Pranayama,  Meditation & Satsang

Pranayama is often described simply as doing breathing exercises and, at its most fundamental level, this is exactly what it is. On a physical level, pranayama will exercise your lungs and your diaphragm, clearing all stale air which accumulates in the bottom of your lungs and therefore allowing your whole body to benefit from a fresher supply of oxygen. As a result your body will feel more open and active; your mind will feel brighter and more energetic. In addition, the breathing techniques also work on the pranic body.

A literal translation of theSanskrit word “Pranayama” is “expansion of the prana”. Prana is the subtle life force energy which pervades our whole universe but which is concentrated in slightly varying forms within and around our physical bodies. In Eastern philosophies, it is literally what gives our bodies life. Pranayama increases our level of prana by drawing it from the air around us. You will therefore literally feel more alive.

PatanjaliFurther than this, however, the breath is the one of the few of our bodily functions which can either operate entirely sub-consciously or consciously; it has been described as a bridge between the subconscious and the conscious mind. The pranayama techniques developed over thousands of years aim to bring the breath entirely under conscious control. This requires consistent focus of the mind and one-pointed concentration (itself a form of meditation). Control of the breath IS control of the mind. Your body becomes a tool of the mind rather than its master.

As you develop greater control of your breath and your mind, your ability to concentrate on anything you choose will also improve. Your performance in any activity will become more focused and efficient and your mind will be calm.

All of Moira’s Yoga classes have a strong emphasis on the breath throughout and finish with a short Pranayama and Meditation session.