Pranayama is the practice of proper conscious Yoga breathing techniques. ‘Prana’ means the air we breathe, life breath, the life force of nature. ‘Yama’ means restraint or control. Thus, Pranayama is a Yogic method of controlled breathing, controlling the flow of prana.
The aim of practising pranayama is to use its various therapeutic effects on the body to soothe the nervous and endocrine systems, to achieve physical, mental and emotional relaxation and tranquillity, and ultimately to improve our health. When we breathe deeply, our respiratory, circulatory, digestive and nervous systems work better. Pranayama increases the supply of oxygen to the lungs and consequently to the blood. Yogic breathing techniques can be used for healing for such ailments as: asthma, bronchitis, colds, sinus problems, nervous tension, neurosis, insomnia, headaches, indigestion, abnormal weight, constipation, and smoking.
Thanks to the practice of pranayama, the heartbeat rate slows, high blood pressure drops, digestion improves, and our minds become clearer, nerves calmer. Our concentration improves. Stress, anger and tension disappear. Correct breathing balances the positive and the negative forces and soothes the nerves, body and mind. A fresh dose of prana allows the Yogi to heal others.
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