What is Prana Yoga?

Prana yoga is that branch of yoga that concentrates on the breath and breathing techniques. Pranayamas are these techniques of breathing. They help in proper distribution of energy through the body.

Prana Yoga

Pranayama is made up of two words, prana and ayama. Ayama means the lengthening, stretching, prolonging or extension. Prana means energy, the life force present in each one of us. These breathing techniques help in revitalizing bodily energy, calming the mind and helping balance mind and emotions through control over breathing.

Types of Prana Yoga:

There are five types of Prana

  • Udana Vayu, related to the throat and speech
  • Prana Vayu, related to the heart and chest
  • Samana Vayu, related to the abdomen and digestion
  • Apana Vayu, related to the lower abdomen and excretion
  • Vyana Vayu, related to the dispersal of energy to the various parts of the body

Vayu is a Sanskrit term meaning air or breath.

Of these, the Prana Vayu and Apana Vayu are the most important. Prana is concerned with what flows into the body while Apana is concerned with what is thrown out of the body.

Prana encompasses everything that goes on within the body and mind. When Prana is in equilibrium, both body and mind function properly and efficiently. This is dependent on two things, the breath and the mind. If breathing is proper and calm and slow, the mind is relaxed. In the same way, if the mind is relaxed, breathing automatically slows down. Any turbulence in the mind leads to a change in breathing patters which, in turn, affects Prana. The energy does not remain internalized but slowly flows out of the body when any such disturbances occur.

Prana yoga regulates breathing patterns which, in turn, helps calm the mind and free it of unwanted thoughts. This helps in internalizing Prana more efficiently and revitalize body and mind.

Pranayama techniques
Below listed are some techniques of breathing that help in revitalizing body and mind and help in meditation too.

  • Deep equal breathing
  • Ujjayi Pranayama
  • Kapalabhati
  • Anulom-Vilom Pranayama
  • Brahmari Pranayama
  • Shitali Pranayama
  • Shitkari Pranayama

These are some basic Pranayama techniques that can be followed to effectively channelize this life energy, Prana, and improve quality of life.

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