Pranayama is so important in yoga. It goes hand in hand with your asana practice and or cleansing techniques for a more holistic yoga approach.
First, what is ‘pranayama?’
Pranayama comes from two Sanskrit words: “prana”meaning the fundamental life or energy force, and “yama” meaning to control. Pranayama is, therefore channeling or controlling the life force.
Pranayama also refers to breathing exercises which clear the physical and emotional obstacles in our body to free the breath and so the flow of prana (life energy.) Through a regular and sustained practice of pranayama you can supercharge your whole body!
When the mind is clear and balanced, the breath is even and rhythmic. When the mind is nervous and tense, the breath is strained and erratic. One who has strong lungs and great breathing capacity usually has abundant energy.
In the yogic world we say the slower your breath, the longer you live!
When we work on freeing the breath through pranayama (breathing exercises) we are also working on letting the life energy flow through the body. It has the effect of energizing, relaxing and healing the body, letting everything fall into place. Literally it is an increase and balance of life energy in your system.
We hear it all the time: ‘just breathe’, but there’s more to it than just slow, deep breaths. Give pranayama breathing exercises a try for boosting your flow of life energy.
To begin, here is an easy pranayama technique: Nodi Shodhana. Read this article to find out how to do it. It only takes a couple of minutes and it’s great for calming the nerves or alleviating headaches.
See my accelerated video of Nodi Shodhana below. Try it, it is very effective!