Prana in Sanskrit means “breath.” We all need to breathe to survive. Even plants breathe. Although breathing appears to be a kind of mechanical process, one that we don’t really think about, Ayurveda explains that the process of inhaling and exhaling is full of life itself. Notice how the breath changes when our emotions come into play. When we are scared, we tense up and hold our breath. When we are happy and laughing, we breathe deeply and our breathing is rhythmic. Pranayama means “to control the breath.” By doing so, we are helping to settle and control our busy minds.