Pranayama is commonly referred to as breath control. Prana loosely means energy of vitality and ayama means to stretch or expand. Therefore, Pranayama is a way of increasing our vitality. The specific breathing techniques traditionally designated as Pranayama practices are designed to bring more vitality to the body and to calm & focus the mind. Pranayama also allows you to get more out of each posture by simply being more aware of your breath.