Pranayama (breathing technique)

The word pranayama is derived from the Sanskrit roots prana and ayama. „Prana" means vitality or life force. „Ayama“ means to expand, to lengthen. Therefore, „pranayama“ can be translated as expanding the life force.

The different pranayama techniques help to activate and stabilize the vital energy field of the body. As life force increases, each cell in the body is supplied with additional energy. Therefore, pranayama can be a real milestone into an active, dynamic and healthy life.

A further important effect of the preliminary pranayama techniques is the development of a healthy breathing rhythm. Most people only use a small part of the lungs, their breath is shallow. The body does not get enough oxygen whereby the breathing rhythm becomes rapid and irregular. The purpose of the preliminary pranayama techniques is to generate a healthy, deep and slow breathing pattern.

Traditionally, pranayamas were the basis for advanced kundalini and kriya yoga techniques. They were handed down personally from master to only those students he found suitable.

Swami Satyananda Saraswati rediscovered many of these old techniques and described them in such a precise way that today they are available to everybody. Many other yoga schools and traditions refer to the explanations and descriptions in his books for their courses and training.

Literature: Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha, Prana and Pranayama