Pranayama In Polluted City Like Delhi
I wanted to ask you whether it is safe to do pranayama in a polluted city like Delhi(because I live there). I was afraid that it could do more harm than benefit because polluted air will be entering our lungs and pranayama involves deep breathing. Please enlighten me on this topic as I want to start pranayama but am constantly stopped by these negative thoughts.
AnswerProblem of Pollution
In case you are living in a city where the pollution level is high, there is no escape from inhaling the pollutants present in the atmosphere. Also, to remain fit exercise is a must. Now whether you do yoga or any other exercise, the volume of air you inhale increases but the quality of air will be same.
You can plan three fold approach to reduce effect of air pollution on your health:
1. Do regular exercise.
2. Eat healthy and nutritious diet i.e more of fruits and vegetables.
3. Proper sleep, rest and relaxation.
By doing yoga all these objectives are met in the most harmonious manner. Of course there is another option to take anti oxidant supplements which is not better than the three methods discussed above.
For a person living in highly polluted air there are these options regarding exercise:
A - Do no exercise
B - Do exercise other than yoga
C - Doing yoga early morning in a park
D - Doing yoga at a yoga studio/ at home.
Best exercise option
in option-C i.e is to do yoga early in the morning in any open park with lot of greenery. This will ensure that you are doing pranayama in relatively clean air. While choosing an outdoor location for yoga, remember that pollution levels will be lower as you go away from busy roads and at a place having lot of trees.
Next option is to do yoga at home or a yoga studio. The indoor pollution in the room where you do yoga can be reduced by following methods:
~ Room should be well vetilated.
~ Room should be neat and clean, clutter free with least furniture. The flooring should be cleaned daily morning.
~ An electronic air cleaner can be installed but this may be a costly option.
~ Reduce air pollution naturally by using houseplants.
~ Make the room strictly smoking free zone.
~ Ensure high levels of cleanliness so that there is no bad odour. Do not use any room freshner sprays.
~ It is advisable to burn an oil lamp using ghee, clarified butter.Conclusion
Even if you stay in a highly polluted city, find a suitable place to do yoga and pranayama. The benefits of doing pranayama will far outweigh any health effects due to increased air intake as a result of doing pranayama. Pranayama practice facilitates exhaling of toxins from the body during exhalations. In addition yoga practice reduces the oxidative stress in the body and increases immunity.
Hope this helps