Pranayama (प्राणायाम prāṇāyāma), is one of the eight limbs that form the structural framework of yoga. Pranayama is a combination of two words from the ancient Indo-Aryan language Sanskrit. Prāna, refers to life force or vital energy, "āyāma," refers to suspend or restrain. Often translated as control of the vital energy. In yogic terms it is interpreted as "breath control".
The goal of pranayama is to train people to prolong and regulate their breathing in simple way, thus obtaining both physiological benefits as well as clarity of thought. Pranayama is meant to train people in a method that is intuitively designed, easy to understand, and suitable for both beginners and advanced practitioners of yoga. Pranayama exercises can be approached without a lot of training or effort, thus lowering the barriers to getting you started on improving your health.
Click here to learn about Saagara's Pranayama App
Pranayama by Saagara is a training tool that uses music and animated visuals that guides you to breathe slowly and deeply using your diaphragm. Slow diaphragmatic breathing has been shown to have multiple health benefits. It allows a more healthful state to be experienced and has an almost immediate relaxing effect. It has also shown to lower blood pressure and heart rate naturally, increases stamina and overall fitness.
When you practice Pranayama, you are guided through four distinct stages of breathing, which together complete one cycle.
Stage One: Inhalation
Inhale slowly, deeply and consistently, breathing in from the core using the diaphragm. In yoga terms, this stage is called Puraka.
Stage Two: Retention
Stage two involves retention of the air inhaled. In Yoga, this stage is called Kumbhaka.
Stage Three: Exhalation
This is one of the most important stages. Steadily and slowly, exhale the air retained after inhalation. Your muscles should return to a relaxed state. In yoga, this stage is called Rechaka.
Stage Four: Suspend
Stage four begins right after the end of stage three when lungs are empty. This is a pause, with no movement of air in or out of the lungs. Your muscles should stay relaxed in this stage before you begin the cycle again with stage one. In yoga, this stage is called Bahya Kumbhaka.
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