HINDU ENCYCLOPEDIA

सनातन धर्म भूमिका

Meaning of "pranayama"

Word

Pranayama

Sanskrit

प्राणायाम hi

IAST

prāṇāyāma

In General

The study of prana which is part of Yoga doctrine is called Pranayama. Swami Vivekananda says, “The knowledge and control of this Prana is really what is meant by Pranayama”.

There are two sources for yoga doctrines, the patanjali-astanga yoga and the Tantric-Kundalini Yoga. All the various branches like Rajayoga, Astanga yoga, Hatha yoga, Kriya yoga, Kundalini yoga are derived from these two primary sources of Yoga. This can be better learned if practiced with the guidance of a guru, an experienced one.

The initial method is to start from matter. The air we breathe is controlled to have a control over the mind and thus one can make a link with subtle Prana. There are five varista pranas which governs the different functions of the human body; they are: Prana , Apana , Samana , Vyana and Udana

According to Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the eight limbs of yoga are: Yama Niyama Asana Pranayama Pratyahara Dharana Dhyana and Samadhi

Authentic Texts: Patanjali Yoga Sutra, Gheranda Samhita and Hatha Yoga Pradipika.

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