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The Breathing Technique To Quit Smoking

By Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Yes, smoking kills you. The cigarette smoke that you inhale carries more than 4000 chemicals, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful and more than 50 are known to cause cancer. According to a fact sheet published by WHO, tobacco kills nearly 6 million people each year. More than five million of these deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while more than 600,000 people die due to second hand smoke.

A lot of smokers are aware of the hazards of smoking but face difficulty giving up their addiction. Even repeated attempts to kick the butt fail after a few days by giving in to the urge of having that one last drag.

Though whatever maybe the reason people start smoking, they have problem quitting it mostly due to stress at work and in personal life. The chemical composition of a cigarette calms the mind and gives temporary relief from stress, thus giving smokers a reason to cling onto the addiction.

If you are looking for a permanent alternative to de-stressing yourself and keep away from smoking, look no further.Yoga is the key to step out of the smoke and rid you of the addiction. A local Sri Sri Yoga course can help you learn ways to resist the urges of smoking. Sri Sri Yoga is an effective wellness program that aims to equip you with health enriching and de-stressing tools that help you lead a healthy and joyful life, thus letting your loved ones breathe free tool : Pranayama and Sudarshan Kriya

What is pranayama (yogic breathing)?

Your body is like the wick of a candle and the mind is like the glow all around it. ‘Prana’ is the vital energy needed by our physical and subtle layers, without which the body would perish. It is the prana or life force in us that nourishes the mind and keeps the body alive. ‘Prana’ refers to the universal life force and ‘Ayama’ means to regulate or lengthen. Pranayama means working in the dimension of prana.

Understanding prana

The prana creates an aura around the body. It flows through thousands of subtle energy channels called ‘nadis’ and energy centers called ‘chakras’. The quantity and quality of prana and the way it flows through the nadis and chakras determines one’s state of mind. If the prana level is high and its flow is continuous, smooth and steady, the mind remains calm, positive and enthusiastic. However, due to lack of knowledge and attention to one’s breath, the nadis and chakras in the average person may be partially or fully blocked leading to jerky and broken flow. As a result, one experiences increased worries, fear, uncertainty, tensions, conflict and other negative qualities. Every problem first generates in the subtle and then surfaces on the physical level. Sickness shows up in your prana (Pranic Body) much before you get sick physically.

4 Benefits of regular practice of pranayama

  1. Increases and enhances the quantity andquality of prana
  2. Clears blocked nadis and chakras. Clears the whole energy around you, expands your aura and heightens the spirit
  3. Makes one energetic, enthusiastic and positive
  4. Brings harmony between the body, mind, and spirit, making one physically, mentally and spiritually strong. It brings clarity to the mind and good health to the body

4 Types of pranayama and their application

The ancient sages of India realized some breathing techniques which are simple to practice and brought great relaxation to the body and mind. These breathing techniques can be practiced with ease and at any time of the day on an empty stomach:

  1. Is your mind buzzing with activity? Can’t stop thinking about what someone said about you? Find a quiet corner and try the Bhramari pranayama (Bee breath) to apply brakes in the buzzing mind. This breathing technique is a boon for those with hypertension.
  2. Among the breathing techniques,Kapal Bhati pranayama (Skull Shining breathing technique) is considered the most important and effective for detoxifying the body and clearing the energy channels.
  3. Low energy levels? Three rounds of Bhastrika pranayama (Bellow breath) will get your energy levels soaring!
  4. Can’t concentrate on the task at hand? Try nine rounds ofNadi Shodhan pranayama (Alternate nostril breathing technique) followed by a short 10-minute meditation. Nadi Shodhan pranayama calms and centers the mind by bringing into harmony the left and right hemispheres of the brain which correlates to the logical and emotional sides of our personality.

Sudarshan Kriya 

Sudershan kriya is an intense rhythmic breathing pattern that brings about social, emotional, mental, and physical well being. It is well known for its effectiveness in reducing stress. Just like nature has its different cycles and rhythms, our emotions, mind, and bodies also have biological rhythms.Sudarshan Kriya harmonizes the rhythms of the body, emotions and puts them back in tune with the rhythms of nature. Being in rhythm, we feel good about ourselves, love flows naturally in all relationships.

Sudarshan Kriya facilitates physical, mental, emotional and social well-being and is an integral part of Art of Living programs. It has benefited millions of people on this planet making their lives a celebration.

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