In the Himalayan system of Dhyana Yoga, the practice of Pranayama exercises is one of the most important preparations for experiencing the depths of the practice of meditation.
The word Pranayama can have two definitions: “control of prana” and “expansion of prana”. Both of these definitions apply simultaneously in our approach of what the practice of Pranayama consists of as a preparation for meditation. Practice of breath regulation through practical knowledge, awareness and volition leads to an expansion and control of our energetic capacity.
Breath awareness and breath regulation are two of the most important components in learning and teaching yoga breathing practices and pranayama.
In this area, the physiology of breathing is examined along with the subtler practices of pranayama that link mind, breath and body. This relationship is explored through understanding the anatomy of breathing in the physical body, as well as pranayama and breath-awareness in the subtle body.
The underlying principles of pranayama, as defined in the Yoga Sutras, deepen this understanding of the subtle body and of the experience of the Koshas (layers of the physical/energetic/mental personality) and the pathways (nadis) through which prana flows, its refinements leading to the stability of the mind field.
In the Himalayan Tradition, preliminary to the practice of pranayama, an emphasis is placed on correct posture to enable correct diaphragmatic breathing and the subtle elements of breath awareness as taught by the yogis. Mastery of these serves as a foundation for more advanced pranayamas, which flow as a continuum into the practices of sense withdrawal, concentration and meditation.
This programmes offers an opportunity to learn the subtleties of breath practices.
Science of Breath by Swami Rama, Dr. Rudolph Ballentine, and Dr. Alan Hymes.
A Practical Guide to Holistic Health by Swami Rama
Meditation and Its Practice by Swami Rama
Path of Fire and Light (Vol. 2) by Swami Rama
Yogic Practices of the Himalayan Tradition as taught by H.H. Swami Rama of the Himalayas by Dr. Prakash Keshaviah