Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras outlines an eight limbed path to self-realization, or enlightenment, called ashtanga. Ashtanga translates literally to eight (ashta) limb (anga). Pranayama, or breath control, is the fourth limb, and one of the key components to both asana practice (the third limb) and meditation (dhyana, the seventh limb). Breath both carries and sustains us during asana practice, and provides an anchor for meditation. Pausing and paying attention to our breath is also very useful in everyday life, helping us to respond rather than react when encountering stressors. Join me this week for dedicated pranayama practice, along with meditation, at our new time: Breath & Meditation, 2:00pm, Fridays, Breathe Los Gatos.
P.S. This video gives a beautiful explanation of the science behind breathing and its affect on the nervous system.