The fourth branch of Yoga is Pranayama Means developing awareness of breathing (to be put under voluntary control).
PRANA means vital energy or cosmic energy.
AYAMA means to lengthen or to restrict.
This term is generally translated as "breath control" or "breath control" when it means "to develop awareness of the breath ".
This consciousness produces a subtle purification of the physical body (the five elements) and of Tanmatras (the subtle body). These in turn affect Manas (the emotional or conditioned mind), allowing the mind to move upward.
Pranayama also considerably purifies the energy body. Breathing control generally promotes good health but strengthens the downward movement of Manas in the physical world. In general, today's Yoga teachers and practitioners tend to control the body, the breath (energy), and the mind. Unfortunately, this process reinforces the downward movement of Ahamkara (principle of individuality) and Manas because it accentuates the feeling of being "the author of one's actions" or the feeling of "I". However, it gives us good health and a powerful ego.
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (based on the teaching of Srivatsa Ramaswami) by Pamela Hoxsey
II.49. Staying in yogic postures, variously controlling the movement of inhaling and exhaling, is called Pranayama.
II.50. Pranayama consists of exhaling , inhaling and holding and controlling the breath: at a given place (in the body), for a certain time (duration) and number. There should be a total focus on these aspects. Breathing should be long and gentle.
II.51. The fourth aspect of Pranayama is the suspension of the breath after the exhalation but before starting the next inhalation.
● Puraka or Abhyantara Vrtti - Inhale.
● Antar Kumbhaka or Stambha vrtti - Hold your breath after inhaling (Jalandhara Bandha).
● Rechaka or Bahya Vrtti - Exhale.
● Bahya Kumbhaka - Hold your breath after exhaling (Maha Bandhas big lock, 3 bandhas).
Mula Bandhas is constantly and naturally activated due to the engagement of the posture.
- Moshe Feldenkrais
"Are you ready to change? Therefore, the question arises as to whether it is possible for one to be able to freely choose new patterns of habits that are more appropriate and more suited to his unique person ”
The bridge that leads to the state of meditation
Asanas, bandhas, and mudras stress the importance of keeping the muscles and nadis of the lower part (mula) of the body in good tone. According to yogic theory, many important nadis are located in the anal and pelvic region, and therefore it is repeatedly emphasized that one keeps this area in good condition. In addition, it is the area of the sex glands (prostate, uterus, ovaries), and good muscle tone is particularly essential for proper functioning. Without these asanas, bandhas and mudras, these areas are never exercised.
The 3 main Bandhas (locks) - Mula Bandha - Uddiyana Bandha - Jalandhara Bandha. These are energy points that engage
allow the circulation and channeling of energy. The prana is directed by currents called Vayus 5 in number which dissipate the energy up and down, the bandhas allow this energy to be conserved so that it does not dissipate. Without the activation of these bandhas in the breathing exercises, there could be adverse effects on the energy of the practitioner, which is why it is important to practice the asanas in order to have commitment and flexible column.
Pranayama reduces guna tamas (physical and mental inertia) and, along with the practice of asanas, helps cleanse the rajas system. The result is that you become very sattwic - the perfect condition for the rewarding process of meditation.
The yogabhyasi (the practitioner) can obtain certain
extraordinary influences on its own physiological functions. The basic factor of yoga is breathing. Respiratory function can be influenced more easily than any other vital function, and the yogi uses it as the first step to influence the nervous system.
II.52. Through the practice of Pranayama, the veil of tamas (heaviness; darkness) which covers the clarity of the mind is removed.
II.53. Pranayama also makes the mind suitable for Dharana (supporting an idea).
Dharana (discernment - concentration) this term is appropriate only when we realize the difference between Manas (the emotional or conditioned mind) and Buddhi (individual, sensitive intellect).
Pranayama has several physical benefits. It expands the chest, improves vital capacity, and slowly helps overcome several illnesses such as bronchial asthma, shortness of breath, and irregular breathing. Along with bandhas and mudras, it improves blood circulation to and through the heart.
Pranayama has physiological benefits. Respiratory function is both voluntary and involuntary. Normally, our breathing is shallow and involuntary. In pranayama, a deliberate attempt is made to bring the breath under greater voluntary control, thereby bringing many other involuntary conditions of the body and mind under voluntary control. The mind is trained and adapted to follow the breath and therefore attain the capacity of Ekagra (the 4th state of focus, stable, effortless concentration), which is essential for all other mental and spiritual realizations.
"Regulate the breathing, be happy, connect the spirit to the source in your heart"
- T. Krishnamacharya
Yogic breathing exercises
● Nadi Shodhana / Anuloma Viloma
● Sitali and Sitkari Pranayama
● Surya Bhedana Pranayama
● Chandra Bhedana Pranayama
● Ujjayi Pranayama
● Anuloma Ujjayi Pranayama
● Pratiloma Ujjayi Pranayama
● Viloma Ujjayi Pranayama
● Mantra Pranayama