Why is Pranayama so important?
Because it can give you the power to become a beacon of light and love on this earth.
With modern styles of yoga, the focus shifted majorly to the body. When you begin practicing yoga, the first change you observe in yourself is your body getting stronger and more flexible. For some yogins, that is enough, so they keep practicing yoga to develop their mobility. In that case, Pranayama becomes something that you would only focus on during the asana practice; and not something you would do as a practice itself.
Improving your mobility is the least you can get from your practice. Taking control of your Prana can change your relationship with life completely.
The word Prana means life force energy. Wherever you see, feel, hear life, there is Prana. Without Prana, there is no life, no movement. Even the changing moving part of the consciousness is of Prana. Behind all our actions, choices, there is the force of Prana.
Yogananda Paramahansa calls Prana as ‘lifetrons.’ Prana is not a static force; it moves and flows as it gives life and replenishes vitality.
Pranayama can be simply translated as the control of life force energy. It actually refers to many other things. Pranayama is about:
- Clearing energetic blockages from the healthy flow of life force energy,
- Gathering life force energy
- Containing life force energy
- Becoming aware of the life force energy
- Directing life force energy
- Radiating vitality
There are so many ancient sources that list the benefits of Pranayama. Yet, even by just contemplating what Prana means, we can figure out how empowering and life-changing the awareness of such force can be.
Lifeforce energy is the power behind all our actions and choices.
- If we can direct our Prana into a positive, compassionate, and beneficial direction, then our choices will be aligned with that.
- If we can gather and contain more Prana, our actions will be more powerful.
You know how we all waste our time and energy with things that do not serve us at all. Also, how we keep postponing the things we need to or deeply wish to do.
Why are we doing things that make us feel empty rather than something that fulfills our life?
I can answer this question with a long list of obstacles that I have to deal with almost everyday. And I would not be lying but not completely honest at the same time. I would be deluding myself by overlooking how power I am.
‘Things’ do not have intrinsic power over us. If something is influencing our actions, then we are giving it the capability to do that. Remember that there is Prana behind all actions. Since there are practices to help you direct your Prana, nothing can actually stop you from being whoever you want.
The breath capacity is quite vital for singers. It helps them control and radiate their artistic expression. Similarly, the larger our reserves of Prana, the more energy we will put into each action. Our actions will become more efficient and have a more significant impact.
What I refer to as ‘actions’ include our thinking, walking, talking as well as the times we create or produce something. So through gaining the ability to gather contain and flow Prana without blockages, our life and personality become more vibrant and inspiring.
Luckily we do not even have to choose between having a mobile body and a luminous life. We can have both through our Asana, Pranayama, and meditation practices. Never limit yourself, embody the sacred within.