The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is a collection of aphorisms and potent bits of wisdom that guide and inform the seeker all about Yoga and it's applications. It is definitely a must have for all those interested in delving deeper into the Yoga journey. In the Yoga Sutras, there are a multitude of verses that will inspire and clarify your journey as you explore the depths of Yoga beyond the mat. Many people do not realize that Yoga is a way of life, and so much more than physical exercise alone. Yoga embodies a deep wealth of philosophy, ethical codes, and practices which guide us to live a more meaningful life, and eventually to witness spiritual liberation.
In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, there is mentioned the eight limbs of yoga "Ashtanga". These practices, each build upon the other. They are cumulative, diverse and comprehensive in their applications and benefits. The fourth limb encompasses the practice of pranayama. Pranayama can be broken down into two root words, "prana" and "ayama". Prana is translated as wind or energy, our vitality. Prana is the creative life force that drives evolution, it is the Breath of Life. Ayama means to embody, cultivate, sustain or lengthen. Therefor, pranayama is about sustaining our lifeforce through connection to breath. It's about cleansing, building and maintaining a strong energy body. It is an intentional practice, like yoga asanas, but one that works on a more subtle body than the physical alone. Pranayama, when practiced regularly has a number of physical, emotional, and mental health benefits which bring us into balance, and connects us to a higher vibration, a greater sense of well-being.
Below I have included a link to a video where you can hear and watch me share a little about two different pranayama practices. These two, Dirga Swasam and Kapalbhati are equally beneficial when used appropriately and together at the start of the day, or anytime you need to refresh, enliven and center yourself.
May you Be Happy, Healthy and Free!