Prāṇāyāma within Rāja Yoga and Haṭha Yoga

Some excerpts from an article by Paul Harvey outlining the viniyoga (application) of prāṇāyāma from a Rāja Yoga and a Haṭha Yoga perspective.

“In the Rāja Yoga approach, as delineated in texts such as the Yoga Sūtra, the practice of Prāṇāyāma is focused around developing and refining the principles of attention, timing and number of breaths.

The fruits of this approach are a reduction in confusion (Yoga Sūtra C2 v52) and fitness for the first steps in the meditative process (Yoga Sūtra C2 v53) towards cultivating an experience of being filled with a subtle sense of stillness (Yoga Sūtra C1 v3).

“In the Haṭha Yoga approach, as delineated in texts such as the Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā, the practice of Prāṇāyāma is focused around developing and refining the principles of using two primary channels (īḍā and piṅgalā) through a variety techniques to effect a śodhana (clearing of blockages) of the nāḍī (channels for prāṇa).”

“…..the practice of Prāṇāyāma links the student to the more refined aspects of dhāraṇā (concentration) and dhyānam (meditation) as a seated practice.”

Read full article. The article is also available as a downloadable PDF, courtesy of Dharma Downloads

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