We often take the workings of our bodies for granted but upon learning more, what I find most special is the respiratory system. While our muscular system and our skeletal system play a huge role in ensuring our range of motion and enabling our asanas, the respiratory system is what sustains all of this. Respiration supplies oxygen to every cell in the body and transports carbon dioxide out of the body.
The use of breathing techniques during asanas makes yoga more than a mere stretching exercise, extending into a life giving, emotionally and psychologically beneficial practice – all made possible through the respiratory system. Pranayama enhances the life force, and guides the physical movement of the asanas through controlled inhales and exhales. It is with the knowledge of controlled breathing techniques that yoga becomes an emotionally fulfilling and physiologically beneficial way of life.