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Pranayama and Yoga
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April 27, 2015
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May 28, 2009 - 9:06 pm
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Yoga is more than a form of exercise, and considered an art form by some, that many engage in to change their life, improve fitness, gain flexibility, and to develop a calmer spirit. The yogic practice originated in India and is commonly associated with meditative practices in religions like Hinduism and Buddhism.

However, there are various styles of yoga that focus on different specifics. Pranayama while a limb described by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras is also a style of yoga that is centered around breathing.

The practice of Pranayama is meant to keep the body in good health while meeting its needs. The body cannot control whether or not it breathes, but it can control how it breathes and controlling that determines overall health. Pranayama yoga attains the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide which helps to purify the body.

Medical studies have shown that Pranayama has been linked to reduction of stress, stress related disorders and the relief of the symptoms of asthma in those who practice it. Practitioners report the development of strong minds and the ability to make sound judgment and even extends life.

This form of yoga is usually practiced by those who are experienced practitioners. It is believed that people new to yoga can actually do harm to themselves by practicing Pranayama improperly or without guidance. However, it is a practice that can be learned by anyone and be practiced in a variety of positions and settings.

Not only does it balance and improve breathing, it also improves overall health which is the reason anyone can participate.

There are several other forms of yoga that focus on mental, spiritual and physical stability. The most commonly practiced forms are those focusing on physical fitness.

However, practicing more than one form contributes to the development of them all. Breathing is essential to practicing them all and expanding mental, spiritual and physical horizons.

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