Pranayama is the art of breathing, Indian Yogi style. It has long been an important component of the yogi’s practice, accompanying yoga asana or postures.
Pranayma for stress relief is a highly complex and evolved art that yogis master only after long training where considerable lifestyle, devotional, nutritional and philosophical constraints must be in place for there to be success. Many yoga masters warn of some of the side effects of pranayama practice if it is undertaken without the right preparation and supporting circumstances.
To successfully use pranayama for stress relief requires only a slight shift of emphasis in practice. Setting aside some of the more complex practices and using the Taoist method of pranayama brings rapid results.
The Taoist approach to pranayama for stress relief is highly adapted to modern circumstances. The technique can be used in all circumstances. Tao pranayama was developed by martial artists as well as monks and required that the technique be useful in potentially the most stressful situation-warfare or hand to hand combat with or without weapons.
The technique had to be accessible in all circumstances and that is exactly what Tao pranayama provides-an ever present programme of pranayama for stress relief that becomes increasingly automatic as expertise increases.
How easy is it to learn the technique? Practicing yogis and pranayama practitioners of many years will delight in the Taoist approach. It is easy to learn and the principles provide a cascading insight into the functions of the nervous system. The body’s intelligence “sees” into how stress is accumulated and how it can be released through breath at increasingly deep levels. Eventually it gets to the point where the breath is causing past negative karma to arise so that it can be released. This is in readiness to embrace the accompanying gift of clarity that reveals hidden potential or inner gifts.
To use pranyama for stress relief, this is a credible and achievable aim that will make the body healthy, the mind wieldy and the spirit light. Yogis or meditators of any tradition who wish to enhance their current practice will benefit.
Those whose interest is to use the techniques for stress relief and daily increased energy and efficiency will find the method simple, straightforward yet very profound. It is not without challenge, but the challenge is met with softness and it is through this softness that one walks the path of Tao.