Prana is the name given to the universal life giving and sustaining energy of nature. We are kept refuelled with this vital need every minute of the day and night through the process of respiration. Most of this process occurs unconsciously. When we learn to direct our awareness to the mechanism of breathing and focus our conscious mind upon respiration so that we can direct our energy it is known as the practice of Pranayama.
The breath is our lifeline whereby our subtle connection is maintained between body and soul. There are many yogic practices that suggest unusual capacities and these can be demonstrated by yogis skilled in the mastery of this discipline. However, only the simplest exercises that interfere with the natural, unconscious rhythms should be practised without personal instruction. For example –