Swami Ramdev was born as Ramkishan Yadav in Alipur, Mahendragarh district of Indian state of Haryana. He attended school through the 8th grade in Shahjadpur. Thereafter, he joined a yogic monastery (gurukul) in Khanpur village to study Sanskrit and Yoga. Eventually, he renounced worldly life and entered into Sanyas (monastic living) - taking the name Swami Ramdev.
Then he went to Jind district and joined the Kalva gurukul and later imparted free Yoga training to villagers across Haryana. It is said that he travelled the Himalayas for several years before he settled in Haridwar. He discovered several medicinal plants in the Himalayas which he uses in treating his patients. Swami Ramdev started relentless efforts to popularise Yoga in 1995 with the establishment of Divya Yoga Mandir Trust, along with Acharya Karamveer and Acharya Balkrishna.
Swami Ramdev has taught several aspects of traditional Indian scriptures such as Ashtadhyayee, Mahabhashya and Upanishads along with six systems of Indian Philosophy in various Gurukuls (traditional Indian systems of education). He has helped establish Gurukuls in Kishangarh, Ghashera, and Mahendragarh in India. He has also founded the Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust which has built several institutions. In addition to helping people learn about Yoga and spirituality, these institutions also provide a comprehensive facility that promotes the practice of Ayurveda - the traditional system of holistic medicine developed in India.
He teaches Pranayama which is a series of techniques for breath control that were developed as a part of the ancient Indian system of Yoga. Heretofore, these techniques were often thought of as being esoteric and complex and portrayed as being unsuitable for lay people. Consequently, their use was often limited to advanced practitioners of Yoga and undertaken only under the strict supervision of an experienced teacher. Swamiji has worked diligently to break these barriers and help make the practice of Pranayama achievable by the ordinary layperson.
He has devised a set of six simple Pranayama breathing exercises which are as following:-
1. Bhastrika Pranayam
2. Kapal Bhati Pranayam
3. Baharya Pranayam
4. Anulom Vilom Pranayam
5. Bhramri Pranayam
6. Udgeeth Pranayam
Blower in Sankrita is called as Bhastrika. Hence exhalation of breath forcibly and quickly is the main feature of Bhastrika Pranayama. One should inhale and exhale breath like a blower. It is in a way a combination of Kapalbhati and Vjjayi. Among all the Kumbhakaras, this Pranayama is considered the best.
Sit in Padmasana and Siddhasana stretch your head, neck and back. Put your hands in lap or on the knees. Inhale and exhale rapidly your or five times like a blower. Similarily contract and expand the lungs. A peculiar rusting sound will be produced during the practice of this Pranayama. But the performer must practice this Pranayama rapidly and without stopping even once. At the completion of one cycle (Avartana) the performer must inhale breath as deeply as possible and retain it as long as possible. Ultimately exhale as much breath as possible. Thus a cycle (Avartana) of Bhastrika completes. After resting a while, perform another cycle of this Pranayama. Perform three cycles of the Pranayama in a go. If not possible, perform only single cycle. Perform this Pranayama twice-once in morning and evening each in winters, and only once a day in summers.
Duration : 2 mins atleast. 5 mins max.
-With the practice of Bhastrika, swelling of the throat is corrected, appetite is kindled and the cough is removed. Diseases of the nose and chest like asthma, tuberculosis etc. are also corrected.
-Diseases caused by imbalance of wind, cough and bile (Vata, Cough and Pitta) are also corrected by this Pranayama.
-If no other means to warm the body is available, it can be heated with the help of this Pranayama.
-Pores of Sushumna nerve are opened by Bhastrika.
Kapal Bhati Pranayama
Kapal is a Sanskrit word that means skull, while Bhati means lighting or glowing. Thus Kapalbhati is such a kind of Pranayama, practicing which the skull begins to glow.
Sit down in Padmasana or Siddhasana. Rest both of your hands on the knees, and close the eyes. Now like the blower of a blacksmith, begin to perform Puraka and Rechaka (inhaling and exhaling of breath). This exercise must be performed laboriously. There is no Kumbhaka or holding of breath stage. Inhalation and exhalation of breath play the all important role. Your nerves will reverberate in this exercise and you will sweat profusely. It is an extremely powerful exercise performing which all of your cells, neurons and nerves vibrate rapidly. In the beginning, exhale only once per second. Increasing your speed slowly then exhale twice per second. Initially practice a cycle of ten exhalations. Increase the number of exhalation slowly.
Duration : Start with 30 times or 1 min. increase upto 5 mins min. upto 10 mins max.
