Spend an hour gossiping. Don’t stop talking. Then feel your energy.

Your mind will be tired. Your body will feel depleted. You’ll be exhausted.

That’s because when you speak, your life force gets expelled with each exhalation as you speak. With every word your life force gets diminished. Talking is truly akin to death.

With Sanskrit—the language of yoga—the opposite happens. As you pronounce each syllable, your prana (life force) gets redirected back into your body, replenishing your energy. It gives you life.

I once observed the power of Sanskrit to give life while attending a goddess festival in southern India. The Brahmin priests chanted the Vedas non-stop for nine nights. You would have thought that they would have been exhausted from such an exertion.

Not so. After hours of repetitive chanting, they were bouncing with energy. They couldn’t sleep. And their joy was contagious.

This is because the rules of pronunciation are designed to send the prana back into the physical and subtle body. As a result of pronouncing Sanskrit correctly, you feel full of energy, awake and alive.

In this way, Sanskrit is a healing method—and not a dead academic language.

This is how it works:

As you exhale through your mouth, you’ll notice that the breath passes over five distinct regions: the larynx, the soft palate, the hard palate, the teeth, and the lips.

Each one of these regions of speech is like an acupuncture point or marma that connects with channels of energy in the body. And just like when a needle is inserted in an acupuncture point, when these points are stimulated with the vibration of sound a current of energy opens inside.

When you pronounce a Sanskrit syllable perfectly, it’s like striking a bell. It sends out a wave of vibration that spreads within your body. It stimulates one of these five regions, which are each a marma point that opens a pranic pathway (nadi), that sends energy back into the subtle body instead of being wasted on the exhalation.

Your speech in Sanskrit, therefore, serves as a powerful form of pranayama that preserves and enlivens your life force.