The Pranayama is practiced to transcend yourself so you can see more clearly where you are in time and space and be liberated.
Pranayama is the skillful use of breath to participate in the health of the body. Breathing is the one thing we do at every moment yet most of us do not know how to do it efficiently. Breath manipulation (pranayama) is a method of altering and manipulating the breath through specific breathing techniques to train the lungs to utilize prana more efficiently. Prana is not air, it is space dust, and there is a tremendous amount of these ions, ores, and minerals in the atmosphere for us to use. This feeds our mind and our body. By learning to extract this magic, the body and mind are revitalized. You don’t get the gold without the proper tools and in order to extract this magic, you must learn how to breathe consciously.
The breath is the bridge between the body and the mind. In order to cross over the bridge from asana, the physical postures, into meditation, a state of being, you must learn how to breathe effectively. To manipulate the breath is to manipulate time. Anything in nature that breathes quickly and rapidly deteriorates faster. Any creature that breaths slow and deep lives longer. You can see this in the tortoise versus a mouse. As humans, we have the conscious ability to manipulate our breath to manipulate our time on the planet. As you learn the techniques to utilize your lungs more efficiently, you end up needing less air. At first, we breathe about 16 to 18 breaths per minute but by using these techniques you can eventually get your breath rate under 3 breaths per minute. This lets you have an experience of what it is like to be a hibernating bear.
To learn how to breath properly is liberating. The breath is what makes the muscles porous, and when you don’t breath properly the muscles get tense. It is the nature of the muscles to become dense so you need proper tools to ensure that this does not happen. Pranayama is a seated practice that gives you the tools to participate in your health. Each session starts at the base of the body and works all the way up. Each technique manipulates the chemistry of the glands and flushes out the organs. The ability for you to participate in the chemistry of your glands, the inner state of the body is what makes this practice magical and practical. You are the magician in the centre of your circumstances and when you know how to regulate the breath you can begin to regulate your inner world. All of the practice is a metaphor for life. Pranayama is the key that opens up the lock to the unconscious and autonomic reactions of the body. Eventually, you can control everything down to our heart rate, you just need the proper tools, maps, and guidance.