Pranayama Practice

There is a very close relationship between pranayama and meditational techniques. Control of prana through pranayama eventually leads to cessation of the ceaseless fluctuations of the mind. Systematic dampening and calming of the mind through meditational techniques leads to control of the prana. The mind and prana are directly related. If the mind is like a restless monkey jumping from one thought to another, how can meditation be successfully practised? The aim of both pranayama and meditational techniques is the same: perfect receptivity and quiescence of mind so that one can know higher experience.

In the state of samadhi the prana ceases to flow in the body. Pranayama, therefore, tries to bring about samadhi by directly controlling and eventually stopping the flow of prana. This leads directly to samadhi. In the monumental yogic scripture called the Yoga Vashishthu it says: "Through these practices (pranayama and meditative practices), the prana can be controlled. In this manner one is freed from sorrow, filled with divine ecstasy and becomes enraptured with the supreme experience. If the prana is controlled, the mind will also become very calm. There is an intimate connection between the mind and prana. If the mind is rendered perfectly quiet, then only Brahman (the supreme) remains."

Therefore, don't regard pranayama as mere breathing exercises - it has far greater implications. But it will only bring results ifyou practise carefully and regularly. Pranayama should become an important part of your daily practice. Asanas, pranayama and meditation all affect the differing aspects of your personality.

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