Pranayama is breath control used to strengthen and lengthen life force. Breath is vital to our bodies, bad breathing results in illness, no breathing results in death. The main aim of pranayama is to focus the mind. It is a process of lengthening, or shortening or regulating the breath in some way to change your normal pattern of breathing for that period of time, in order to change the state of your mind. Pranayama can help to remove impurities in the body, reduce mental disturbance and ultimately calm the mind.
Pranayama is excellent therefore for stress reduction. In today’s busy world people often breath into their upper lungs only, the body is in fight or flight mode, meaning that the body and consequently the mind are constantly on edge. Sending the breath deeper into our lungs and slowing the breath down therefore can have profoundly calming effects. Try it yourself to see. Furthermore, by breathing fully into our lungs and fully expelling the air from them we are able to start to remove the toxins that have built up from pollution, smoke etc.
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