The Fourth Limb of Patanjali’s Eight Fold Path: Pranayama (Breath Control)

GraceGrace's Blog

In 2013 I covered the first three limbs of Ashtanga yoga – yama, niyama and asana.  Now we are going to explore the fourth limb: pranayama (breath control). Just a reminder that the eight limbs of Patanjali’s Eight Fold Path are: Yama (restraint) Niyama (observances) Asana (posture) Pranayama (breath control) Pratyahara (controlling the senses) Dharana (concentration) Dhyana (meditation) Samadhi (absolute consciousness) This month’s focus: PRANAYAMA Pranayama lies in the heart of yoga.  Prana means ‘life force or energy’ and yama as you know means to control.  So pranayama is described as breath control. Prana means vital energy by which we … Read More

The Third Limb of Patanjali’s Eight Fold Path: Asana (Posture)

GraceGrace's Blog

The last few months we have covered the first two limbs of Ashtanga yoga – yama and niyama.  Now we are going to explore the third limb: asana (posture) which is the most popular in the Western world. Just a reminder that the eight limbs of Patanjali’s Eight Fold Path are: Yama (restraint) Niyama (observances) Asana (posture) Pranayama (breath control) Pratyahara (controlling the senses) Dharana (concentration) Dhyana (meditation) Samadhi (absolute consciousness)  This month’s focus: ASANA Asana, the third limb, is often referred to as posture and is the aspect of yoga practice that is often misunderstood and taken for the … Read More

Ujjayi breath

GraceGrace's Blog

Ujjayi breath is often known as Victorious breath.  It is most often used with the practice of vinyasa (breath-synchronised movement).  Ujjayi means “to conquer” or “to be victorious”.  Ujjayi breath is highly beneficial as it concentrates and directs the breath, giving asana practice extra power and focus.  It also helps quiet the mind and slows and smooths the flow of breath.  The breath slightly constricts the back of the throat, the glottis.  You can imagine fogging up a pair of glasses, where the breath is like a sigh – that is the type of breath Ujjayi is.  This constriction of … Read More