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Pranayama means ‘Control of Breath.’ In Sanskrit, ‘Prana’ literally means the body’s breath or vital
energy (life force), while ‘yama’ means control. Therefore, the full meaning of Pranayama is ‘Control of
There are a variety of ways to utilize the breath (please see below):
● to calm the nervous system
● to strengthen the energetic body
● to aid in meditation
Pranayama creates stillness in the inner body. Like a pond without the slightest ripple, with
It helps self-reflection to become clearer and more focused. It is not simply ‘breath control.’ Breath is somoething we have voluntary control over.
However, we have no access initially to control other bodily functions, such as the function of organs
like the heart. These functions are autonomic. Through subtle manipulation of the breath, and paying
attention to its pattern and the spaces between each breath, we can begin to notice the movement of
prana, the Life Force itself.
This is the proper goal of Pranayama, not increasing lung capacity or holding the breath for a long duration.
Types Of Pranyama