Pranayama is a Sanskrit word that means “extension of the life force.” It is a practice of breathing techniques in yoga that involve controlled and regulated breathing exercises to increase and enhance the flow of life force energy or prana in the body.
Pranayama has been a fundamental part of yoga practice for thousands of years. It is believed to offer numerous benefits to the mind and body, including reducing stress and anxiety, improving respiratory function, promoting relaxation and calming the mind, improving mental focus and concentration, and increasing overall energy levels.
There are several different pranayama techniques, including Ujjayi Pranayama, Kapalabhati Pranayama, Nadi Shodhana Pranayama, Bhastrika Pranayama, and many others. Each method involves different breathing patterns and rhythms and is practised for various purposes.
It’s important to note that pranayama should be learned under the guidance of a trained yoga teacher, as improper technique or over-practice can lead to adverse side effects.