अपाने जुह्वति प्राणं प्राणेऽपानं तथापरे |
प्राणापानगती रुद्ध्वा प्राणायामपरायणा: || 29||
apāne juhvati prāṇaṁ prāṇe ’pānaṁ tathāpare
prāṇāpāna-gatī ruddhvā prāṇāyāma-parāyaṇāḥ
apāne—the incoming breath; juhvati—offer; prāṇam—the outgoing breath; prāṇe—in the outgoing breath; apānam—incoming breath; tathā—also; apare—others; prāṇa—of the outgoing breath; apāna—and the incoming breath; gatī—movement; ruddhvā—blocking; prāṇa-āyāma—control of breath; parāyaṇāḥ—wholly devoted;
Some, again, constantly practising the regulation of prāna, offer the oblation of prāna into apāna, and apāna into prāna, or stop the passage of both prāna and apāna. Yet others, restricting their food, offer their prānas in the prānas.
The technique of breath control is described here as a form of sacrifice. In the science of Ashtanga Yoga, the fourth stage is Pranayama. This practice is helpful in removing the diseases of the body and keeping the mind still. Pranayama has three parts. Breathing in is called Puraka; expelling the breath is called Rechaka; and retention of breath is called Kumbhaka. Pranayama is often accompanied with some holy mantra like OM.
Breathing (Prana) is closely connected with the operations of the mind. It is everybody’s experience. When a gust of passion disturbs the mind, the breath becomes at once irregular, and as the passion cools down the breath also becomes normal. When the breath is irregular owing to some physical exertion, it is again impossible to concentrate the mind. So regularity of breathing always accompanies mental concentration. By controlling the breath, the mind is also controlled. For this reason, breath control is prescribed as a healthy and helpful practice in spiritual life. The seeker has to learn the technique from a competent master. Here breath-control is mentioned as a form of sacrifice.