All the time because of the extra focus on the Asana practices, Pranayama (breathing exercise) is ignored when it actually can help you to recover so many problems and diseases.
There is a reason why Pranayama is in the forth position in the “Yoga Sutra” by Maharshi Patanjali after Asana practices. In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, the importance of Asana is for the Pranayama practice only.
“Tasminsati shwasaprashwasayorgativicchedaha pranayamaha’’ ( chapter II Sutra 49)
“In that state of being in particular Asana (posture) , breaking (or blocking) the movement of inhalation or exhalation breath is known as Pranayama.”
Pranayama (regulation of breath) is done in three ways: Inhalation, Exhalation and retention. In sanskrit: Puraka, Rechaka and Kumbhaka. Pranayama is practiced (after a certain posture is attained masterly) by fixing a particular time bound and a ration between three processes (usually 1:4:2).
In Yoga, Pranayama is not just considered as breathing exercise but also know as “Energy Practices”. Prana which is know as “Life” or “Energy” creates our “Energy body” which is the bridge between our “physical body” and “mental body”.
In today’s world most of the human being are suffering from the mental problems like anxiety, anger and depression. Pranayama (Energy practices) can directly take control over mind easily and can make it calm down and more focused which is difficult for the physical exercises.
For our physical body, Pranayama is the only exercise which can reduce and increase our body internal heat in a controlled manner. When body’s internal heat is fluctuated or influenced by our daily routine or habits, after a time period our body catch many diseases like low or high blood pressure, sugar, heart problems, joints problems, kidney problems etc. Daily practice of Pranayama can remove all theses diseases forever.
Overall Pranayama is considered a higher practice of yoga which is done when you can get a certain posture right, to make your body healthy and mind ready for more higher practices like Meditation.
Hope you liked this thought. Thank you !