The fourth element vayu; breath control; the role of prana
The Adiveda Weekly #6
Hari Aum Sadhakas!
We hope you enjoyed reading about the essence of yoga in our previous newsletter. Today we will take the fourth element from our series on the Pancha Mahabhutas – vayu or air.
The Hindu way of life
Vayu is the ‘air force,’ the prana or life current – the controlling power in the human body. All activities are initiated from this. The new born baby has to take its first gulp of ‘air’ when it comes out of the womb. This is seen in the howl that the baby gives as it comes out.
Ayurveda gives five different types of ‘vayus’ or winds which are found in different parts of the body and are the controllers of all our different actions like breathing, digesting and excreting. At the time of death, each of these vayus start leaving the body one after the other. Of course the first to leave is the prana and usually when the person stops breathing, he is declared as dead. The other vayus leave slowly one by one so actually the person is not totally dead until all the five leave. Thus, the element of vayu is crucial to life.
Reflection of the week
“The air carries odours from place to place, some fragrant and some offensive but in itself it is totally odourless and has no preference for either. So also the enlightened soul wanders about in the world, totally detached, without making judgements about the types of people he meets.”
For your everyday practice
Practise pranayama twice a day.
Pranayama or breath control is recommended in order to minimise stress. Therefore, learn how to do the basic pranayama called Nadi Shodhana. This will certainly enable us to live a balanced life.
Learn how to practise Nadi Shodhana with Bhavesh here.
For your health and well-being
Pre-meal ritual: Looking and smelling your food.
Did you know, there is phase of digestion called the cephalic phase that happens even before we even put any food into our mouth? Just by looking and smelling our food, our digestive process can come alive. This is an essential stage of our digestion as it readies our body to produce the right enzymes and chemicals required for digesting our meal. Imagine what happens when you instead eat your meal on the go, whilst watching TV or mindlessly scrolling. Today’s health tip is to thereby take some time out to eat every meal mindfully: look at your food and admire all its colours, smell it slowly and relish all its fragrances. When your stomach awakens to what you are about to give it, then start your meal in this mindful and thoughtful way.
By Dr. Poorna Menon, Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine
From Vanamali Mataji’s desk
Since air is so important for us, it is our great duty to ourselves and to the world to see that we do not pollute it. Unfortunately we are guilty of polluting this most essential element in our life. The air we breathe in most cities is so toxic that it is a wonder that we are able to go on living. Majority of the diseases we find in the world today is due to polluted air which is found in most big cities. It is our duty as a human being to see that we keep this air clean and unpolluted.
Important dates this week
New Moon on Tuesday, 28th June
Jagannath Rath Yatra on Friday, 1st July
That’s all for now. What would you like to see more of? Let us know! Thank you very much for reading.
At your service,
The Adiveda Team