Showing posts from March, 2007

Pranayama - The Fourth Limb of Yoga

Pranayama involves the use of various breathing techniques, and can be translated as "control of the breathing", or "breathing exercises." However, the use and effects of pranayama are much greater than this. The word p rana actually refers to the “vital life force” and ayama means “to control or extend”, so pranayama can also be defined as “extension of the life force”, which is why it can help to restore, to heal and to relax. . The yogis figured out in ancient times that “when the breath wanders, i.e. it is irregular, the mind is also unsteady, but when the breath is still, so is the mind, and the yogi lives long. So one should restrain the breath.” (Hatha Yoga Pradipika). The yogis also believed that the length of our lives could be measured in terms of how many times we are destined to breathe, rather than in terms of days or years. We can observe the same in the animal kingdom, animals such as tortoises, elephants, and snakes have a slow breathi

Asana - The Third Limb of Yoga

See below for list of yoga postures. 1. Plank Pose 2. Extended Side Stretch (Utthita Parsvakonasana) 3. Modified Extended Side Stretch (Utthita Parsvakonasana) 4. Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I) List of Yoga Postures in Sanskrit and English  The below is a list of classical yoga postures that is intended as an aid to learning alongside qualified instruction within a class. The list is therefore not in any order for practice, and there are many modifications to these postures and also many warm up exercises that are required prior to the practice of the below. Please ensure you practice under the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher. The website of the British Wheel of Yoga (, the governing body for yoga in the UK has details of yoga teachers throughout the UK. Please note that even under the guidance of a qualified teacher, working with respect and awareness of your body is paramount to ensure safety.  Remember Patanjali's advice: "Sthira sukham