Pranayama yoga is a type of yoga that is centered on breath control.  Although breathing happens even if you don’t think about it, it is good to control your inhalation and exhalation process because it can give you some physical and mental benefits.

The air is a free source of energy that keeps us alive.  By breathing in air, we are supplying our blood with oxygen that keeps the cells of our body active.  Proper oxygen intake plays a big role in keeping us physically and mentally alert, and this is fully enhanced with regular practice.

Here are some of the known health benefits of pranayama yoga:

1. It helps to reduce your breathing rate which is beneficial to your heart and other major organs.

Pranayama yoga helps you to reduce your breathing rate by 30 percent.  Slow, deep breaths enable you to take in more oxygen which allows your heart to pump more oxygen at a lesser rate.  This is a way of protecting your heart from overwork which is one of the main causes of heart failure.

2. It helps to improve circulation.

Deep breathing helps the heart to maintain an adequate supply of oxygenated blood to all the body tissues.  This keeps all the cells of your body alive.

3. It helps to keep your heart in good health.

The heart is one of the most diligent organs of your body.  It has to keep working since the day you were conceived up to the final moment of your life.  You have to keep it in good health in order to enjoy long life.

With pranayama, more oxygen is supplied to your heart, which means that it doesn’t have to work very hard to pump oxygenated blood to the other parts of your body.  This helps to protect your heart from overwork.

4. It helps to improve the functions of the other major organs of the body such as the lungs, diaphragm, abdomen, intestines, kidneys and pancreas.

5. It helps to improve the function of the digestive system.

6. It helps to reduce fatigue and lethargy.

7. It helps to ease the tensions in the body.

8. It helps to alleviate depression and makes your mind ready for meditation.

9. It helps to promote better sleep and it improves memory and concentration.

Breathing is a vital sign yet it is one function that is underestimated by many people as far as its benefits are concerned.

Many yoga practitioners believe that longevity is dependent on a person’s breathing rate.  They also consider deep breathing as one of the factors that can help to prevent the accumulation of uric acid in the blood stream which is one of the main causes of joint pains, backaches, rheumatism and headaches.