We have an ability to breathe. Moreover, breathing movements reflect our inner state. When we are calm we breathe in one way, when we are worried we breathe differently and when we sleep there again is different pattern of breathing. Even yoga uses breathing exercises but the effect goes beyond it. Pranayama yoga is working with breathing. However, modern “interpreters” bring it down only simply to the cleaning of lungs and increasing the amount of oxygen. Although all this is true, pranayama yoga gives much deeper influence.
Our three bodies physical, subtle and causal are glued with prana. The source of prana is our Supreme Self. Prana is necessary to keep all the bodies alive. The bodies must interact and transmit the signal from fine structures to rough ones. The body immediately dies if there is no prana. Respiratory movements give a kind of nerve impulse, which is transmitted to fine structures. These structures turn to the source of prana and this source gets back in reverse. Thus, we need respiratory movements not only to inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, but to start up very fine and non-obvious mechanism of prana accumulation as well. Respiratory motions are used in yoga to learn how to get prana and how to manage it.
Impact and danger of pranayama practice
Prana is a tool of supreme Self, prana is the vitality which further is revealed through our bodies as energy and consciousness. Sometimes prana is understood as energy, but this is not entirely right. Prana could reveal as your energy and your consciousness as well. In various situations it will show itself differently as it is universal. In some sense, we need some surplus of prana to transform our body, to purify the channels, to make the centers work, to discover our potential. We can get this surplus practicing pranayama yoga.
Pranayama yoga can give a very powerful fast impact. But it is quite dangerous. First, it is extremely difficult, but it is possible to master it yourself. There are many concealed nuances in this yoga, which can bring you nowhere in your practice. It is mandatory to relax after Pranayama exercises.
You would never get the result from practice if you neglect the relaxation after. It is utterly recommended to make purification, to follow the diet, to be very selective in communication (to choose people to communicate with), to find a place, where you can stay alone while practicing pranayama. It is utterly advisable to start practicing under instructor’s control. It is a big difficulty to find an adequate pranayama yoga instructor. It is a very keen and concealed science. If harmony is the key word in hatha and kriya yoga, then in pranayama yoga it is harmony multiplied by harmony!