Sunday, July 3, 2022

Explain the difference between pranayama and deep breathing

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Dr Sarah Edwards MD
PROFESSIONAL HIGHLIGHTS. She has been trained in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Disease, Critical Care Medicine, and Anxiety Medicine. In addition, she was also trained in Thoracic Transplantation Medicine and Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. CERTIFICATIONS Dr. Sarah Edwards is Board Certified in the following: • Internal Medicine • Child Diseases • Critical Medicine • She is also a Diplomate of The American Board of Anxiety Medicine. EDUCATION Postgraduate: • University of Nevada School of Medicine • Residency: Internal Medicine

Breath and Pranayama are Two Different Things in Yoga 

What is the breath?

Breathing is a very important requirement of the body. One can give up food but it is not possible to take a breath. That is why breathing is called life in Yoga. A person cannot live without breathing, but the breath can be stopped for some time but it cannot be stopped at all.

The difference between breath and respiration(breathing)

Breathing is related to breathing action, which can be explained in two words: breathing and exhaling. Respiration can be considered as a physical activity in which oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged. But the Yoga texts say that respiration is more than the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Breath and respiratory are not the same, both are different from each other. Breathing is a physical process but respiration is related to the life and external nature of the person. Understanding this will help in regularizing life in a more meaningful way and you will get health, harmony, and happiness.

Breath and soul are two different but interlinked thoughts. Biographical strength depends on the breath. There will be no life without breath. Pran acts as a bridge between the body and the brain. The body and brain communicate with each other through life. The body affects the brain through changes in the flow of life and so does the brain. As stated earlier, the speed and rotation of the breath affect life. This indicates that the speed and rotation of the breath affect the body (Annamyakosh) and the brain (Manomyakosh) by affecting the prana (Pranamikosh). Thus, it is clear that breathing is essential for the existence of the soul, body, and brain.

Breath control in yoga

Prana can be controlled and regularized by controlling and regulating the breath. This enables yogis to be unstable and able to control the fiery brain to run towards aspirations and imaginations. But when life is controlled, the brain leaves its nature and changes its direction, and turns towards its source. Therefore, to control life, breathing, which is related to breathing, has to be controlled and regularized.

Respiration is the act of breathing and exhalation. It consists of two bodily functions breathing and exhaling. Oxygen is inhaled and the carbon dioxide is exhaled leaving the breath. Breathing helps in the process of metabolism, through which a creature receives energy from biological molecules and is in the cells and tissues of the brain.

The respiration is controlled by the center located in the posterior part of the brain. The function of this part is to activate those muscles which do the work of breathing and exhaling. Controls brain respiration and plays an important role in the smooth functioning of the body and brain. For smooth functioning, it requires an uninterrupted and adequate supply of oxygen, which is possible only through proper respiration.

It has been observed that when a person is distressed, agitated, or angry, the breathing speed is fast and when he is calm, steady, and relaxed, the speed slows down. Breathing speed increases when stress occurs and behavior is adversely affected.

Breath and pranayama

Pranayama is very relevant in this context. They help in controlling and regulating the breath. They affect the parasympathetic system and regulate the breathing speed, which affects the brain and helps control the mind. Yoga science advises a person to reduce breathing speed by pranayama. By regular practice of pranayama, one is able to understand and control breathing action.

Pranayama also avoids disorders and increases the lifespan of a person. It means that in yoga, pranayama act as a controller that can help us in a different type of situation like anger, fear, and anxiety. This can make our breathing pattern correct while we are going through such a type of situation. Because when we go by that kind of situation we always see frequent ups and down in our breathing pattern. And when it becomes our habit to do so, then it can make serious health problems. That’s why including pranayama in your daily schedule can create so many positive changes in your life. It is well-said breathing is life.


Now it is clear how breathing and pranayama are different from each other according to yoga. Each has a different function to perform in the human body. I will recommend that do pranayama for better health benefits.

If you want to know more about yoga asana, pranayama, and meditation, then you can also join a 200-hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh.

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