From the primal sound all creation arose in the form of prana. Scientifically sound is caused by vibrations of a particular quality. The effect of sound is to produce physical change in an organism. Sound is energy. It has been concentrated to such degrees of intensity that objects have been shattered and destroyed. From the knowledge that sound has certain subtle qualities the rishis heard and formulated the mantras and bija mantras.
Principles of sound and the ability to use sound were known to ancient peoples. The great stones of Stonehenge, Easter Island and the Mayan monuments were moved into place using principles of sound now lost to modern civilization. The energy content of the mantra or revealed sound is a subtle form of prana.
Pranayama is a practice for intensifying the meditative technique of nada yoga1. This is indicated by the following quotation: "Proper retention of breath activates the digestive fire and magnifies the astral sounds (nada)..." (Yoga Chudamani v. 99)
Pranayama makes one more sensitive to the inner environment. In this way one is more able to perceive the subtle nada. For this reason try to practise nada yoga immediately after pranayama practice, if it is possible.
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