Theory and practice of pranayama
Author: BKS Iyengar
After the famous “Theory and practice of Yoga”, this book illustrates the theoretical basis and the execution of the breathing techniques of pranayama. Pranayama - the yogic art of breathing - leads to emotional control and this in turn leads to mental calm, stability and concentration. Pranayama is a bridge that helps Yoga practitioners to step out of the realm of simple physical development to enter that of the spirit. This book is the continuation of Yoga Theory and Practice, one of the classic texts for the study of Yoga in the West. It presents the respiratory system from the point of view of modern anatomy and according to the ancient yoga texts; the author analyzes the fourteen basic types of Pranayama, in order to offer the reader a program of 82 phases, carefully graded from the simplest to the most complex breathing patterns. The work also offers a comprehensive overview of the yoga doctrine and presents other complementary topics (Nadis, Chakras, and Bija Mantra). The techniques of Pranayama are difficult to learn and there are very few masters capable of presenting them in writing in a clear and intelligible way. About 200 photographs portray the same Master Iyengar in the execution of the exercises, while 20 accurate anatomical drawings clarify the movements of the respiratory system and of the body in the preparation and execution of Pranayama. The teaching of BKS Iyengar, following the ancient Indian philosophical tradition, shows how life is not a cycle that moves from dust to dust, but from air to air, and how, in the same way as the fire process, the air is transformed into heat, light and radiation from which we gather the life force. This treatise also offers numerous illuminating indications for the reconciliation and harmony of all therapeutic practices based on the principles of Yoga and the application of Pranayama.