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The sanskrit word for extension or control of the breath. It can also be referred to simply as breath-work. Prāṇāyāma combines prāṇa (meaning breath, life energy or life force) and ayāma (meaning to control or restrain) and is used as an umbrella term for all types of breath-work. It is a yogic practice of a specific set of breathing techniques for specific purposes. Prāṇāyāma is mentioned in Bhagavad Gītā and Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. As the fourth of the eight limbs of yoga, most yoga teachers advise that prāṇāyāma should be part of a complete yoga practice. In recent years, there have been a number of scientific studies that have supported the benefits of prāṇāyāma practices (practices that involve the extension or control of the breath) that the earliest Indian texts and teachers claimed.
The following are different practicess of prāṇāyāma: Agni Pran, Agni Sara, Anuloma Pranayama, Bahya Pranayama, Bhastrika Pranayama, Bhramari Pranayama, Digra Pranayama, Kapalabhati Pranayama, Nadi Sodhana Pranayama, Shitali Pranayama, Udgit Pranayama, Ujjayi Pranayama and Viloma Pranayama.« Back to Glossary Index