Pranayama is one of the finest practices one can learn and do. It is suitable for anyone, even for the sick who are unable to move or bedridden.

Prana is the life force, life energy. In Indian languages, if one is dead, it is communicated like this-” Prana has left” or if one is doubtful of a fainted person, and checks, then it is communicated as ” Yes, there is Prana”.

If the word Pranayama is split into Prana + Ayama , we can arrive at the depth of it. Prana is the life force and Ayama means elongating, stretching, dragging, pulling. Hence Pranayama means, elongating one’s Prana ( the life force). A practice that helps to elongate, stretch one’s Prana is Pranayama.

Prana can be elongated by few obvious ways. By the right food, right breathing, right association, and appropriate life style.

However, predominantly, Pranayama is commonly called as a breathing exercise. But the word exercise, has its root to Exert, which means expending, dissipating, tired.  But here Pranayama is to elongate , which means the method should help to conserve, increase and then elongate.  So, we can call it to be breathing practice. This is because, breath is the vehicle through which Prana’s movement is seen easily, obviously.

The quality of breath, shows the quality of Prana in one’s life. So Pranayama is a practice that helps to understand the current quality of my Prana. Also it helps to make the mind to stay focussed, to become aware of our actions- actions of body and mind.

Pranayama is one such practice that helps the body, mind and breath to be at one place, space and time. Let us see more about Pranayama with future contents.

At Thapas we begin from infant steps in Pranayama that best suit any individual to learn and practice . Then with time, and practice each student is guided to move to next steps , gradually, higher and deeper.

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