Although many construct the word, pranayama, with prana and yama in order to literally translate to "the
restriction of life force," in a pranayama practice, yogis seek to free or
direct prana throughout the body through controlled breathing. The intention is to allow the vital life force to expand and move
throughout the body, not restrict it within through controlled breathing. Therefore,
many yogis believe that ayama is used
in the rightful construction of the word, with pranayama literally translating to "the expansion of the life force" instead.