Pranayama and the power of yoga: breathing. Pranayama: is the science within the larger science of yoga. Although yoga and pranayama have existed for thousands of years;their existence in the western consciousness is a few hundred years old at best.
Additionally yoga and pranayama are interconnected; there are also internal and external pranayama systems; which practice forms of pranayama. Yet, most martial arts can track their lineage back to yoga. The science of pranayama has evolved over thousands of years.
Pranayama is the fourth limb of patanjalis yoga. Within the past few centuries pranayama has become, globally popular. This is due to its healing properties. The hatha yoga pradipika, is believed to have been written in the 15th century. The gheranda- samhita is said to have been written in the 17th century. Both of the above mentioned texts concerning a variety of pranayama techniques for healing.
Within the hatha yoga pradipika; instructions are given for surya, bhedan, Ujjayi, Sitkari, Sitali, bhastrika, bhramari, murchha and plavini. Kapalabahti is covered just a little earlier, in the hathayoga pradipika, under the instructions of the Shatkarmas.
Yet, the exact origin of the pranayama is still unclear. It is said that Brahman priests developed pranayama for oral transmission of the vedas. The vedas are a compilation of prayers and hymns. The vedas took shape in written form, approximately 4,000 years ago. Long before the vedas was actually put into writing. Brahman priests carried the message in their minds.
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