Saturday, February 9, 2013

Difference Between Pranayama and Deep Breathing

The word pranayama means the prolongation of the breath and its restraint.  One might think this is the same as deep breathing, but Mr. Iyengar explains the difference wonderfully in an interview from 1984.

Mr Iyengar:
The body is made up of five elements..ether, air, water, fire and earth. When we do deep breathing we forget the subtle element, the ether, and start from the other end, the earth.  When you breathe in or inhale forcibly, the earth is activated first, which is nothing but the movement of the muscles.
In pranayamic breathing all the elements are kept passive to experience the vibration and space.  The quality of ether is vibration or sound.  The sound of the incoming breath should be so soft, so delicate, that the sound, which vibrates comes from the inner interior space to touch the place, the body of the chest wall.  If the body is jerked faster then the breath, it is deep breathing.

Pamela Nelson

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