Lesson 29: Online Education in Yoga by Sri Prashant S. Iyengar recorded 7-10-20
To classically understand the pranayama we had to briefly explain the pancha koshas. Then, I said, we will go to pranayama from next session. However…, I will start with taking up questions from the ardent students….
Body, Mind, Breath Address Us
Q: During the sessions on asana I said the body, mind, breath are addressed and addressing. The question is, “What is this dichotomy, where body, mind and breath are addressed and addressing?”
A: Now, [in] popular yoga, consumer yoga, you address the body, mind, and breath. There is only one aspect — the body…, the breath…, and the mind are addressed. The body…, the mind…, and the breath are set right. But, then, I mentioned the other dimension — the body is addressing, the mind is addressing, and the breath is addressing.
If yoga is a consumer product, then body, mind, breath, should be addressed. But if you understand the dynamics of yoga, the body…, the mind…, and the breath are addressing [us] as well. Although we want to do yoga for the wellbeing of body, mind, and embodiment, that is consumer yoga. [When] we want to do something that is good for body…, and mind…, at the end of the session we assess how [much] it has worked on me. We want to be beneficiaries when it [comes] to assessment of our own endeavors.
We don’t just want to see that the body… and mind are feeling fine. We want our selves to be addressed. It implies that if we are to be addressed, our subjective entity is to be addressed, who is going to address it? The body, mind, and breath. In the dynamics of yoga there are two sides…. One is that the body, mind, and breath are addressed and set right — put in form, put in shape qualitatively.
On the other [side] we want our selves to be put right. Who is going to do that? Body, mind, and breath are going to do that. This goes unnoticed. However, in assessment we want to feel fine. It implies that we are different from body, mind and breath. We want the body, mind and breath to be our benefactors, and we to be beneficiaries….
Therefore there are two aspects to these dynamics — the body is addressed [by us], and the body is addressing [us]. When the body is addressed, the breath and mind are addressing it. When the mind is addressed, the body and breath are addressing it. When the breath is addressed, the body and mind are addressing it. Out of the three, two [are a] benefactor… and one [is a] beneficiary….
By rotation the body becomes a beneficiary, the breath becomes a beneficiary, and the mind becomes a beneficiary. [These] rotational dynamics in yoga are… facilitated by the associated conditions of body, mind and breath…. They can work for each other, becoming mutual benefactors and beneficiaries. Therefore, I stated that body, mind and breath are benefactors, as well as beneficiaries. The body, mind and breath are addressed [byus], as well as addressing [us].
Their interactive culture makes this possible. When they interact, they actualize these covert dynamics. The overt dynamics benefit the body…, breath…, and mind. These are the overt…, obvious, aspects of dynamics: We want to set right the body, mind and breath. We want to exercise body, mind and breath.
At the same time, we also want to be addressed. Having done yoga, we must feel fine. It’s not that only our body…, breath…, and mind should feel fine. We, ourselves, have to feel fine. We assess of our [practice] session from the perspective, “How fine do I feel?” That means the body, mind and breath become benefactors, and we become beneficiaries. These are aspects of dynamics.
When you get into the practical aspects of it, you will notice that we are benefactors of body, mind and breath. Body, mind, and breath [also both] benefit us, and mutually benefit each other. They are mutual beneficiaries of each other. One has to experience these dynamics of yoga while in asana or while in pranayama….
How can they be both addressing and addressed? They mutually address each other, and get addressed by each other.
Yoga Generates Will, Devotion, Honesty +7.40
Q/A: Then, I said, rather than investing will in our yoga, we must generate will. It is not just the aspect of will. We need certain qualitative aspects of mind. We must do sincerely…, attentively…, and honestly. We think that honesty… and sincerity must be invested in our yoga — these qualitative aspects of dedication, devotion, honesty, integrity, and sincerity. [Although] we think of investing those things…, in asana and pranayama, in an associated condition of body, mind and breath, we generate these qualities. We will generate will power in the process of doing asana.
To begin with, we need to have the will. That is why we say, “where there is a will, there is a way.” That is a… rudimentary condition. We need to have a will. But in the asana process, we will be able to generate the will, [and] also other qualities, such as honesty, integrity, sincerity, etc. The marvel of the dynamics of asana and pranayama is that we can generate those… organic qualities.
