Pranayama is an ancient breath technique that originates from yogic practices in India. It involves controlling your breath in different styles and lengths. It has more recently gained popularity in the western world because of the many health benefits that come from a pranayama practice.
In yogic beliefs, it is thought that you can control your inner force, also known as prana, through a pranayama practice. In yoga, prana also represents the physical forces of light, heat, magnetism, and energy. These meanings center on the ability that a pranayama practice has to develop breath control and improve mental well-being. A strong pranayama breath is also believed to help detoxify your body.