Breathing is something we do on a daily basis. The body, in a living state, breathes involuntarily whether we are awake, sleeping, or actively exercising. Breathing is living. It is a vital function of life. In yoga, we refer to this as pranayama. Prana is a Sanskrit word that means life force and Ayama means extending or stretching. Thus, the word “pranayama” translates to the control of the life force. It is also known as the extension of breath. Every cell in our bodies needs oxygen to function properly. So it’s no surprise that research shows that regular practice of controlled breathing can decrease the effects of stress on the body and increase overall physical and mental health.
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