Pranayama is an exact science. It is the fourth Anga or limb of Ashtanga Yoga. It is the regulation of breath or control of Prana.
Pranayama steadies the mind, augments the gastric fire, energises digestion, invigorates the nerves, destroys the Rajas, destroys all diseases, removes all laziness, makes the body light and healthy and awakens Kundalini.
Pranayama should be practised when the stomach is empty. Be regular in your practice. Do not take bath immediately after the practice. Do not practise Kumbhaka or retention of breath in the beginning. Have only slow and mild Puraka (inhalation) and Rechaka (exhalation). Do not strain the breath beyond your capacity. Keep the ratio for Puraka, Kumbhaka and Rechaka as 1:4:2. Exhale very very slowly.
Sit on Padma, Siddha or Sukha Asana. Keep the head, neck and trunk in a straight line.
Inhale slowly through the left nostril and retain the breath according to the ratio, then exhale slowly through the right nostril. This is half process of Pranayama. Then inhale through the right nostril, retain and exhale through the left nostril. Do not retain the breath for more than one or two minutes.
Do ten or twenty Pranayamas according to your capacity. Do not fatigue yourself. Increase the number gradually. You can go up to 16:64:32. This is Sukhapurvaka or easy comfortable Pranayama.
Practise Sitali in summer. This will purify your blood and cool the system too. Practise Bhastrika in winter. This will cure asthma and consumption. Repeat Om or Rama mentally during the practice. Observe Brahmacharya and diet-control. You will derive maximum benefits and will quickly purify the Nadis or nerves. Prana and mind are intimately related to each other. If you control Prana, the mind will also be controlled. If you control the mind, the Prana will be automatically controlled. Prana is related to
mind, and through it to will and through will to the individual soul and through individual soul to the Supreme Soul.
Start the practice this very second in right earnest. Control the breath and calm the mind.
Steady the breath and enter Samadhi. Restrain the breath and lengthen the life. Subdue the breath and become a Yogi, a dynamo of power, peace, bliss and happiness.