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Introduction to Pranayama part 1

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A yogi measures the span of life by the number of breaths, not by the number of years. – Swami Sivananda

One of my favorite quotes, that how I would like to start today’s article. First  I will write about prana….What makes any motion possible: the blink of an eye, the splitting of atoms or the fall of a meteor? Thousands of years ago, the yogis that were living in Himalayas fathomed the inherent quality of motion in creation and they called it prana. Prana, to translate means energy or vital force, however, the word prana assumes the quality of “livingness”. From the yogic point of view, the entire cosmos is alive and throbbing with prana. Everything, all beings, living or non-living, exist due to prana. The Kathopanishad (2:3:2) said: This whole world – whatever there is – vibrates having originated from prana. In Hatha Yoga Pradipika (2:2) we can find out: When prana moves, chitta (consciousness) moves. When prana is without movement, chitta is without movement.

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Often, the word prana is translates as breath, however, prana is not the air that one breathes. Yogis have proved that one can stop breathing for long periods of time and yet continue to live. I love the story about disciple of Saraswati, from Rishikesh. With the disciple scientists did experiment in USA, by putting him in glass room with no air supply, closed his ears and nose, put wax all over his body, that his skin cant breath and scientists ask the disciple to play tabula. In the same room with the man, scientist put lid candle and a monkey))) In 3 minutes candle went off, in 15 minutes monkey fainted, however, the man continue to play on tabula for another 40 minutes. Researchers put a coin on the shaved head of the disciple and notice that coin was popping up and down. Also, they placed microphone against different parts of the body, and everyone could hear aloud constant sound like that of a waterfall. That sound was a movement of prana, that explains one continues to live as long as the pranas are active, even if one stops breathing.

To end today article, it will be again the quote:

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