Hatha Yoga at Discovery Green Conservancy 5-6-2017

Thanks for coming to class on Saturday at DG! We were in the far corner of the park. Below are the notes for our sessions, on breathing...!

Yoga Sutra 2.49: Once sufficient in the Yama (self-restraints), Niyama (social code), and asana (seated position), Patanjali advises the practitioner to engage in pranayama. Prana means the ‘breath or life force’ and ayama means ‘to lengthen or increase through control’. So pranamaya according to Raja Yoga is to retain the ingoing or outgoing part of the breath, it does not mean deep breathing. Essentially, when practicing pranayama, one increases the vital life force (prana) in themselves, as if to increase the breath of life (and in turn lengthen one's lifetime). This must only be practiced in certain positions, namely, seated meditation, and is to be avoided during other physical asanas, such as downward facing dog (basically, we do not want to restraint the breath while holding a dynamic posture). On a side note, we can certainly practice intentional breathing (and should) in each pose, yet this is different, this is increasing the pause of the breath alone.

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