Prana is our “life force”. Pranayama is the controlling of our breathing or quite literally, “controlling our breath or life force”. Pranayama has countless benefit to our physical, mental and spiritual bodies. Something as simple as controlled breathing has a profound impact on our mental, physical and spiritual states.
Nadi means “flow or current”. Ancient texts say that humans have 72 thousand nadis in their spiritual bodies. They are the channels through which prana flows and travels. Nadis are not associated with the physical body, but rather the spiritual or metaphysical body.
Controlled patterns of breathing can affect the way you feel about yourself and about others. Pranayama is extremely effective and powerful.
A regular pranayama practice can benefit us in the following ways:
-purifies heart and lungs by getting rid of carbon in your blood
-improves autonomic (nervous system) functions
-reduces symptoms of stress
-increases mental strength and perception
-improves your ability for sound judgement and will-power
-and countless other factors that contribute to living a healthy, happy and long life
When I first started practicing pranayama breathing techniques it was frustrating and honestly I felt uncomfortable. However, the more I continued to practice and make it a staple of my yoga practice and day-to-day life; the benefits I have seen are incomprehensibility.
I am now a huge promoter for pranayama breathing. Pranayama has increased my life vitality, deepened my meditation practice, enriched my yoga practice and enhanced my life in countless ways!
My favorite technique is nadi shodhana (alternative nostril breathing). What is your favorite pranayama breathing technique?