that the Pranayama practitioner realizes that they are not a physical body limited by death, but an immortal spirit that will continue on forever. When trying to attain the whole picture of a yogic life style, Pranayama will be one of the main goals that your yogi or yogini will strive for on their path to enlightenment.

This type of yogic practice is a breathing control technique that is achieved through conscious inhalation, or puraka, retention of the breath, or kumbhaka, and finally an exhalation, or eracaka, all while concentrating on a specific part of the subtle or physical body. This concentration can be on any part of the whole self, such as the heart, and even the sixth chakra also known as the mind’s eye, or third eye in yogic traditions.

The earliest text that includes Pranayama with yogic principles is found in the ancient text of Hatha-Yoga, it’s so old it was written by Svatmarma. It has been adapted and changed slightly by other writers and masters but the principles and goals of Pranayama remain the same. The reason that most people don’t try to achieve Pranayama is because it’s only rarely mentioned in the most famous of all yoga texts, called the Yoga-Sutra Patanjali. It was written a thousand years before the Pranayama made its debut into the school of yoga.

For the whole picture to truly take hold, you have to study both forms of the yogic principles, including the Pranayama. The Hatha-Yoga texts go into great detail about proper preparation to get the most out of your experience and the dangers of using it improperly.

The Dangers of Improper Use

This has been one of the few yogic practices that have always had a bit of mystery surrounding it. The reason for this form of yoga to be so mysterious is because it is said to have considerable dangers when left to improper use. That is because it is one of the only practices that hold the gateway to the siddhis, or yogic powers. It is so powerful that yoga masters have been hesitant to even take on students for the instruction of this art.

It is difficult for a master to know when the student is prepared to exercise this technique, due to the danger posed to the student and the people around him or her if done with improper use in mind. For a master to even consider the idea of teaching Pranayama to a student they have to show a considerable amount of success in both yamas, niyamas, and asana. The reason for this is because these practices prepare the body and mind to handle the sever increase in energy vibrations that comes from that heightened sense of Pranayama.

The major dangers of improper use for the student include a real possibility of undue stress on the lungs and chest. This stress can cause damage in the entire respiratory system and even lead to very real and severe nerve damage. This makes the improper use of Pranayama a danger to the sound mind and body that you have been striving to create by using yoga.

If a student tries to move along in their studies too quickly, it may end up causing a total imbalance. It’s vital that the student perfect their Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle before even attempting to achieve Pranayama. Pranayama is crucial to complete the whole picture when living a true Pali inspired existence. If tried too quickly, it can cause severe medical problems, including panic disturbances and even death. One final threat of improper use is clogging the chakra. If Pranayama is practiced before prepared it is considered improper use, and can at minimum, clog the chakra and so clog all the pathways, or nadis, that run through the entire body.

When ready to perform the Pranayama, and are certain you not committing any improper use, the right environment is absolutely critical. The ideal environment is much the same as you’d want for deep meditation. The environment needs to be clean, bug free, quiet, safe from intrusions, and free from overly hot or cold temperatures. This environment will promote a worry free surrounding that you can relax and be comfortable in.

Without reaching Pranayama, the practice of Pali principles, the whole picture, will be stalled at a certain point. At some time you must begin your Pranayama practices. Before you do, be sure not to start practicing Pranayama too soon, or it can hold back your Pali

Author: Dr Maulik Vyas

I am a holistic Doctor with 10 yr of experience in medical/health and wellness industry. Also, I am a professional content writer with 1000s of articles published across the web. I'm available for content writing, natural treatment consultancy, business ideas about healthcare/wellness industry. I am the proprietor of company named Mouls Incorporation.


  1. Jackie Kemerling says:

    Hi there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Jackie, You made my day. Nothing is more satisfying than these words of yours. Thanks a lot for being so kind and sparing time to read it.

  3. Suzie Houge says:

    Awesome post! I will keep an on eye on your blog.

  4. Kathrine Wesley says:

    Nice info about Ayurveda, I enjoyed reading it.

  5. WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..more wait ..


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