Pran(a) and Ayama are the two words that coin Pranayama – Pranayama is a common practice in yoga classes everywhere. Pran(a) & Ayama are both Sanskrit words. Prana is generally understood as breath and ayama stands for dimension. Pranayama, in yoga practice, means conscious inhaling, retention and expiration. Conscious breathing benefits physical body including brain. Retention of breath after inhaling takes the air to the brain and nourishes nerves, blood and all the systemic functioning of our body with oxygen. This leads to healthy living.
Regular pranayama practitioner feels the flow of breath through her body parts. Concentration on one’s own body is a way of exploring oneself, knowing the self and understanding the self. All type of natural healing - yoga, meditation, ayurvdic massage and therapy teach us to look into our body more consciously and love our body more. As we love more, we care more and thus we begin healthy living.
Pranayama is the fundamental part of yoga practice. Some schools incorporate it from the very beginning of Yoga classes and some gradually introduce it.
According to how breath is incorporated in yoga teachings and practices, there are six different schools of thought on Pranayama practice –
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