Yoga Info, News, Pictures, Forum, Shop, Travel and Community
Information Articles
 Print Article           Comment on Article           Write New Article         

Yoga Breathing (Pranayama) - What is Yoga Breathing?

Written by: anagonzales

Pranayama Exercise Yoga breathing, or Pranayama, is the science of breath control. It consists of series of exercises especially intended to meet the body's needs and keep it in vibrant health. Pranayama comes from the following words:

  • Prana - "life force" or "life energy"
  • Yama - "discipline" or "control"
  • Ayama - "expansion", "non-restraint", or "extension"
Thus, Pranayama means "breathing techniques" or "breath control". Ideally, this practice of opening up the inner life force is not merely to take healthy deep breaths. It is intended for yoga practitioners to help and prepare them in their Meditation process.

In our respiration process, we breathe in or inhale oxygen into our body, going through our body systems in a form of energy to charge our different body parts. Then we exhale carbon dioxide and take away all toxic wastes from our body. Through the practice of Pranayama, the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide is attained. Absorbing prana through breath control links our body, mind, and spirit.

But life is full of stress. Because of the daily work, family, or financial pressures, we tend to ignore our breathing. Thus, it tends to be fast and shallow. The use of only a fraction of your lungs results to lack of oxygen and may lead to different complications. Heart diseases, sleep disorders, and fatigue are some of the effects of oxygen starvation. Therefore, the negative energy of being restless and troublesome leads to lesser prana inside the body. By practicing deep and systematic breathing through Pranayama, we reenergize our body.

These are the four stages of Pranayama:

  • Arambha - the commencement stage wherein the person's interest in Pranayama is awakened
  • Ghata - the stage where the three sariras merge to envelope the soul. The three sariras are gross, subtle, and causal.
  • Parichay- the stage where the yogi experiences the knowledge of Pranayama
  • Nispatti- the stage where the yogi goes beyond his physical body, and unites with the supreme

Benefits of Pranayama

Breathing is a normal part of our life, though we fail to pay attention to it. It is an autonomic function of the body that we perform even without concentrating on it. Why then do we have to learn yoga breathing? Here are some reasons why Pranayama is important:

  • Pranayama teaches us the proper way to breathe. We became used to breathing from our chest, using only a fraction of the lungs, not knowing that this unhealthy and unnatural way of inhaling may lead to several complications. With yoga breathing, we increase the capacity of our lungs, bringing more oxygen supply to the body to function well. We learn how to breathe slowly and deeply - the right way.
  • Pranayama reduces the toxins and body wastes from within our body. It prevents one from acquiring diseases.
  • Pranayama helps in one's digestion. With the proper way of breathing, one's metabolism and health condition will start to improve.
  • Pranayama develops our concentration and focus. It fights away stress and relaxes the body. Controlling one's breathing also results to serenity and peace of mind.
  • Pranayama offers a better self-control. Through concentration, one can better handle temper and reactions. Mind can function clearly, avoiding arguments and wrong decisions. Moreover, self-control also involves control over one's physical body.
  • Pranayama leads to spiritual journey through a relaxed body and mind.

However, Pranayama should not be forced and done without proper preparation, or it may lead to nervous breakdowns. It is part of a process in yoga. Breath control is a spiritual practice of cleansing the mind and body which should be done appropriately and with proper guidance and preparation.

advertisementadvertising info

See related products in our Yoga Shop:

 Print Article        Comment on Article        Write New Article      
Article Comments
Friday 8th February 2008 at 12:00:46 AM  

Namaste anagonzales,

It is a nice article on Yoga
Breathing or Pranayama. I appreciate your study knowledge on this subject. Wish
you good luck.


Yogacharya Tonmoy

Saturday 11th April 2009 at 2:14:28 AM  

Good article.Will be a great help for the beginners.

Sunday 16th August 2009 at 1:25:02 AM  

good & encouraging article for the beginners especially for meditation.

Chandra Shekhar
Thursday 27th August 2009 at 12:30:52 PM  

I have just been diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Function disease. Any suggestions on how to do Pranayama Yoga?

Also any medications available? either Allopathy or Homeoathy or Ayurvedic?



Saturday 5th December 2009 at 6:26:50 AM  

pranayama can do in ''vagrasan''position?

Wednesday 23rd December 2009 at 8:04:55 AM  

This is very good article.Inhale and exhale everybody does but properly doing Inhale and exhale is art.

Monday 25th January 2010 at 3:04:18 AM  

Hi warm greeting!
it is great article to know about pranayam and it''s benifits to our life.

Thank you

Friday 12th February 2010 at 5:17:52 AM  

Thanks for a very informative article.

Saturday 13th February 2010 at 3:32:46 AM  

Many thanks for the article! Wonderfully useful information for teachers ,as well as everybody else interested on the subjest. Awearness is always needed for the weak up call whether volantary or involantary.Namaste!

k dinkar
Sunday 25th April 2010 at 4:40:17 AM  

what is the role of prana in your breathing exercise.

Krishna Venkataraman
Wednesday 11th August 2010 at 8:46:20 PM  

This is an excellent article on breath control

Sunday 22nd August 2010 at 11:17:31 AM  

Would pranayama be of help to someone with a lung complaint?

Friday 22nd October 2010 at 9:45:56 AM  

Excellent article.......One, however, must dilligently be aware of his or her breathing at all times because we were so use to shallow breathing.....WE MUST STOP AND THINK......Inhale and exhale.......Good Luck everyone.

Tuesday 9th November 2010 at 3:14:35 AM  

I am practicing Kaplabathi pranayama but i have one problem. i am confusing in breathing while doing kapalbathi please guide me.
Thanking you,

Joseph Narimattom
Wednesday 10th November 2010 at 4:57:27 AM  

While man learned a lot about the outside world and the universe in the last two thousand years, he forgot many things divined by him in the earlier millennium. The quality of his consciousness declined. The only way to grow spiritually is the practice of Yoga. It will help you reinvent yourself.The oneness with the universal soul and the meaninglessness of common concepts like "you and I" "he and I" will vanish and the ultimate oneness of everything, living and non-living, present past and future, will dawn upon you. This knowledge is worthier than all the gold and gems in the world.
A perfectly healthy and fully developed mind is possible only in healthy body. Therefore, first practse "Yama, Niyama and Asanas" under a competent Guru and move on to Pranayama under his guidence. The results will be wonderful.
You will find that all your yearnings and frustrations and ambitions have been meaningless in the new light of the supreme experience.

paul lakeman
Saturday 18th December 2010 at 5:20:19 AM  

I just read that Freida Pinto star of Slumdog millionaire practices pranayama so I thought I would check it out
thanks for all the info

Wednesday 6th April 2011 at 7:20:21 PM  

good site

Tuesday 14th June 2011 at 5:19:25 PM  

Perfect breathing good for young and old its increses life span its good advise to univers thankyou sir

Thursday 11th August 2011 at 6:16:28 AM  


Sunday 25th September 2011 at 2:49:20 AM  

i would know further on prayanama steps

Monday 17th October 2011 at 5:01:16 AM  

this best knowladge about proper and right breatings, i have achieved good knowlage from this webside.

Post A Comment

Name: (required)

Email Address: (will not be published) (required)



advertisementadvertising info
Information Sitemap
An easy way of finding the information you are looking for is by checking our well-structured Site Map.
Write an Article

We invite you to submit your own Yoga articles and add them to our website to share them with the world!