When we are investing our will, it is not so organic. It is inorganic. Usually in our business activities of life there are external factors. Therefore, we need will as well, but there are subjective aspects here. Everything is subjective — the objective entity, the subjective entity, and the instrumental entity, are all integrated within us. Therefore these are unique processes.
By the dynamics of asana and pranayama you get a condition that you become honest. You should be honest to start with. It is a wonderful condition…. It’s a gateway condition. You should start with honesty…, sincerity…, advertence [attentiveness]…, focus…, and integration….
However…, you autogenically [from within] start developing these qualities. Therefore, in asana you will generate will…, sincerity…, honesty…, and integrity. This has to be experienced by getting into the laboratory of asana…, and pranayama. That is the objective aspect, subjective aspect, and instrumental aspect. They interact on, and for, each other to turn out these qualities.
I will give you one example. See if you can understand this. You go to a grocer’s shop. In the grocer’s shop you get all those materials with which you [develop] all those delicacies in your kitchen. They are all available in the grocer’s shop. You don’t get any delicacies [there], but you get all the materials for a delicacy….
[When] you get the groceries back home, you… process them to turn out enjoyable delicacies. In the grocer’s shop you don’t find delicacies, [only] all… the raw material for the delicacies. They need a process, they need a sequential order, they need a skill. If one has the skill…, process, processing instrumentation, and sequence, how does the delicacy turn out? In a delicacy something had to be done first, then something should be done [next]. There is a process…. In a grocer’s shop you only get the material.
So, body, mind, breath, senses, psyche, are all material. In themselves, [like groceries] they don’t have any delicacy, but [when] they come together in a particular proportion, [and]… process, [with]… some amount of skill in processing, a delicacy will turn out. Similarly, body, mind, and breath, come together and turn out that delicacy of yoga, where you get sublimity, purity, piety, sanctity, equity, equanimity, equilibrium, etc. — the noble qualities of yoga.
What is required is… a process…. By this process you will generate a suitable will, compatible will, sufficient will. So, also, you will generate other qualities such as sincerity, integration, honesty, dedication, devotion, affiliation, etc.
Yoga is a process which turns out these qualities. It is not that you must have these investments in place. Even if the investments are in place, they are of meager quantity and quality. Just as a cook, chef, or housewife turns out irresistible delicacies from the process in the kitchen, the kitchen process of consciousness… turns out sincerity, purity, piety, sanctity, sanity, equity, equanimity, equilibrium, honesty, and dedication in yoga. All these things are turned out from the process of yoga.
That is why I made the statement that instead of investing in will, will should be generated by asana because that potential is there. We have a kitchen process in asana, pranayama, and meditation. Just as the kitchen process turns out delicacies, there are kitchen processes to turn out these sublime states. That is why I made the statement that “Will, etc., must be generated rather than invested.”
Of course, a meager investment will be required if you’re a… rudimentary student in a raw condition. You will have to invest certain things. But these investments are meager and the reaps are disproportionately great. That’s why that statement came.
Satya Dharma — Fidelity in Mind, Speech, & Action +15.55
Q: There was a question of fidelity in speech and mind.
A: The truth is fidelity in speech and mind. I gave that example of guru and shishya (student). The shishya had to speak the truth in front of the guru, because of a kind of coercion. There was no way to escape.
To all his colleagues he was speaking untruth. He did not reveal the truth when he was interacting with his colleagues…. But when the colleagues brought him in front of the guru and complained that this fellow was lying, not speaking the truth…, he had to helplessly, haplessly, speak the truth.
It was merely oratory truth. The mind did not have fidelity. He spoke the truth out of helplessness. He didn’t want to speak the truth, but he was forced to because he revered the guru. He was coerced to speak the truth because he could not disrespect his guru. That shows there was no fidelity between the mind and speech….
Satya dharma it is not the moral truth, moral-ethical principle of truth. It is the ethico-religious principle of truth, where there must be fidelity in speech, mind, and also action. Otherwise, if you recall, as I told you, we do one thing, say a second thing, and have a third thing in the mind.
