The science of stress management and harnessing the life force of our natural health is called Pranayama.

This literally means "to master or control the life force Prana".

Ayurvedic medicine and yoga is the science of different forms of breathing exercises which we can use as one of the most effective natural tools for energising our mind and body. It can induce a deep state of relaxation for relief from stress, controlling our emotions and stimulating our immune system to prevent illness and it costs nothing.

If learned correctly from qualified yoga instructors and practiced regularly, Pranayama can help maintain equanimity and patience, control anger, relieve pain and treat many physical conditions such as chronic backache, migraines and asthma. It does this by allowing cellular breathing.

When oxygen reaches the deep recesses of our body tissues the cells absorb this and produce energy by a sophisticated chemical process this energy is the prana of the life force.

Try this simply version of Pranan Mudra,the pose for enlivening the life force. This is Pranayama combined with arm movements, like in Tai Chi, and can help to generate enormous self-confidence. Sit on the floor cross-legged (lotus position)or in a chair if preferred.

Keeping your spine and head straight, hold your hands in your lap, one on top of the other, palms facing upwards with the fingers slightly bent and relaxed. Breathe out first to empty your lungs. Then start breathing in, slowly and easily through the nose.

As you breathe in, raise the hands slowly, straightening the fingers and parting the hands, upwards in front of your stomach. Continue along the front of your neck and face and then slowly stretch the arms up over your head and down level with your shoulder, stretched out in front, palms facing forwards.

Repeat in your mind: "I am breathing in my life force." Observe your own inner tranquility. Hold your breath for as long as you can comfortably.

Now slowly start breathing out, bringing your hands in front of your face, palms facing inwards. Fold your elbows and slowly move the hands downwards in front of your neck, chest and abdomen as you breathe out. Repeat in your mind: am breathing out my impurities and my negativities".

Repeat the exercise two to three times. Sit quietly for a few minutes before getting up.