Prāṇāyāma is common to both Haṭha and Rāja Yoga Sādhana……

nadi_sodanaPrāṇāyāma is common to both Haṭha and Rāja Sādhana,
whether working with the Prāṇa Śodhana of Haṭha Yoga,
where you were taught to practice it at each
of four transitional points through the day,
or with the Citta Śodhana of Patañjali,
where it is the pivotal Bahya Aṅga,
Prāṇāyāma is seen as the primary means to engage
the Élan Vital, the vital force or creative principle.

It dissolves defects like the Mahā Kleśa…….


mahākleśādayo doṣaḥ kṣīyante maraṇādayaḥ |
mahāmudrāṃ ca tenaiva vadanti vibudhottamāḥ ||

“It dissolves defects like the Mahā Kleśa such as the fear of Death.
For this reason the wise call it the Mahā Mudrā
– Commentary on Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā Chapter 3 verse 14

Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā Chapter 1 verse 17 on Āsana


kuryāttad āsanaṃ sthairyam ārogyaṃ ca aṅga lāghavan |
“Āsana Practice brings steadiness, reduced illness and a lightness of limb.”
Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā of Svāmi Svātmārāma Chapter One verse 17

This verse is commenting on the development of Āsana
as a foundation or accessory for more subtle practices.
Better not to confuse the vehicle with the direction.

I am reminded of a quote from Srivatsa Ramaswami:
“I studied with Śrī Krishnamacharya for a number of years.
I do not remember a single Yogāsana class which did not have
a decent dose of Prāṇāyāma and Ṣanmukhi Mudrā in it
and short prayers to begin and end the session.”

Āsana brings steadiness, health and lightness……


kuryāttadāsanaṃ sthairyamārogyaṃ cāṅgalāghvam |
‘Āsana brings steadiness, health and lightness.’
– Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā Chapter 1 verse 17

For me, still to this day, one of the finest, simplest, direct and most succinct definitions on the purpose of Āsana within the processes and practices of Haṭha Yoga, is the definition offered in the Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā Chapter 1 verse 17.

It is a definition valid for any presentation or as a response to questions from any level around why we practice Āsana.

It can be a springboard to discussing physiological qualities such as the relationship of Agni to the energetic qualities of health and lightness.

Or it can be a springboard to discussing psychological qualities such as the relationship of the Guṇa, such as Rajas, to mental qualities such as steadiness.

108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 1 – The movement of the breath is a mirror

nadi_sodanaPrāṇāyāma Practice Pointer 1 – The movement of the breath is a mirror

The movement of the breath is a mirror to the movement of the mind.
Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā Chapter Two verse 2

Link to Posts Series: 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers

Explore and discuss the concept of Dvandva in Yoga Sūtra C2 v48……

Yoga Sūtra Study Question 10.

Explore and discuss the concept of Dvandva  in Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 48,
by relating it to the definition of Āsana in Chapter One of the Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā.
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