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Vd. Shraddha T. Hande*


The main aim of Ayurveda is to maintain the health in a healthy person and to cure the disease by chikitsa; as well as with the help of upakramas that are explained by different samhitas under Swasthavritta. Amongst it, Ashtang Yoga explains the concept of Pranayama for the betterment of life. It is fourth anga or limb of Ashtang Yoga. The word Pranayama is made up of two Sanskrit words; Prana and Ayama. Prana means breath and Ayama means to control or regulation. Thus Pranayama means regulating the breath. Every living being breathes and through the medium of the breath, the flow of prana and life in the body takes place. If a person stop inhaling, the lack of prana in the body is felt, it will leads to discomfort and unrest to the body. If one is forced to keep on holding the breath, death finally comes. Therefore physical health can be gained by controlling the prana Shakti through the practices of pranayama. Pranayama is the control of the Prana and the vital forces of the body. It is regulation of the breath. This is the most important step. Pranayama begins with the regulation of the breath for having control over the inner vital force. A correct habit of breathing must be established by the regular practice of Pranayama. If one controls the breath or Prana, the mind also is controlled. According to Ayurveda, role of Pranayama in physical and mental health is explained in this article.

Keywords: Pranayama, Prana, Nadi, Exhale, Inhale, mental, strees.

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