Prana Yoga is a type of yoga that specifically focuses on breathing. All other types of yoga give emphasis to this element, too, but none so much as Prana Yoga does. The word Prana means "vital life energy". In layman terms, this energy is construed as breath, which is otherwise recognized as the fuel running the engine that is our physical body. In the practice of yoga, breathing is essential, as it helps establish a connection between the mind and the body to achieve that fluidity and union. Prana Yoga, therefore, provides that meditative approach to Hatha (physical) Yoga.
Also Known as the Om Yoga
Prana Yoga is otherwise called the Om Yoga or the Om Yoga Meditation. You may find yourself recognizing this sound, having been often used to refer to the act of meditation. Om is actually derived from the mantra "Aum", which is a sacred syllable from ancient Hindu history. This three-letter word is believed to encapsulate the Brahman, or what the Hindus believe to be the Absolute Reality. In Prana Yoga, this syllable becomes a mantra, said out loud during practice, and in unison with the breath. More than anything else, concentration and meditation are the key benefits of Prana Yoga. Relaxation and clearing of the mind from all other clutters in one's thought are achieved once this type of yoga is perfected.
Your Health Lies on Your Breath
Breathing is a very intuitive physical act. In fact, it comes so instinctively that you do it without being conscious about it. Then again, it is in this lack of consciousness that people miss out on the true benefits that can be derived from conscious breathing. Truth is, there is a proper way to breathe, and this is what Prana Yoga endorses. For one, people commonly breathe through the lungs. This, however, is actually unnatural for the body. Breathing should come from the diaphragm, not from the lungs. This activity, therefore, adds unnecessary stress to the lungs, which may eventually lead to health issues. By learning how to breathe properly – which is slowly and deeply – the body is better supplied with oxygen, allowing for the vital organs to function better.
Losing Weight is as Easy as Breathing
Some people may be quick to chalk this off as absurd, but in fact, breathing does affect your metabolism. Breathing in the proper manner as taught by Prana Yoga helps increase metabolism, and therefore, facilitates the burning of calories faster. Not only that, but breathing the right way also affects your immune system, as well as your body's capacity to recuperate from an ailment or injury.
However, it's extremely important to note that Prana Yoga should only be attempted under strict supervision and guidance from an expert, especially if it is your first time. As with other kinds of yoga, there is a proper technique for Prana Yoga as well. You should open yourself up to learning these specific techniques so that you may be able to properly put them into action, and from there, garner the full benefits of yoga.