As you remember, ayama means extension, and Pranayama – an extension of the life force or extension of breath. This method is directly designed to progressively slow down the breathing rate, which translates into an increase in the number of years you will grace this Earth with your existence. That’s why pranayama practices have different levels of difficulty, to which each person should progressively advance.
As you train to slow down your breath during formal practice, you soon notice that your natural breath slows down as well, triggering all the associated with it benefits. Even though “normal” breathing in the West is considered to be 12 to 20 breaths per minute, pranayama principles have a different mark – around 6 breaths per minute. This is very slow breathing, which rarely who achieves living in a busy city, but with a dedicated practice, you can get there in a few months.