There are three different things — our activity of body, our speech, and our mind… — three heterogeneous things that cannot be homogenous, and cannot have fidelity. Whereas, in satya dharma (as an ethico-religious practice) we need to have fidelity. That’s why I gave that example [where] we might speak the truth because of consequently [getting] caught. [When] we are caught…, we are sometimes forced to speak the truth. That’s why we have to speak the truth. Sometimes, [when] there is coercion, we speak the truth. That is not satya dharma.
In satya dharma all three things should have fidelity. That’s why that shanti mantra [states]: “Let my mind be established in my speech. Let my speech be established in my mind.” This is the superior grade of truth, while in the example it was an inferior grade of truth. It was tainted truth, and, therefore, not truth. It was half-truth. Mind was not speaking the truth [when] the oral organ spoke the truth. Mind was not in consonance. Rather than that, it was antagonistic. That’s why these fidelities are important when it comes to satya dharma.
Japa — Roles in Karma Bhakti Jnana & Dhyana +19.20
Q: There was question about japa (repetition of mantra)….
A: Japa is a huge topic. There are countless kinds of japas: nitya (continual) japa, naimittika (occasional) japa, kamya (to acquire benefit) japa. Then japa of jnana sadhana (knowledge practice), japa of karma sadhana (action practice), japa of bhakti sadhana (devotional practice), japa of dhyana sadhana (meditation practice), japa in tantra sadhana (systematic practice), and japa in mantra sadhana. So there are n number of japas.
Say, for instance, aum japa, or aum in jnana sadhana is one thing. Japa of aum in karma sadhana is another thing. Or karma marga (action path), dhyana marga (meditation path), jnana marga (knowledge path), bhakti marga (devotional path). These are the four major paths given by adhyatma (pursuit of the Self).
Everywhere japa will have different skirting [basis]. Japa will have different role. In jnana marga, japa should give you jnana. In karma marga, japa should give you the qualification for karma. In dhyana marga, japa should give you resourcefulness, and contribute to your dhyana potential. In bhakti, it should give devotion. So, jnana, dhyana, karma, bhakti, and even tantra and mantra. In mantra sadhana, japa comes for the mantra to become powerful. There are different kinds of japas, depending upon purpose… and caliber.
[If] the ajnana marga sadhaka (path of ignorance practitioner) is very rudimentary, how will that japa be? If the jnana marga sadhaka (path of knowledge practitioner) is almost a jnani (wise man), how will that japa be? Japa will change [according to] hierarchy…, caliber, and qualification. So, there are ‘n’ number of japas.
Japa in dharma sadhana (ethico-religious practice), as I told you, [refers to] jnana, dhyana, bhakti, and karma marga. Then I told you about japa in mantra japa, and tantra japa…. Dharma sadhana also needs a japa. Mantra sadhana needs japa. Tantra sadhana needs a japa. Yoga sadhana needs a japa. Jnana sadhana needs a japa. Karma sadhana needs a japa. Bhakti sadhana needs a japa. These are different modes because the outcome of the japa will be different.
Then there are nitya (continual) and naimittika (occasional) japas which come in dharma. If you open out the dharma marga (path of dharma), then there are nitya, naimittika, and kamya (to acquire benefit) japas. It is not so easy to articulate that in one session. We [need to] totally dedicate a couple of sessions to japa… if we decide to penetrate the concept of japa, because japa has enormous potential.
What is japa? The two letters of japa, ja and pa, are the two syllables in the word japa. Janma viccheda (birth discontinuation) is one purpose of japa, and pakara (sound of pa) papa nashakah (removes sin). The japa will primarily work in two channels, in any process — like jnana, dhyana, karma, bhakti, tantra, mantra, dharma, etc. They have this purpose:
jakaro janma-vichcheda pakara papa-nashaka.
The letter ja [denotes] the discontinuation of rebirth (janma vichcheda). Pa [denotes] removal of sin (papa nashanam). [source untraced]
So, sin management, sin reduction, or getting emancipated [from] sin.
And the other [word], janma, is about the cycle of birth and death. [Japa] that will relieve us from the cycles of birth and death. That’s why the word japa. It will come in various hierarchies, and in various ways. There is also something called japa rahasya (subtle/secret).
It’s a huge topic by itself. As a part of the study of yoga we will have to go into it, but not at this point in time. At some point in time we are going to investigate japa and try to understand the nuances and implications of japa.
