The word ‘Swar’ in musical parlance means scale of a musical note. Vocalists do daily practice or riyaz in different swar. In layman terms, they either sing in high note or a low notes. Think for a moment, what do you do when you sing in high note or low notes ? Well on closer observation you are exhaling or inhaling for longer period of time and in the due course exherting varied amount of energy. The ancient Indian sages correctly understood the importance of breathing and its effect on quality of life. As such, much importance is given to pranayam and swar vigyan. A good knowledge of Swar Vigyan is thus helpful for successful yoga practice. Although this amazing which works beyond the sphere of yoga, for the context, I would stick to the context of yoga.
What is Swar Vigyan
The word vigyan in Sanskrit means ‘Science’. Swar Vigyan or the Sciene of breathing is the knowledge of breathing process. We live because we breath. Notice that our energy levels are directly proportional to the way we breath. You may be surprised to find you ignorant to such a simple fact. But it’s a fact. So swar vigyan is to make us conscious about the process of breathing the very basis of our existence. This also gives idea how the energies of the body work through the process of breathing.
Now lets understand swar i.e the process of breathing air from either or both nostrils. We normally breathe from one of the nostrils not both. Just feel it putting your hand or palm upside down beneathe the nostrils. You will realise that you are breathing through one of the nostrils at a given moment of time. Body breathing through both the nostrils is a danger signal. At the time of the death body breathes through both nostrils or at the time of the enlightenment called the samadhi in yoga. this breathing is called sushumna. The swar changes normally within one and half hour to maintain temperature of the body. swar vigyan concentrates on the control and effects of the swar on the body and tries to manage it through properly maintaining swaras.
How it works
Breath or prana in yogic science is considered as energy. So our nostrils can be considered as conduit for energy or energy centres.The left nostril is called ‘Chandra swar’. Chandra means moon. Moon is Indian mythology is considered to be cold and soothing. Its nature is of ‘Kapha’. The right nostril is called ‘Surya swar’. Surya means sun. Sun is Indian mythology is considered to be hot and full of energy. Its nature is of ‘Pitta’. Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medical science attributes the human disease to imbalance of Kapha and Pitta which regulates the third body constituent i.e Vayu. One primary reason this happens is that a person starts having one prominent swar i.e he is breathing predominantly from one nostril. For example if a person is breathing from right nostril for 18 hours a day, he will develop the pitta dosha. Any ailment he is suffering from could be attributed to this breathing pattern. In our practice of yoga for the last 35 years, we have experienced great success by this diagnosis. A detailed explanation of benefits of swar vigyan in therapeutic practice is a matter of a separate discussion. The following are the few benefits of Swar Vigyan :
i)To know the exact cause of a disease. : Often it is seen that a person is having headache and cold. Check out the predominant swar. It is left swar i.e ‘Chandra Swar’ the person has caught cold. So anti cough & cold medication will work wonders . But think if its opposite i.e the ailment is due to ‘Surya swar’ , anti cold medication wont work. In India, at times the patient does not take bath or takes a hot water bath. Some may take in steam bath. In such a case, the ailment will increase as the pitta dosha has manifested itself as cough and cold. As such it helps to diagnose the real cause of the problem.
ii) In theurapaticy yoga, the trainer must take into account the predominant swar of the patient and then advice him asana and pranayama accordingly. If a person is having health issues and he is a predominantly a ‘surya swar’ guy, one should prescribe him pranayams and asanas which have cooling effect. It is a myth that pranayams do not have side effects. No doubt they have pronounce effect if only done in a scientic manner.
Swar Vigyan & Devarshiyogapith
Swar vigyan is given utmost important at Devarshiyogapith. As mentioned earlier for theuraptic practice, we determine the root cause of a disease condition by monitoring the swar of a patient for a few days. He is also adviced to notice the swar at home. Accordingly yoga and naturopathy is advised. Our Vijay yogi or Yogi ji as he is fondly known emphasizes the infallibility of swar vigyan. In his 35 years as a yoga practictioner , he has cured many patients based on this brilliant science. According to him blind adherence to yogic practice is dangerous just like a doctor administering all the drugs meant for a certain disease condition without any proper diagnosis. At Devarshiyogapith, yoga asanas and pranyama are prescribed to an individual after proper diagnosis and determination of body constitution.