What is Prāṇāyāma?

What is Prāṇāyāma? The two words broken down 'Prāṇā' and 'Ayāma' mean the following; 'Prāṇā' is the subtle life force. It also means breath, respiration, vitality and energy. 'Ayāma' is control. Or restraint. Extension. To stretch, regulate, expand or prolong. The word 'Prāṇāyama' itself simply means the expansion of this subtle life force. It means prolongation of breath and its restraint. The śivasaṁhitā (one of the earliest texts on hatha yoga) calls it vāyu sādhana (vāyu = breath; sādhana = practice, quest). Prāṇā is not like a gross physical energy - it is a subtle energy. Prāṇā or prāṇā-sakti is a life principle or life force. This life force expresses itself in the breath. B.K.S Iyen

Who Owns Yoga?

There were rumours some time ago of Hindu's creating a campaign to reclaim Yoga. They said it belonged to their tradition and to their country and because it has been so badly abused by the western yoga community they wanted to preserve it's integrity. Not all Hindu's say that Yoga is Hindu, but most would agree it is deeply rooted in Hindu culture. The main reason for the reclaim yoga campaign was because of what yoga in the west has become. You can now do Pub yoga. You can visit a pub in London and for £10 you can do a class, hire a mat and have a pint. This may seem outrageous to many but really what is the difference between this and the many other gimmick based yoga classes? Above: Full

Sun Salutation Anatomy Part 1

This blog is generally aimed at the the current Teacher Trainee's, but is something that any regular practitioner or anyone with any interest in anatomy may find helpful. The subject of anatomy when it relates to asana practice is interesting and opens up a number of debates. It can just make the process much more complicated than it should be. Does it really matter what is stretching and what is contracting (shortening)? In many ways it does not. You can have a very enjoyable practise without knowing your vastus medialis from your sternocleidomastoid! What an understanding of anatomy does however, is give teachers the tools to guide students in the right direction and to ensure what you are

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