Meditation is a practice that involves many aspects. The breath is one of the most important. The reason being is that through the breath, a person can connect to their prana or life force energy. However the question remains, why is it important to tap into this energy?
According to Janice Gates in this Yoga Journal article, using the breath to tap into your prana allows you to increase or decrease your energy and bring your body into balance. For those who have been meditating for a while, being as balanced as possible prior to going into a meditation can be very helpful. Additionally, a body scan done before meditating can help a person focus on which areas of the body are deficient and need attention.
Meditation can be challenging. Even after you’ve had a taste of its benefits and long for those sweet moments of inner calm, clarity, and deep connection, it can be hard to just sit. If you’re like most people, you may find that one day your mind is speeding into the future, your body feels agitated, and you can’t sit still, while the next day you’re so lethargic that you can hardly stay awake. Don’t be discouraged. Resting with ease in meditation doesn’t magically happen. But there is a path to help you get there: Through your breath, you can tap into the flow of prana (life force) to increase, decrease, or focus your energy, bringing you into a state of balance and making it easier to sit with relaxed attention in meditation.
Read more here from Gates on the importance of prana in your meditation practice.