What is ‘Pranayama’ and Why is it good for you?

What is ‘Pranayama’ and Why is it good for you?

Why is Pranayama good for you?  (Oh and what exactly is ‘Pranayama’ anyway?)  Pranayama is the yoga term for ‘breathing technique’ – more specifically – ‘yoga breathing techniques’.   Well that is the very simplest explanation and really not quite the full definition.  The fuller explanation of the Sanskrit word ‘Pranayama’ can become convoluted quickly, but let’s go for it!  Broken down, the word ‘prana’ means ‘life force energy’ and ‘yama’ means ‘to extend or draw out’ which can also mean ‘control’.  Therefore, the translation is something like this;  ‘breath control that increases your vital life force energy.’


In any given yoga class, you will potentially experience the act and art of ‘Pranayama’, that is, if your teacher offers it to you.  My yoga teaching style always includes breathing techniques because I feel that the breathing aspect of yoga is most important and can and will be carried over and used in real life situations.  For example, some people have a hard time at the dentist – voila – yoga breathing helps calm you down.  Or how about your patience levels, say waiting in a long lineup (or a short one for that matter!), or driving – dealing with incompetent drivers always makes me take deep, long, slow, counting yoga breaths.


The hidden secret of Pranayama is the life force it provides.  Our vital energy and vibration automatically increases from practicing yoga breathing techniques.  We feel better, more alive and often fully energized!


I was inspired to create a guided breathing video for you.  If you would like to try it, go ahead and get into a yoga pose (like in the pic you see above!) or sit in your chair or lie down – any comfortable position that you can stay in for approximately 8 minutes.  Click here to access instructions and the Guided Breathing Technique and Resting to music by Anugama that I made for you!