The subject of Pranayama is a broad aspect of Yoga which could hardly be explained fully in these few pages. It is a complete and comprehensive science in its own right, which needs years of dedicated practice to perfect. However, there are a few elementary pranayama techniques which should be included in every yoga class, and these will be outlined in the course.
Yoga today has the reputation of most people that it is a form of exercise. This is because, in the earliest days of its migration into the west, it was promoted as part of the “body beautiful” and “fitness craze.” Also, the bodily postures and contortions of skinny little Indians were seen as the most photogenic and outrageous aspects of yoga.
In just one short phrase, Yoga is an ancient spiritual science. It has been known and preserved for thousands of years in many countries all over the world and in the last few decades. It has become well known and popular in the western world due to an emergence of interest in the mystical eastern paths as well as for its practical relevance for the stresses and illnesses of modern day life.
There is no reason that expectant mothers may not continue to practice Yoga right up to the time of birth, and in fact, it is most advised that regular practice of all aspects of Integral Yoga should be employed for the well being of mother and baby. There has been a long-standing belief amongst many doctors, mothers, and even some yoga teachers, that Yoga should not be performed during pregnancy. This attitude comes more from ignorance of Yoga than from a proper understanding of it.
Many people these days are looking for methods of natural health cures and health maintenance. The Asian and eastern methods of healing are becoming more and more popular. There is a growing commitment to “healing thyself” without need or dependency on other persons or medicines.