Prana means energy, breath, or life force. Learning to direct and control prana in the body has long been considered a crucial aspect of yoga.1 As an essential bodily function, breathing is an involuntary act.
Although we cannot control whether or not we breathe, we can, to some extent, control the way that we breathe. Exercises in breath control, such as breath retention and deliberate methods inhalation and exhalation for specific mental and physical benefits are at the core of pranayama practice.
Let's look at seven of these benefits in more detail.
Decreases stress. In a 2013 study , pranayama reduced perceived stress levels in healthy young adults.
Improves sleep quality.
Reduces high blood pressure.
Improves lung function.
Enhances cognitive performance.
Reduces cigarette cravings.
Helps to achieve proper breathing .
Helps calm and stimulate the mind.
Improves metabolic activities.
Pranayama series contains breath practices which have the potential to effect the gross body - physical body and also the subtle body - the senses, mind and emotions.