In yoga practice, pranayama is a breath control technique which helps to regulate energy flow and maintain energy balance in the body. It comes from two Sanskrit words prana which means life energy and ayama which means to restrain or to suspend.
Yoga practitioners use the technique of taking healthy deep breaths to open up their inner life force and to prepare them to go into a meditative state. The process, which enables the body to take in plenty of oxygen, helps to energize the body and mind. It also triggers the release of carbon dioxide and other toxic wastes from the body and allows it to attain a good balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Absorbing prana or life energy helps yoga practitioners to attain a link of their body, mind, and spirit which is the ultimate purpose of practicing yoga.
With the fast pace of life, people tend to ignore the importance of breathing as a factor for optimum performance of the body and mind. In our haste to accomplish many things in a limited time, our breathing becomes shallow and fast, and we fail to use our lungs to its maximum capacity. The resulting deficiency of oxygen may lead to health problems like heart diseases, sleep disorders and fatigue. You can reduce your risks from these problems by practicing pranayama. It is an effective exercise to reenergize the body.
Here are some of the health benefits of pranayama:
1. It teaches proper way of breathing.
Taking shallow breathes from the chest is not correct because we are not maximizing our lungs with it. With yoga breathing, you are utilizing the full potential of your lungs to deliver sufficient oxygen to your body to enable it to function well. With regular pranayama practice, healthy breathing will become a way of life for you.
2. It helps to eject toxins from the body.
Sufficient intake of oxygen triggers the release of carbon dioxide and other toxic substances from your system. It actually helps to reduce your risks of getting sick.
3. It helps to improve digestion.
Sufficient oxygen supply helps to optimize the body’s metabolic process. Good metabolism is essential for health and energy.
4. It helps to develop concentration and focus.
Our brain cells need sufficient amounts of oxygen in order to function normally. Pranayama works to supply your brain with enough oxygen to invigorate its cells. It also helps to relieve stress and relaxes the tensions in the body. With enough oxygen supply and lesser stress, the mind can work efficiently. This allows you to concentrate better and attain peace of mind.
5. It helps to develop self-control.
Sufficient oxygen supply in the brain helps to make a person think better. This enables a person to develop good judgment and avoid making wrong decisions.
These are some of the health benefits of pranayama. It can be of help in your quest to achieve better concentration and a clearer focus. It can also lower your risk from diseases because it works to keep your cells oxygenated and alive. To make it work effectively, it is best to indulge in this practice with proper preparation and guidance.