Pranayama is a Sanskrit term, which has two components: prana – Life Force. And ayama – extension. A literal translation of Pranayama is “ The Extension of Life Force”, it is also known as “The Science of Breath”. If the act of breathing stops, so does life itself, breathing is one of the most important functions of the body. Ancient Pranayama techniques can teach us how to intelligently control our breathing, giving our body more oxygen and energy. It has been understood for many centuries that breathing does more than supply oxygen to the body, when the breath is controlled the inhalation and exhalation can purify and cleanse the body, re-energise an overexerted body and calm an agitated mind.
Yoga breathing involves particular techniques by making full use of the respiratory system, this encourages an increased oxygen supply to the body; circulation improves which delivers oxygen to cells and nerve cells which in turn results in healthier tissues, reduction in tension and stress, calmer nerves and more vitality plus a more efficient distribution of Prana (life force) throughout the body.
There are numerous benefits from practicing yoga breathing techniques; in particular there is a more even distribution of Prana, (which increases vitality and spirit and calm an agitated mind), healthier body cells and tissues plus tension and stress is reduced.
Kathryn Dawes is a registered teacher with Yoga Alliance Professionals.
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