Pranayama : The Life force

The word Prana literally means ‘Life Force’ and ayama means regulation or extension. So Pranayama means regulation of the breath. There are about 120 techniques to regulate the breath.

We try to feed our ‘Prana’ or life force through food, water and air. In order for life to function well, these three elements need to be supplied adequately. Yogis have concluded that there is a strong connection of the breath and the mind. When there is disturbance is the breath, the mind will get disturbed and when the mind is disturbed, the breath is also not at ease.

For human beings, when the mind is in happy state, the breath is smooth and when we are angry, the breath goes fast.  When we are not breathing well, the entire system gets affected and is disturbed. This may cause disturbance in the organs, the hormones and the entire heath.

We often hear that we need to still the mind and free it of random thoughts. But we really are unaware as to how to achieve this state. For most of us, meditation isn’t easy as there are lots of thoughts rushing in our minds. So we know how difficult it is to control our mind. Hence it becomes utmost important to regulate our breath. By regulating the breath, we can conquer the mind. The mind may wander and go into negativity, but with the help of breath, we can bring it back to the present moment and maintain balance.

Some of the most popular pranayamas are :

  1. Anulom Vilom
  2. Kapalbhatti
  3. Nadi Shodhan
  4. Ujjayi
  5. Bhastrika
  6. Chandra Loma
  7. Surya Loma
  8. Shitali
  9. Shitkari

We need to learn how to consciously breathe. If we observe any emotional turbulence in our systems, it’s time to check the breath. Try to consciously breathe deeply, and you can immediately see that your emotions are much in control. Different types of pranayama give us variety of breathing techniques. These pranayamas when performed with correct techniques, can bring immense benefits. Hence we must try to put at least one Pranayama in our daily regime so that the basic thing like breathing can enhance our lives in a massive way.