The Breath Of Life – Pranayama

Padmasana / Lotus Pose

In yoga we know that the breath and the mind is intimately connected. Without the proper breath control the mind is uneasy and without control of the mind the breath is irregular and uneasy. Having control over your breath means that you will have more control over the calmness of your mind and vice versa.

“This connection is proved in our daily experience of life. When we are absorbed in deep thinking or meditation, the process of breathing becomes SLOW. The suspension of mental activity increases in proportion to the slowness of breath. When the mind is afflicted by sorrow or anger, the breath becomes irregular and broken, the opposite of the slow, smooth flow of breath when the mind is calm.” – Swami Vishnu-Devananda

The breath is considered to be your life force or vital energy. Positive vital air known as ‘Prana Vayu’ (Inhalation) and negative vital air known as ‘Apana Vayu’(Exhalation). Regulating this harmonized breath regulates and steadies the mind of the practitioner. Within doing this the prana is controlled and the process is called Pranayama.  

Prana is found in everything that has life, from mineral to man, it is not air nor any of its components. It is found in everything from food, water, even sunlight but it is not apart of them. Put it this way, prana is the form of energy used by our souls in its material or even astral manifestations, cars need fuel, humans need Prana, simply put.

OK, now that (most of) the technical stuff is out of the way, lets dissect this a bit further. The mind is unsteady by nature, affected by sight, sound and ,externally, by many different factors, through our senses. To gain control over the mind, many breathing exercises or Pranayama are prescribed. Picture this, instead of counting life in years, count it in breaths. The longer and deeper we breathe the more prana is able to be absorbed into our system, consequently the longer you are able to live. Every movement, thought or act of will uses up prana, the only way to replenish this is mainly through breathing exercises only.

So when you are thinking to yourself ‘Why am I so exhausted?’ or’I’m so tired’ you are most likely running low on prana. No matter how much sleep, healthy foods, vitamins or supplements you get, nothing will restore your energy and give you that pep in your step like Pranayama will. Avoid anger, irritation, hate, resentment or any negative emotions and bad moods because they drain the energy that your body is creating today to be used the next day.

I will share Pranayama exercises another post don’t worry just stay tuned!

Peace, Light & Love,



Reference: The Complete Illustrated Book Of Yoga – Swami Vishnu Devananda

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