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Breath / Vital Air Sheath

Subtler than the food sheath, the vital air sheath controls and regulates the physical body by the air we breathe. Specifically, the vital air sheath manages five physiological faculties - perception (through senses), excretion, digestion, circulation, and thinking. Breath serves as a bridge between the body and mind. Stressful conditions can result in inefficient breathing but specific, purposeful breathing techniques help calm the mind and emotions.

Breath is the essence of life. Focusing on practices that enhance our breath strengthens our relationship between the mind and body.

Akhila Health Breath Module


Breathing exercises help direct the flow of prana (or life-force) in the body. Specific breathing techniques help calm the mind and emotions while others are stimulating and invigorating. When we breathe deeply into the lower lungs, we engage the parasympathetic nervous system and the “calm” nerve receptors are activated. This allows us to slow down, arrive at the moment and recognize the choices that are available.


In Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language, the word ‘Prana’ means life energy, and ‘yama’ means control. Pranayama employs specific breathing exercises and patterns to control the breath. Pranayama has the ability to bring control to the body and mind. In our programs, we employ pranayama techniques such as alternate nostril breathing, which is attributed to calming the mind, especially an anxious mind.

"I enjoyed the balance breathing technique."

Workshop attendee, HomeFirst, San Jose