The word Pranayama means Prana (life force) and Ayama (regulation or lengthening). Pranayama is the technique of regulating breath. Traditionally it was believed that Pranayama should be practiced by those who have many years experience of doing Asanas (physical postures). In recent years, research has shown that Pranayama can be practiced by anybody, and that it offers many health and spiritual benefits. Pranayama can treat stress related disorders, including anxiety, fear and depression. It increases the capacity of oxygen intake and can even reduce symptoms of asthma. Regular practice of Pranayama brings awareness to the breath, calms the mind, and provides mental clarity.