The Eight Limbs of Yoga: Pranayama

Yoga Sutra 2.49
“tasmin sati shvasa prashvsayoh gati vichchhedah pranayamah”

Last month we explored the third limb: Asana. This month, we move on to the fourth limb: Pranayama.

Pranayama is breath work. It is said that engaging in Pranayama allows us to clear our energy, and thus our karma. Each of us walks into this life with karma. We are actively working on resolving our karma, so that we can land in a place of true happiness. Pranayama clears space within the body, and prepares the mind for pure concentration (meditation).

You can use Pranayama to control the Prana of the body, or “life force” in other words. By slowing the breath and controlling the patterns, we are able to gain greater awareness and clearer vision. With this awareness and crystallized vision, we can make space for our intention and begin to manifest our truest form of happiness.

Pranayama is also an excellent way to warm up the body and create heat for our Asana practice. Every Office Yoga® class includes a portion of Pranayama. It is one of most important and tangible limbs of the eight limbs of yoga.

Our founder, Maryam Sharifzadeh, gives an excellent breakdown of alternate nostril breathing on our Facebook Page. This is one of many technics you can begin to utilize in your pranayama practice.

We will continue to make our way through the Eight Limbs of Yoga, as outlined by Sri Swami Satchidananda’s rendition of Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.  Our hope is to discuss ways to incorporate each limb into your day to day lives. If you have questions or comments, always feel free to reach out to us!

Have specific questions about The Eight Limbs of Yoga or Pranayama? Comment below!

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