The Art of Pranayama
PRANA refers to the Universal Life Force or all pervaiding Consciousness, AYAMA means to regulate or lengthen the technique. Prana is the vital energy needed by our physical and subtle layers, without which the body would perish. It is that energy what nurtures us and the whole universe, and that which keeps us alive. Pranayama is the control of the flow of Prana via the flow of our breath, drawing it from outside the body, into the body with the aim to be permanently stored therein.
As a result our energy and level of consciousness are raised so that a natural spirituality is awakend.
Prana flows through thousands of subtle energy channels called “Nadis” and energy centers called “Chakras”.
The quantity and quality of Prana and the way it flows through the Nadis and Chakras determines one’s state of mind.
If the Prana level is high and its flow is continuous, smooth and steady, the mind remains calm, positive and enthusiastic and our spiritual heart is open.
However, due to ignorance or lack of knowledge and awareness to one’s breath, the Nadis and Chakras in the average person may be partially or fully blocked leading to an unsteady flow. As a result one experiences increased worries, fear, uncertainty, tensions, conflict and other negative qualities.
The ancient sages of India realized these breathing techniques.
If practiced properly Pranayama enhances the quality and quantity of Prana in our body-mind-system, clears out overcharged energies and blockages and results in the practitioner feeling energetic, positive and happy.
Practiced correctly under the right supervision Prananyama brings harmony between the body, mind and spirit, making one physically, mentally and spiritually strong.
It is important to practice Pranayama as taught in Yoga classes. Do not experiment with them on your own.
The most purifying form of Pranayama, which is traditionally applied during Ashtanga and all forms of Vinyasa Yoga, is Ujjayi Breath.