From Autoimmune Disease to Naturally Healed – Story of Niraj Naik of SOMA Breath
Niraj Naik is a former pharmacist and the founder of SOMA Breath school who knows first-hand about the healing power of breath. His story proves just how effective proper breathing is. Struggling with an autoimmune disease, Naik was forced to search for a solution and found an answer in ancient Pranayama techniques. He later created SOMA Breathwork by combining Pranayama techniques with modern science, self-composed music, and a healthy lifestyle. As a living testimony to this method, the ex-pharmacist was motivated to help others find healing in the ancient breathing techniques.
Niraj Naik’s story began when he graduated in pharmacology from Cardiff University, UK. He began his career as a community pharmacist in the United Kingdom, where he served for 7 years inspired to help people overcome health challenges. The demanding schedule and intense stress were both physically and mentally draining for Naik. Also, he found it demoralizing to prescribe pharmaceutical drugs to his patients who never seemed to get better. All of this added up, and when combined with poor nutrition, resulting in a frightening diagnosis: ulcerative colitis, an autoimmune disease with no known cure.
In his early 30s, Naik was offered a choice between a colon removal surgery or becoming a patient for a drug that hasn’t been tested yet. Faced with two unfavorable options, Naik was desperate for an alternative way. A suggestion came from an old family friend – Swami Ambikananda of The Traditional Yoga Association. She reminded him of a route of natural healing. Using his medical background, Naik began experimenting with different diets, studying deeply about his own body, and reading the core principles of ancient practices such as Ayurveda, which stated that physical health is a response to a spiritual disturbance caused by mental problems. To learn more about his mind, he began studying Pranayama, a Sanskrit word that translates to “breath control. Prana is the breath or life force, and “Ayama” means “control”. By using Pranayama practice daily, Naik began to feel better, more focused, and in control of both his mind and body. Niraj Naik was able to overcome his illness and regain control of his health after several months of dedicated practice, as well as a change in his diet and health habits.
After recovering from the autoimmune disease that was deemed ‘incurable’, Naik composed a syllabus that consisted of everything he learned and experienced; hence, establishing the SOMA Breath, a process that incorporates modern science, music, and dance with an ancient style of breathwork. According to Niraj Naik, “It took me at least 18 months before I was confident enough to launch SOMA Breath, a school that shares a variety of breath techniques I had learned in my entire journey. Getting constant validation from high-level people in the industry helped build my confidence. The founder of Zumba told me that my course could be the next Zumba. The final push was facilitating a Mindvalley University workshop for hundreds of people in Barcelona. The reactions were incredible and sealed my confidence.”
Now a worldwide and rising trend, SOMA Breathwork is both an online school and a community consisting of students and professional instructors all around the world. Over 1100 people got certified as Soma Breath instructors and the online community is growing. We wish Niraj Naik the best on his journey and hope that his unique life story draws more and more people to this powerful method.