(Last Updated on : 03/03/2010)
Quite a handful of exercisers practice Plavani in great exuberance after noticing the wide ranging benefits that it usually generates. The term Plavani is a derivation of an adjective and also is a feminine word itself. In general it means to float and thus enables a person to feel a sense as if he is widely floating in the water.
What is unique of this Plavani Pranayama is that exercise along with its techniques is capable enough of lowering the 'specific gravity' quite below the normal. It is lowered to such a great extent that any body can remain floated on the surface of water, just like a leaf of a lotus flower. It is not unknown to any one that in normal circumstance while floating a part of one body sinks below the water surface. However the body of an ardent practitioner of Plavini does not sink and the whole body remains floating.
This Pranayama requires air to be introduced into the stomach and also into the lungs. The introduction of air into the lungs is a normal affair. In Pranayamas one has to make this inhalation as deep as possible. So there is nothing unusual in it. But pumping air into the stomach is neither natural nor usual. But a student of Plavini has first to fill his stomach completely before he is to start his Puraka.
Before delving deep in to the matter, it is important to known some bit of information about the anatomy of a human throat. Esophagus is the passage between the pharynx and the stomach and thus when one devours any food or drink water , it first goes into his mouth and then swallows it through this organ . Again at the lower end of the esophagus there is a muscular ring, better known as cardiac sphincter. Generally it remains enclosed, but it opens automatically as soon as for food or water that is swallowed. These swallowed food and water ultimately find its way into the stomach.
Here comes the skill of a Plavani exerciser who can imitate this action of swallowing of air. In order to do that, after taking a mouthful of air he closes his mouth and tries to swallow it. When one swallows air, some amount of saliva gets mixed up. After that, this saliva mixed air goes down the esophagus, finally finding its way to the stomach through the 'cardiac sphincter'. As an advantage of Plavani one can develop the ability to swallow air easily Due to this exercise one can swallow air so easily that one can get his stomach inflated hugely .
As a result of this stomach enlargement, the abdomen pops out and the abdominal muscles become so stretched out that even a little bit of tapping can really produce a loud and deep sound. Also the Plavani exerciser can have the advantage to keep this air as it is for a quite a long time. He can even drive it out through the esophagus and also the mouth quite artificially. One can find it as if it just comes out in a reflex thus expelling gas noisily from the stomach through the mouth. With expertise one can even draw out a very huge quantity of the air that has been swallowed in a continuous manner..
So far the Yogin has dealt with his stomach only. The large quantities of air introduced in the stomach and the lungs not only increase the size of the abdomen in quite a remarkable manner, also the chest and air become much lighter. It can even become lighter than water, thus lowering the specific gravity of the Yoga exerciser, which enables him to float almost wholly on the surface of water. However there is misconception regarding the postures that one undertakes while doing Plavani. It is not always done while floating. Even while sitting also one can easily perform all the techniques of this beautiful Plavini exercise.