Pranayama - is the art of Breathing in Yoga, One of the Five Principles of Yoga is Pranayama or Breathing Exercise. In Yoga, proper breathing is to bring more oxygen to the blood and to the brain, and to control the vital life energy. Pranayama also goes hand in hand with the Asanas- the yoga excercises. The union of these two Yogic Principles is considered as the highest form of purification and self-discipline, covering both mind and body.Thus breathing is life and It is one of our most vital functions.Each cycle of breathing which is usually thought of as merely inhalation followed by exhalation, include four phases or stages.The Pranayama practice gives emphasis to inhalation, exhalation, and retention of breath.
Kapalabhati (for cleansing) and Anuloma Viloma (Alternate Nostril Breathing) are the basic breathing techniques of Pranayama. The other breathing excercises include Bhramari or Nasal Snoring, Sitkari pertains to the sound made by drawing air in through the front teeth and Sithali the breathing by tongue hissing.