It has generally been observed that we can remain alive for some time without food, for a lesser time without water, but for a very short time without air. The process of inhalation and exhalation continuous unabated from our birth to death. Not many of us are familiar with this important function. This is the basis of our life. The following are the chief organs of our Respiratory System.
- Trachea (Note: These four extend up to the lungs)
- Bronchial Tubes
- Alveolar Tubes (in the Lungs)
- Nose: There is the small growth of hair inside our nose and the same is intended to prevent the dust-laden air to pass through and get it well filtered before it is inhaled. When the air touches the membrane inside the nose, it first becomes warm and then goes inside. It thus saves the lungs from getting cold suddenly.
- Pharynx: This is the passage for air through nose or mouth behind the tonsils.
- Larynx: This is a sound producing organ. It is like a small box. Air passes out through this very organ.
- Trachea : It is that pipe passing through which the air of the nose reaches the lungs. The upper part of the trachea in the throat somewhat bulging and wide is called larynx. The lower part of it is trachea which is 12cm. long. The chewed food morsel goes into the alimentary canal which is located a little above it & it is covered by a lid over it, fixed in the upper part of trachea. Beyond it, it branches into two parts.
- Bronchial Tubes: The windpipe extends to a point in the upper part of the chest cavity and thereafter gets bifurcated into two parts. It is known as bronchi. One part goes into the right lung and the other to the left. Thereafter they branch out small twigs and assume the shape of a topsy-turvy tree.
- Lungs : They are two in number. Each of the two lungs is located on either side of the chest bone in the chest cavity. In between the two, the Heart is located on the left side. The upper part of each lung is somewhat narrow and the lower part somewhat broad. The lower part of the lungs rests on the diaphragm. The lungs have innumerable air sacks. They are spread like the bunches of grapes, which expand and contract like the sponge. Each lung is enveloped by a double membrane like lining called Pleura. In between these layers is a fluid substance that protects the lungs from any hurt, shock or abrasion.
There are pure (Oxygenated) blood vessels and minute veins intended to provide proper nutrition to lungs & maintain their link with the brain. While inhaling the lungs expand in different directions-left, right, upwards and downwards. The right lung is divided into three lobes and the left into two lobes.
The process of breathing can be divided into two part :
- Outer-Breath: Mixing of blood with oxygen flowing out of lungs and air-chambers as well as the outflow of carbon-dioxide from the air chambers.
- Inner Breath: Oxygen provided by the blood cells & absorption of the same by the body and excretion of carbon-dioxide from inside.
Consequently, chemical reactions take place inside the cells in the form of oxygenation.
Through the medium of above-mentioned processes Pran (Vital energy) goes on entering into our body and it is that energy that makes our movements and actions possible. Pran is different from air & subtler then air. Just as machines are run by the power generated by electricity, similarly the creation and activity of the body remain intact by the force known as Pran.
It is by ‘Yog’ that we can keep this vital energy under control. Through its control starts with Yogasans it is really through Pranayam that we can gain complete mastery Over it.