Pranayama

Yoga breathing also improves brain function (intelligence and memory), as well as increasing the elimination of toxins from the system. The total effect of Yoga Asanas and breathing is to produce a state of high vitality and rejuvenation. It also enhances concentration, focus, cardiovascular health and reduces tension, stress and stiffness.  Life Energy is called prana (prah-nah). In sanskrit, the word for breath is the same as the word for life – prana.

The first thing you do as you enter this world is to inhale. Your last act in this life is to exhale. When prana leaves the body, we die. The breath is a metaphor for life energy. In yoga, we want to sustain and augment the life force as much as possible, absorbing as much prana through breath, visual surroundings, sound, food and all our senses as much as possible. The most significant way of doing this is through the practice of pranayama (prah-nah-yah-mah), breathing techniques or breath control. Yama (yah-mah) is translated as control, discipline, regulation or mastery. Hence, as "breath control." Ayama (ah-yah-mah) is expansion, growth or magnification. Hence, another translation is "expansion of the life force." Both are somewhat translated as "breath control". 

Pranayama Benefits:
  • Increases healthy digestion will improve your entire state of health - body and mind
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Calms and steadies the mind
  • Improves focus and concentration
  • Raises or lowers blood pressure, depending upon the technique chosen and the desired result
  • Provides sufficient oxygen for the functioning of every cell in our body
  • Increases lung capacity
  • Allows the body a sufficient supply of oxygen and increases health positively
  • Reduces stress
  • Improves emotional control and equilibrium
  • Improves physical control of the body
  • Removes waste products such as Carbon Dioxide and other toxic gases from the body, so they do not remain in the blood stream.
  • Spiritual benefits of breathing - healthy body, calm mind, and inner serenity
  • Nasal passages have many nerve endings, and breathing techniques stimulates calming centers of the brain
  • Opens blockages to energy flow in the body
  • Strengthen and gain control of the diaphragm - improving abdominal tone, singing capacity, and health