apaane juvhati praanam praanepaanam tathaapare |
praanaapaanagati ruddhvaa praanaayaamaparaayanaaha || 29 ||
Others offer the outward breath into the inward breath, and also the inward breath into the outward breath. Halting the movement of both these breaths, they constantly engage in praanaayaam.
apaane : outward breath
juvhati : offer
praanam : inward breath
praane : inward breath
apaanam : outward breath
tathaa : also
apare : others
praana-apaana-gati : movement of these breaths
ruddhvaa : halting
praanaayaam : praanaayaam
paraayanaaha : constantly engage in
In this shloka, Shri Krishna provides more detail around the use of praanaayaam as a form of yajnya. It is to be noted that it no practice of praanaayam should be undertaken without the supervision of a teacher, otherwise it can be harmful.
As we saw earlier, praanaas are the life energies within us that enable all our bodily functions including breathing, digestion, circulation and so on. Moreover, they function as the link between the mind and the body. We know that if our mind is upset all the time, our body develops psychosomatic illnesses due to the praanaas linking the mind and the body.
Since our mind and body are connected via the praanaas, we control the mind by controlling the praanaas. In praanaayaam, one regulates the breathing pattern (breathe in – retain – breathe out) as well as the time interval between each breath. This regulation has a direct impact on the mind. Even without studying pranaayaam, we can see that a few minutes of observing our normal breath helps to quieten the mind.
In this manner, Shri Krishna adds yet another yajnya to the list of yajnyas that one should pursue in order to gradually develop the ultimate vision that everything is the eternal essence.