I hope you have all been enjoying not only the extension of our Yoga sessions this year but also the introduction of a specific time to undertake Pranayama, which is critical to our overall Yoga practice There are eight 'limbs' or parts to Yoga. Asana or the physical poses are just one of these parts. Pranayama is another, as is withdrawal of the senses as we undertake in Relaxation or Meditation.
In Sanskrit Prana means energy or vital force & Yama means control. So, basically this translates as control of the vital breath. However, there's much more to Pranayama than just control of the vital force. Pranayama are breathing exercises developed by the ancient yogis. They are used to purify the body. The principle of Pranayama in Yoga is that, in order to bring about positive changes in body and mind we must make changes in the energy that governs it. This is done through a set of exercises that entail synchronised breathing. Pranayama essentially involves 3 things: regulating the breath, controlling the vital force and channelling Prana in the right directions. Additionally, through the practice of Pranayama breathing problems can be assisted.