Pranayama – Your Vital Life Force is in the Breath.


Pranayam is one of the eight limbs of yoga.  Pranayama, of breath work, is defined in yoga terms as the body’s life-force.  Pranayama is so essential to the practice of yoga that it is a science unto itself.  Yoga practitioners take years to learn breath Breathing Pranayama Pose

The average person does not breathe correctly.  He takes short, shallow breaths, that only partially fill his lungs before he releases the breath back into the air.  This happens for a number of reasons.  First, the average person sits slumped over in his chair.  Poor posture restricts the airways, so it is anatomically impossible to get a full breath of air.  Second, the average person lives a fast-faced life full of many anxieties and stresses.  The body responds to stress by breathing more quickly, which does not allow us to take in the maximum amount of breath we should.

Pranayama yoga Breathing helps teach yoga practitioners the importance of breath work and provides them with the tools to improve their breath intake.  Mastering Pranayama has a number of benefits:

  1.  It improves oxygenation throughout the body, which aids in the detoxification
  2. It increases energy within all of the bodily organs.  The organs are able to work more efficiently and effectively when they have received the maximum about of energy.
  3.  The various internal systems of the body, including the , the nervous system, the digestive system, and the endocrine system all work more efficiently.  This decreases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and the risk of disease caused by a compromised immune system.
  4. Increase oxygen intake helps fight the signs of aging.
  5.  Deep breathing helps to relax the mind and rid the muscles of tension.

Pranayama yoga is meant to harness energy, which gives us mental clarity, physical stamina, and internal rejuvenation.  Without breath, we would wither and die.  It makes sense that becoming aware of our breathing would increase the quality of our life.

The first step in Pranayama yoga is to become aware of our breathing patterns.  This is achieved by sitting still , either in a Breathing  yoga pose or just still in your office chair, and focus on filling your abdomen and then chest full of air.  Note the different stages of breath, including the pause between breath intake and release.  Note your own method of breathing.  Do you breathe through your mouth only?  Your mouth and nose?  Just your nose?  Is you breath quick and shallow, or erratic and jerky?  Pranayama breathing encourages breathing through the nose.  A proper breath will be a long, smooth current that fills the lower abdomen then the chest and then releases the air from the chest and empties the abdomen.

There are a number of Pranayama yoga exercises that incorporate various postures that bring awareness to breath control.  Pranayama yoga is crucial: you will vastly improve the quality of your life by harnessing the energy provided through proper breath work.  Practicing Pranayama yoga will help you learn to properly breathe even when you are not practicing yoga.








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