Only a healthy bud can blossom. In the same way, only a healthy being can succeed. Health is (having) a disease-free body, a quiver-free breath, a stress-free mind, an inhibition-free intellect, an obsession-free memory, an ego that includes all and a soul that is free from sorrow.
Our ancient people mention, that our body consists of five sheaths of existence.
1. The first is the environment, the atmosphere.
2. The physical body.
3. Prana, or the life force energy,
4. Mind sheath- thoughts, emotions, ideas, memories
5. The intuitive body represented by your ‘gut feeling’. It is much more subtle in nature but precise.
There is a key component to health that we have often overlooked — connection between breath, life force and health. Breath is synonymous to life. The main purpose of meditation, pranayama and related practices, is that they increase prana or the subtle life force energy. Prana is subtler than emotions. When you attend to the subtlest, the gross is taken care of too. You handle the breath and your life force, then your body gains strength too.
Ninety per cent of the impurities in the body go out through the breath. However, we are using only thirty per cent of our lung capacity.
Our breath holds many deeply transformative secrets to stay healthy. For example, for every emotion, there is a corresponding rhythm in the breath. And each rhythm affects certain parts of the body, physically. You only need to observe it to know this. For instance, we feel a sense of expansion when we are happy and a sense of contraction when we are miserable. Though we feel that happiness or misery and the sensation, we fail to notice the connection. So, when you cannot handle your mind directly, through breath you can handle the mind.
You mainly get energy from four sources — the food; sleep and rest; breath work that you can learn through the exercises, techniques such as the Sudarshan Kriya which can energize every cell of the body, and fourthly: and a pleasant state of mind which you can get through meditation. All these are important for our overall wellbeing. Today there is research available on how the Sudarshan Kriya and Pranayama affect the immune system. The immune system can be boosted by attending to the breath and mind.