Pranayama is the ancient science of the breath developed by the yogis over 5000 years ago. Pranayama is the fourth limb of the eight fold path to liberation by Patanjali and is a vital, yet often overlooked aspect of a yoga practice but quite literally the most important aspect of life. Our breath. Where everything begins and everything ends. The yogis understood that in order to control the fluctuating monkey mind the breath was the key to accessing this liberation; the end goal of yoga. The breath as the one physiological process in the human body that could either be volantary or involantary, conscious or unconscious.
'PRANA' - meaning the vital pervading life force energy not only consisting of air
'AYAMA' - meaning, to stretch or extend.
In other words pranayama can be seen as a way to extend the life force within us through various breathing techniques that involve timing, body locks and breath holds.
Modern science is becoming increasingly interested in the ancient ways of the yogis as Breathwork is becoming widely proven to have huge benefits on physical health, nervous system regulation, emotional states, mental health and overall well being.
Rather than looking outside of ourselves for answers or relying on medications that rarely get to the root cause of dis-ease, we can access something very powerful that literally lies at the tip of our noses. Healing and well being on a holistic level means regarding the physical, mental, emotional and environmental conditions and the breath gives us direct connection to that.