Is there any value at all in learning just one aspect of Yoga, such as Pranayama, without the others, or is this dangerous? If so, what are the dangers involved in doing this?

(May 25, 2012)

Yours is an interesting and timely question. What with the popularization of yoga today and every second person proudly wearing the title of ‘yogi,’ the bigger picture of ‘what is yoga?’ seems to have disappeared along the way.

True yoga is a perfect blend of tradition and personal experience. The new and the old provide a gateway to meditation and transformation that few people actually achieve. Any type of yoga will consist of various asanas or yoga poses and pranayama or deep breathing techniques. While the asanas improve your connection with your physical being, the many forms of pranayama that can affect the mind and your consciousness. To do one without the other is possible but ultimately, it serves no purpose. If your aim is to simply to manage your weight or reduce stress or bond with your friends over your yoga mats, just performing the necessary asanas should do the trick. But there cannot be yoga in any true form without pranayama. As any yoga therapist or guru will state, any form of yoga without pranayama is incomplete.

When people speak of the ‘dangers’ of pranayama, it is not the pranayama itself that is dangerous, but the careless guidance of an inexperienced teacher or the practice of various techniques before you are ready that are dangerous. There are proper steps that need to be taken when performing any form of pranayama but if practiced carefully and consciously, there should be nothing to fear.

Submitted by S C on May 25, 2012 at 06:11

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