Question: Are breathing practices different from Meditation/Sadhana?
Answer: Yes and No. In my earlier days I would have been able to pin-point to a particular practice which led to the awakening--but actually now I feel differently. Everything is cause of everything else as such and in my life too everything I did--be it reading or playing or crying or exercises or breathing or meditation--it all led to the awakening. Different people categorize things differently. We've already discussed what meditation consists of--but there's no hard and fast definition--but from the viewpoint of energy you can understand what it does--it provides the necessary amount of energy required to awaken. See--we all sometimes feel that there are moments of complete serenity, complete satisfaction, complete acceptance--life feels full--you don't need anything any more--these moments might be very fleeting--very temporary--but they're there--sometimes the surrender--the acceptance of what is--happens when you accept the defeat and cry your heart out. But the forces of Avidya( Maya) pull you down into the slumber immediately. It's so because you need immense energy to wake up--this energy is provided by the Kundalini which is actually a great dynamo in an inert state-Kundalini can also be called Atmavidya. I never wanted to awaken Kundalini--because I always had the impression in my mind that the Kundalini path is the path of Tantra and it's misleading--but it happened automatically to me and when I was ripe ( or perhaps not) it was a full-blown awakening. Breathing exercises generate energy and if you're attentive it can also be a type of meditation--meditation is all about saving energy and increasing awareness. Sadhana is literally "to control"--to control body and mind--to harness the instrument for using it to increase awareness.