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April 27, 2015
About the value of Pranayama: It is extremely underrated. Without prana there is no life. We can imagine that prana flows into us as we inhale, but prana is also the power behind breathing out. As well, prana is transformed in the body into various powers, and is involved in processes that ensure that we rid ourselves of what we no longer need. Out breath is a very important part of the body's elimination processes. We can use out breath as a mechanism to free the mind from blocks and thereby lead us to greater clarity.
Pranayama or breathing technique is very important in yoga. It gs hand in hand with the asana or pose. In the Yoga Sutras, the practices of pranayama and asana are considered to be the highest form of purification and self discipline for the mind and the body, respectively. The practices produce the actual physical sensation of heat, called tapas, or the inner fire of purification. It is taught that this heat is part of the process of purifying the nadis, or subtle nerve channels of the body. This allows a more healthful state to be experienced and allows the mind to become more calm.
In pranayama we focus our attention on the breath. In the practice of pranayama it is therefore very important to keep an alert mind, for the processes that are being observed are very subtle. There is no visible movement of the body as in asana practice; we must acutely sense and feel the movement of the breath within. The only dynamic process is breathing.
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