Pranayama practice is a most important part of Yoga-sadhana. All Yogic text emphasizes on the practice and Pranayama is intermediate Practice between the Physical and Mental Yogic practices.
Etymologically, The Sanskrit word “Pranayama” consists of two words:
Prana and Ayama.
Prana is subtle energy force (Life force) that regulates all the vital actions in the body. Ayama is control and extension. Therefore Pranayama is a voluntary process to control and expand the prana in the body.In Patanjalayogasutra, Pranayama is the fourth component of Astangayoga and Maharishi Patanajali wrote that
Pranayama is a process of Suspension of movement of inhalation and exhalation process.
GENERAL PHASES OF PRANAYAMA/ REGULATION OF BREATH
It is an important phase during Pranayama practice which regulates the
Inhalation. It is a process of breathe drawing inside the body which is supposed to be smooth and continuous.
It is second important phase during Pranayama practice which is Retention.It is a process when breathe hold inside or outside the body where there is no inhalation and exhalation. Kumbhaka consist of two types:
Antara Kumbhaka (Retention of air inside the body)
Bahya Kumbhaka (Retention of air outside the body)
Rechaka (Exhalation) It is final phase during Pranayama practice which regulate the Exhalation part. It is a process of breathe drawing outside the body which should be a slow and controlled manner. Some yoga practitioner state that rechaka is most important Pranayama (Regulation part of Pranayama because if the quality of exhalation is not good, then the Breath) quality of whole pranayama practice is affected.