Asana requires good breathing skills; it is the breath that helps you maximize each asana. Pranayama is the science of breathing; how you breathe is as important as the pose.
THE BOTTOM LINE
You’ll be encouraged to think about how you breathe and then to concentrate on your inhalation (inward breath) and your exhalation (outward breath). You might find inhaling easier than exhaling or vice versa. The key to breathing in yoga is to first become aware of how you breathe.
The Science of Breathing
Breathing is a continuous, exact process, yet we pay scarce attention to our breath. Breath is life. Our lungs are the bridgeway to our oxygen supply. It is the automatic act of breathing that carries oxygen to the blood and brain and controls the flow of prana, our vital energy.
It is as difficult to explain prana as it is to explain God,â wrote B. K. S. Iyengar in Light on Pranayama: The Yogic Art of Breathing. “Prana is the energy permeating the universe at all levels. It is physical, mental, intellectual, sexual, spiritual, and cosmic energy. All vibrating energies are prana. It is the hidden or potential energy in all beings, released to the fullest extent in times of danger. It is the prime mover of all activity. It is energy which creates, protects, and destroys. Vigor, power, vitality, life, and spirit are all forms of prana.”
Let’s begin to scratch the surface.
â¢ Pranayama is the channeling of life-force or energy.
â¢ All yoga involves pranayama.
â¢ Yoga breathing teaches a specific way to inhale and exhale.
â¢ There is an effective way to breathe.
â¢ Correct breathing energizes the body and the mind.
â¢ There are several simple breathing exercises.
â¢ Prana flows through nadis, or channels.
â¢ There are three important nadis for the flow of prana.
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