If you’re from India, chances are at some point in your life, somebody must have taught you this exercise for breathing: Inhale for five seconds, hold your breath and then slowly exhale it out.
You’ve probably subconsciously been doing it since it was taught to you. Climbed too many stairs at one go? Reach the top and take a few seconds to do this exercise to stabilize your breathing. Having a panic attack? Concentrate on your breathing first to calm down your fast-beating heart.
And while this may have become common household practice for Indians, it actually stems from Yoga, and has a name - ‘Pranayama.’
‘Praṇayama’ is a Sanskrit word which means “breath control," and has been around for hundreds of years. And while all of this may seem ordinary to you, an Scientific American article explaining this exact process, stated that : ‘Proper Breathing Brings Better Health.’ To this, Indians on Twitter replied, “We know. We’ve known for thousands of years."
To be fair, the Scientific American article does mention Pranayama.
“Recommendations for how to modulate breathing and influence health and mind appeared centuries ago as well. Pranayama (“breath retention”) yoga was the first doctrine to build a theory around respiratory control, holding that controlled breathing was a way to increase longevity."
However, then it delves into “more modern times" and explains how “cardiac coherence offers more detail about the ways that breathing exercises promote relaxation."
Indians on Twitter replied to this saying how this was “literally yoga," and not really a new scientific discovery.
This alternate nostrils breathing called Nadi Shodhana is a 5000 years old Yoga science of ancient India which is still practiced today. It balances the major nadis Ida,Pingala,Sushumna & the subtle energy centers or chakras. You’ll probably learn about it in another 5000 years.— Krishna Khandige🇮🇳 (@KKhandige) January 27, 2019
1. Steal knowledge from ancient cultures and native traditions2. Rename it and erase origins3. Claim it as your invention, attack native traditions as “superstition.”
History of the West. These techniques come from yoga, developed over millennia of research in India.
— Sankrant Sanu सानु (@sankrant) January 28, 2019
Ancient Indian Name - PranayamModern Scientific Name - Cardiac Coherence Breathing?Ancient Indian Name - Yoga NidraModern Scientific Name - Lucid-Dreaming?
— Rohit Kumar Jha (@blackholesmerge) January 27, 2019
Shamelessly appropriating yoga in the name of science ?
— अमित शुक्ल (गर्ग) 🇮🇳 (@NaMo_SARKAAR) January 27, 2019
Huh? It’s not “cardiac coherence breathing.” It’s called Pranayama and it’s been around for a long time in India. Quit stealing Hindu ideas and then renaming them.— Hindu Americans (@HinduAmericans) January 27, 2019
😅😅😅 #Pranayama - the Ancient yoga wisdom and a symbol of brahminical patriarchy in India is now being approved by scientific American as a anxiety dampener. West continues to copy Indian ancient wisdom and flaunts it as their brainwave
— Antevasin🇮🇳 (@Antevasin10) January 28, 2019
Detailed description of the benefits of the 2500-year-old Indian technique of pranayama, dressed up in 21st c. scientific language as “cardiac coherence breathing"! It’s taking the West a few millennia to learn what our ancients taught us millennia ago, but hey, you’re welcome… https://t.co/LLltRZ3pP5— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) January 29, 2019
Cardiac coherence breathing is the next turmeric latte 🙄 #pranayama
— zibi (@zibijamal) January 29, 2019
The Scientific American article ends on the note - “Think Reassuring Thoughts While Breathing." None of Indian Twitter seemed to have done that.
Here’s India’s most common icon displaying “Cardiac Coherence Breathing." Or, as it’s been called for over 2000 years, Pranayam.