Ma's India Blog: The Essence of the Breath: Pranayama Mas India

Mas India Posting Page

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pranayama consists of two Sanskrit words: prana meaning “life force” and “ayama,” control or mastering. So pranayama means to control the breath. To what purpose, you might ask? A mundane answer would be that pranayama is a wonderful technique to simultaneously relax and energize the body. A more aware and conscious answer would be to enter into the ultimate samadhi. The beginning of breath is birth and as one leaves the earth, the breath is the last function to leave. As one enters into samadhi one controls one’s breath until that moment when the breath ceases, and while still alive, one has ultimate union with their God. Practicing pranayama is a way to prepare for that moment of union.

For the beginner as well as the more advanced practitioner of pranayama, as one experiences different forms of pranayama, one may make a decision to use one form of pranayama over the

other. For instance, the breaths of kabalabhati or bastrika, two extremely energizing breaths that require rapid breathing, might be good in the morning so as to stoke the digestive fires and restore energy to the body. At nighttime the form of pranayama utilized might be a gentle alternate-nostril breath. What that does is balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems of the body. Or, just a very simple pranayama might be practiced which would be just breathing slowly and methodically through either the mouth or the nose. Ideally, one should perform pranayama in an airy, well-lit, and quiet room so as to produce a true meditative state.The Kali Natha Yoga Booklet as taught by renowned spiritual teacher Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati is a simple but profound 48 page booklet setting forth the ancient form of Kali Natha Yoga as has been perfected and currently taught by a living guru, Ma Jaya. In this booklet we are instructed as to 12 basic asanas accompanied by sections of pranayama and meditation. This book because it is spiral bound easily accompanies the devoted spiritual practitioner who wishes a basic teaching of pranayama and meditation.This Yoga of Breath: A Step-by-Step Guide to Pranayama by Richard Rosen offers the practitioner a fundamental and basic introduction to pranayama and how we may integrate pranayama into our lives. This book is very readable and gives clear, concise descriptions and illustrations of both breath and body awareness exercises. One can see that the practice of pranayama while initially an esoteric yogic practice can now be done to rejuvenate and transform the body so that the yogi might accomplish his spiritual desires. The art of breath and particularly pranayama have never been so accessible to the western practitioner.

Swami Satyananda Saraswati is a true devotee of Swami Satyananda. In 1955 he left Guru Satyananda and lived as a wandering beggar until he founded the International Yoga Fellowship in 1963 and the Bihar School of Yoga. He has authored over 80 books of yogic inspiration. Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha as seen by the title is a compendium of practices of yoga, mudras, bandhas, (energy locks for pranayama), and asanas. For those practitioners who wish to know the nuts and bolts of pranayama specifically, this is the most comprehensively researched book on bandhas, yogic practices and asanas. Doctors and yogic therapists intent on restoring health to their patients while using alternative means use this as a guidebook to health. The illustrations provide an outstanding instruction for those who wish to undertake the esoteric practice of pranayama, the breath of the soul.In Little Book of Yoga Breathing Pranayama Made Easy by Scott Shaw, we are introduced to pranayama, controlling of one’s breath, as it is practiced in 16 breathing exercises. These pranayama exercises are in a step-by-step format designed to help the practitioner discipline and witness his own breath.

by: Mas India icon18_email-3509160icon18_edit_allbkg-2258112

Leave a Comment