viyett yoga training class

"OM is the boat that enables one to cross the river of fear". "Om is the creative power in evolution". "OM is the sound of true love", all other mantras emerge and recede back into the Supreme Mantra. Its form and power are certainly worth knowing and perfecting.

Om is the Symbol
of the "Absolute"

Manduka Upanishad






Pranayama is the practice of conscious breath control. The word 'Prana' relates to the life force or the vital energy. The word 'ayama' relates to the conscious control of that life force and to the expansion of the vital force. Prana must not be misunderstood as being the same as oxygen as it is different to oxygen. Prana is in food, water, air, fire, stone, etc. Prana is present in all forms of life be it animate or inanimate forms of life. Prana is the subtle life essence (the thread of life) that pervades the entire universe. prana supports and maintains life. At the time of birth prana enters the body giving life and light and vigour to the body, at the time of death, prana departs leaving the body lifeless. From this understanding we can see that there is something more subtle and more precious that keeps all of our vital organs and limbs functioning and coordinating.

Pranayama techniques are designed to activate and regulate the life force. The power of pranayama practice is in the breath retention, however, in order to be able to perform breath retention the practitioner needs to practice exercises to strengthen the lungs and condition the body in preparation for the more advanced practices of pranayama.

According to yoga, lifestyle has a profound effect on the prana and the subtle body. Physical activities such as exercise, work, sleep, diet and sexual relations, irregularities in lifestyle and stress affect the way prana flows and the way it is distributed throughout the body. Other major factors that influence the flow of prana on a mental level are thought, emotions and imagination. This often manifests itself as feelings of lethargy, low energy levels, or a general feeling of 'depletion'. Long term depletion of energy can result in degeneration of organs and limbs and bodily systems.

The breath is the most vital process of the body as it influences all of the cells in the body and is directly linked to the performance of the brain. Deep, rhythmic, slow breathing promotes a calm and contented state of mind, whereas short irregular breathing leads to physical, emotional and mental blockages which result in inner conflict an imbalanced personality and a disordered lifestyle.