One of the first yoga books I ever read was “Hatha Yoga Pradipika” by Svātmārāma. It was in this book, that I read about pranayama for the first time. I read about it with interest but, alas, I stop paying attention to the breath and instead, I got completely hooked by the physical side of yoga. At the time, no one, mentor or teacher, could explain to me the importance of properly including pranayama in my yoga practice.
It was only when I started practicing Ashtanga, that I started understanding the strong relationship between asanas and the breath. Still, at this stage I was only using Ujjayi breath (Ashtanga way) or Nadi shodana without really understanding why. I knew it was supporting my asanas and my sun salutations by creating heat in my body or calming my lively and busy mind, but that was all. No one taught me the foundation to perform these advance breathing techniques safely and I was using them a bit blindly, without being told the why and the how. Something was missing, I needed to know more, and I decided to explore several classical and less classical methods of breath control.