P ranayama is control of Breath". "Prana" is Breath or bio energy in the body. On subtle levels prana represents the pranic energy responsible for life or life force, and "ayama" means control. So Pranayama is "Control of Breath". One can control the rhythms of pranic energy with pranayama and achieve healthy body and mind.
Five types of prana are responsible for various pranic activities in the body, they are Prana, Apana, Vyan, Udana & Samana. Out of these Prana and Apana are most important. Prana is upward flowing and Apana is downward flowing. Practice of Pranayama achieves the balance in the activities of these pranas, which results in healthy body and mind.
Benefits of Pranayama
Patanjali has said that one develops concentration and clarity of thought by practising Pranayama. It helps in increasing the mental and physical powers of endurance. It is the path to deeper relaxation and meditation and is a scientific method of controlling breath. It provides complete relaxation to the nervous system. It provides relief from pain caused by the compression of nerve endings. It helps in increasing oxygen supply to the brain which in turn helps controlling the mind.
Types Of Pranayama
- Quiet Breathing, Deep Breathing, Fast Breathing
- Tribandha and Pranyama
- Nadi Shuddhi Pranayama
- Ujjay Pranayama
- Bhramari Pranayama
- Pranayama from Hatha Yoga (Surya Bhedan, Bhasrika, Ujjayi, Shitali,Sitkari, Bhramari, Murchha & Plavini Pranayama)
- General Pranayam
- Therapetic Pranayam