Pranayama Yoga

(July 4, 2010)

What is Pranayama Yoga

Pranayama yoga simply means control of breath. The term ‘prana’ means the breath or the vital energy in the body and ‘ayama’ means control. With pranayama one controls the rhythmic pattern of the breathing and thus achieves a healthy body and mind. Pranayama is the fourth stage of yoga in Patanjali’s eight sutras. Pranayama is known to the development and control of life force. Pranayama helps us to control the breathing or our life force and then maximizes the benefits we gain from it. In pranayama the intention is to enrich the blood with oxygen and thereby improve oxygen supply to the brain and other organs.
Pranayama yoga if done wrongly can harm a person. This fear usually dissuades people from taking up pranayama. The other reason for its unpopularity is that there are not many people who can teach it scientifically. It has been found that people who practice pranayama unscientifically, and without proper guidance risk serious injuries. If you practice pranayama with appropriate guidance you can learn quickly, becoming proficient in the discipline and reaping great benefits. Before taking up pranayama most people prefer to stick to the preliminary exercises. The process of pranayama consists of understanding the speed and nature of breathing.
The breathing pattern is divided in three parts:-
• The normal smooth breathing pattern which doesn’t require any effort is called quiet breathing
• The process of deliberately slowing down the breathing or protracted breathing is known as deep breathing.
• The process of quick breathing which means that there is a deliberate breathing pattern that involves fast breathing.

There are various forms of pranayama. Some of the popular forms are ujjayee, shitali, viloma, kapalatibhali, anuloma, suryabhedana, and bhastrika among others.  Pranayama yoga involves simple hand gestures. There are lots of different ways of performing pranayama. Some of the yoga poses can be practiced in sitting position whereas some can be done in the standing position. With the right guidance, pranayama can be gradually controlled. There are various forms of inhaling and exhaling. Through pranayama you get acquainted with these patterns which help with the preparation of the actual practice of breathing.
It can take months for a person to truly become receptive to the regulated flow of breathing. Proper practice of pranayama can help control almost any disease but improper practice is also capable of bringing out a whole lot of respiratory problems. So it is very important to gain control over breath in the appropriate way.

Submitted by A on July 4, 2010 at 02:38

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