For many Hindus it is customary to touch the ground with reverence on stepping out of bed. To all Hindus the earth is a mother. It provides all the needs of mankind just as a mother provides the needs of a child. The practice of touching the earth gives u
The word pranayam is made up of two words, pran and ayama. The word pran means the vital breath or vital air. The word ayama denotes regulation or control So, pranayam means regulated or controlled breathing. The purpose of pranayam is to take full advantage of the vital breath. Pranayam is an important part of Asthangyoga.
Maharishi Patanjali has said: .
The process of inhaling and exhaling step by step, first inhaling air deeply into the lungs, holding it there for some time and then exhaling, is known as pranayam.
In the Manusmriti, pranayam is praised as:
Just as fire removes the impurities of gold, silver and other metals when they are heated to high temperatures, in the same way pranayam removes waste matters not only enhancing effectiveness of the senses, but also cleansing the body and the mind and removing disorders. It helps bring the body and senses in control.