Pranayama – Yoga Breathing Exercises

Yoga breathing

Do you know what pranayama is? If you do, do you know what is the importance of practicing pranayama along with asana? There are so many questions about pranayama, including these two questions. Therefore, we present brief information about pranayama – yoga breathing exercises in this article.

By learning yoga, we will learn to listen to our body and accustom ourselves to a deeper wisdom. We usually call this awareness or mindfulness. In yoga, we learn about how to connect both body and mind with our awareness in order to achieve thoughtful, peaceful and serene internal reality.

Yogis and yoginis try to achieve this through asanas, pranayama, meditation and yogic diet. In this article, we focus our explanation on yoga breathing exercises of pranayama.

Hopefully the information given would be useful for you and your loved ones.

Happy learning about pranayama!

Yoga Breathing Exercises – Definitions

What is pranayama? There are several definitions about pranayama – yoga breathing exercises.

Pranayama according to Yoga-sutras of Patanjali
Tasmin sati svasaprasvasayor-gativicchedah pranayama.

The control of Prana or regulation of one’s breath is the work stoppage of both inhalation and exhalation, which follows after obtaining the stability of poses or seat.

  • The word Svasa taken from Sanskrit words, means inspiratory breath.
  • The word Prasvasa¬Ě also taken from Sanskrit words, means expiratory breath.
  • As a yoga practitioner, you can practice pranayama once you gain steadiness in your yoga posture or seat (asana).
  • You would be considered as becoming an expert of asana once you can sit in a specific asana for three hours continuously at one stretch.
  • You still can practice pranayama if you are only able to sit for thirty minutes to one hour.
  • Since pranayama is a very important part of yoga, it is going to be very hard for you to make any spiritual progress if you never practice pranayama in your yoga exercise.
  • Then, what is prana? Prana is the whole energy inside your body.
  • You can control your prana by controlling the movement of your respiratory organs (lungs). You will feel easier to control your mind through the control of prana. This happens because your mind is linked to prana.

Pranayama according to the Gita
Apane juhvati pranam pranepanam tathapare; Pranapanagatee ruddhva pranayamaparayanah (Gita, Ch. IV-29).

  • Others offer outgoing breath (prana) in incoming breath (apana) and incoming breath in outgoing breath, limiting the passageway of outgoing breath and incoming breath, captivated in Pranayama.
  • Some other people practice the style of Pranayama named Rechaka (emptying).
  • Pranayama is a precious sacrifice (yajna). Some people practice the style of Pranayama named Puraka (filling in).
  • Some are bonded in the practice of Pranayama named Kumbhaka, through obstructing the outer passageway of the air, through both nostril and mouth, and through obstructing the inner passageway of the air, in the different direction.

There are still many descriptions and definitionon this yoga breathing exercises, but they have the same essence. The point is, we cannot leave pranayama whenever we want to practice yoga. Pranayama is the main and compulsory part of yoga. Without yoga, it is almost impossible for a yogi and yoginis to achieve the benefit of yoga.

It is going to be harder and tougher if they have intention to reach the purpose of yoga practice, purity of oneself both in body and mind.

Therefore, if you really want to learn about yoga poses (asanas), you should learn about pranayama (yoga breathing exercises) too. Make it as your daily habit and hopefully, you will derive faster all the positive things you have expected by practicing yoga.


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