Yogic breathing or pranayama is a fundamental practice in yoga. It is one of Patanjali’s eight-limbed path of ashtanga yoga for self-development through moral, physical and mental exercises: (yama or moral restraints; niyama or moral conduct; asana or physical posture; pranayama or breath control; pratyaharaor sense withdrawal or control: dharana or concentration; dhyana or meditation; are samyama or self-realisation). Together they define “control of life force.” These are aimed at increasing vital energy in the body and mind. Consciously and willfully practiced Yogic breathing techniques have the power to support the whole of the central nervous system.
Meditation gradually diminishes sympathetic dominance, resulting in an improved balance between the sympathetic (creative fight-flight responses) and the parasympathetic activity (involuntary visceral). Contemplation and Meditation bring about a hypo-metabolic state; modify tension and anxiety, and reduce stress induced sympathetic over reactivity. There is a decrease in energetic sympathetic response and improvement in blood levels of ‘youth hormones’: GH and DHEAS that defy aging.