Kapalbhati clears your skull, respiratory tract and the sinus.
Destroying the cough that clogs the trachia Kapalbhati leads to the cure of asthma.
By practice of Kapalbhati, air cells in the lungs receive ample amount life giving oxygen, hence germs of diseases like tuberculosis cannot harm them.
Carbon dioxide The gaseous waste of respiration process is exhaled out in large amount thus purifying the blood.
This process also activates the heart and enhance the capacity of the respiratory system, circulation system and digestive system.
Tips : heart and high BP patients, and weak people do it slowly.
Procedure : Close ears with thumb, index finger on forehead, and rest three on base of nose touching eyes. Breathe in. And now breathe out through nose while humming like a bee.
Duration : 10 mins
Benefits : tension, hypertension, high BP, heart, heart blockage, paralysis, migraine pain, confidence, concentration
Breathe in till your lungs are full of air. Close your ears with both the thumbs and eyes with the middle fingers of your hands on respective sides with little pressure. Press forehead with both the index fingers lightly. Close both the eyes. Then press eyes and nose bridge from the sides with the remaining fingers. Concentrate your mind on Ajna Chakra (between eye-brows) . Close your mouth. Begin slowly exhaling, making humming sound of a bee, while reciting “OM” mentally. Repeat the exercise 11 to 21 times according to your capacity.
Shiva Sankalpa (Vow) at the time of performing Bhramari Pranayama:
This Pranayama should be done with the thought that your individual consciousness merges with the divine cosmic consciousness. Your mind should be full of the thought that divine bliss is descending on you, that deep divine wisdom fills your entire being. Exercising this Pranayama with such thought will endow you with divine light and you will be able to meditate effortlessly.
With the practice of this Pranayama the mind becomes steady. It is beneficial in conditions like mental tension, agitation, high blood pressure, heart disease etc. It is also useful for meditation.
Procedure : Breathe air out, touch chin to chest, squeeze stomach completely and hold for a while. then release chin, breathe in slowly.
Duration : 3 times to 5 times normally. max upto 11 times. and extremely max upto 21 times (in winters).
Benefits : stomach(udar), hernia, urinal, uterus
Tips : not for heart and high BP patients
Anulom Vilom Pranayama
It is a yoga breath control technique.
Procedure : Close your eyes. Hold your right nasal with thumb, breathe in from left. Now open right nasal and close left nasal with middle and ring finger and breathe out from right nasal. Now breathe in from right nasal. Now close right nasal and open left and breathe out and in from left nasal and so on.
Duration : At least 5 mins. To get maximum benefits, one should do this pranayama 250-500 times a day.
Benefits : Heart, high BP, heart blockage, vat-cuf-pit, arthritis, cartilage, bent ligaments, sinual fluid reduced, parkinson, paralysis, neural related, depression, migraine pain, asthma, sinus, allergy
Tips : Breathe into lungs not to stomach because no organ in stomach absorbs oxygen. Do not hurry. Do it slowly. Rest whenever needed (in any pranayam).
Procedure : Breathe in deeply, and chant 'Om'kar. OOOOOOm ( long O and small m )
Duration : 10 mins or more
Benefits : meditation
"Omkar Japa" (Muttering the mantra “OM”)
After performance of the six Pranayamas mentioned here above concentrate your mind on the respiration and meditate on the sacred mantra “OM”. God has fashioned the shape of our brows like OM. This body and the universal cosmic body are filled with this mantra. It is not the figure or expression of any individual thing, but it is divine energy, which regulates the entire functioning of the universe. With every act of breathing in and breathing out, mentally go on repeating the mantra “OM”. The speed of respiration should be so slow and subtle that you yourself also may not be aware of its sound, even if a piece of cotton is placed in front of the nostril it should not move by the effect of the air exhaled out. Slowly practice and make the duration of one inhalation and exhalation to one minute. Likewise, try to visualize the breath inside the body. Initially the breath can be felt only in the nostrils but gradually it will be felt deep inside. In this way, visualizing the breath and continuous chanting of ‘OM’ will lead to Dhyana automatically. Your mind will develop a feeling of concentration and your body will be filled with the feeling of OM. The Gayatri Mantra from the Vedas can also be chanted meaningfully along with Pranayama. This way the Sadhaka can attain the joyful stage of Samadhi by going through the various visualizations of god and supreme powers. Also if this is practiced at bedtime, one will get peaceful sleep without any perverted dreams etc.
Information provided by www.yogahealthcare.org
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