Pranayama is the meditative breathing practice used to lengthen and control the breath by raising vital energy.
Pranayama breathing practices are designed to control your life force, not exactly control the breath, but in fact, bring the breath to its natural essence.
Pranayama is a set of breathing techniques that aim to directly and consciously regulate one or more parameters of the respiratory rhythm, that is, through the prolongation and shortening of the breath and, sometimes, the holding of the breath, causing the voluntary control of the muscles involved in breathing.
The purpose of pranayama is to connect your body and mind. It also supplies your body with oxygen while removing toxins. While pranayama is safe if you do it right, you can undoubtedly get unwanted effects if you do it wrong.
After all, breathing is a vital life-supporting function. Therefore, restricting it with yogic practices can cause fear, anxiety, and even panic attacks if you don’t progress intelligently.
Using excessive effort during pranayama is another mistake. When you hold your breath or when you slow it down, you will meet resistance. It sounds like a paradox, but resistance and discomfort are acceptable as long as you can complete your practice in a relaxed way.
However, never overdo any breathing exercise. If you start to feel uncomfortable, go back to your daily breathing. Never force your breath to do something it doesn’t want to do.
For some, guided breathing may suit the body’s metabolic needs, but for others, it strengthens the stress response by being too rapid, or it can cause anxiety when breathing needs to be slowed down too much from its own natural rhythm.
In Kaiut Yoga we never attempt to control the breath, we observe it and listen to what it tells us about our current moment.
As with any new exercise, it is always best to talk to your doctor before taking on a new routine. Try to begin a pranayama practice slowly and then build it up over time.
Keywords: Yoga; Breathing in yoga; Pranayama; Kaiut Yoga.