Satsanga Includes Santasanga & Sattvasanga +24.45
Q: Then finally there was question on satsanga. What is satsanga?
A: Sat means truth. Satsanga means association with truth, discussing the truth, hearing the truth, contemplating the truth. So, hearing, thinking, contemplating, and practicing for truth is satsanga.
The meaning of sat is truth. Satsanga is also santasanga (fellowship of saints and literature of the saints), because the saints are in truth, and the saints practice…, are permeated by…, and have explored, realized, and speak only truth. So santasanga is also satsanga.
Now, you say you’re not… finding any saints around you. Fortunately we have a rich tradition… of literature on the saints in all the regions of our country, from the top to the bottom — in various regions and various states. Today we have states in India, so each region, each language, has produced saints. The saints have left some literature behind for us. Study, hearing… and contemplation of saintly literature… — to hear, read, and study — is also satsanga.
Then satya-sanga…, the search for philosophical truth, not for the business activities of life…, is also satsanga.
So satsanga, sadhu sanga (association with holy men, knowers of truth), santasanga, and now sattva sanga. Unless we are pursuing the sattva guna (clarity quality), accumulating sattva guna, there is no satsanga. Even pursuing the sattva guna is also satsanga….
Satsanga [includes] sadhu sanga, santa sanga, satya sanga, and sattva sanga. All that put together is satsanga. This is so important for those who are in pursuit of yoga, and pursuit of adhyatma (the Self). Satsanga is very, very important. I opened out the factor of satsanga, because sattva is also truth, santa is truth, and sadhu is truth.
For satsanga… we must study the scriptures which divulge the truth…: the darshana shastra (philosophical texts), Upanishad shastra, Vedanta shastra, and moksha shastra (liberation texts), [that] postulate sat — the truth. Dharma shastra (ethico-religious texts), dharma sanga. Studying the dharma shastra, is for sattva, and the truth, satya. We must study the Upanishads, Yoga shastra, Gita shastra (texts in verse, such as the Bhagavad Gita), Vedanta shastra, Samkhya shastra (texts of the sister school of thought to Yoga), dharma shastra, adhyatma shastra, and the moksha shastra. These shastras all reveal the truth, divulge the truth, and offer us passage to go towards the truth. That is satsanga.
Pranayama — Breath is Vehicle of Prana Shakti +29.35
Now let’s slightly look into pranayama, which is the topic of the session today. Basically, we must understand that… neo-yoga influences us, because today pranayama is svasayama, dealing with… respiratory in-breath and respiratory out-breath.
This is not endorsed by the classical tradition, the classical approach in the classical texts. All pranayama today is in reference to the in-breath that you take through the nose, and out-breath that goes out through the nose…. Respiratory inhalation and exhalation [are mistakenly] construed as pranayama. That is not true. That is not right. If you have a classical approach, you will come to know the fact that the breath is only an instrument. It’s only a carrier of the prana shakti (cosmic energy). Just regulating the breath, qualitatively and quantitatively, handling the breath, is not pranayama.
You try to keep your vehicle in good shape. If you have a car, you keep the car in good condition to use it without hassle…. You should take care of your vehicle, so you can use it without any hassle.
The in-breath and out-breath are only vehicles. Today that itself has become pranayama. Being a vehicle of pranayama, the in-breath, or the breathing, must be taken care of. Nowhere is it suggested that [because it] is not pranayama… it can be overlooked…. The in-breath, out-breath and retention are… only vehicles of pranayama.
[Although] you… take care of your vehicle, the vehicle serves some other purpose. You don’t just take care of the vehicle — you put it in the garage, bring it out in the morning, wash it, clean it again, [put] it back in the garage, occasionally take it to a mechanic to service it, and put it back in the garage. You don’t do [just] that. You use the car. The car has a function, …a purpose.
Similarly, this in-breath and out-breath are just vehicles. You must take care of that vehicle, just as much as you take care of your [car], which serves other purposes for your convenience. The car is there to serve your purpose. The in-breath and out-breath are just vehicles of pranayama. Therefore, [just] as much care must be taken as… [for] care of the car. If you are not a good owner of the car — you are reckless and careless, and neglect your car — your car will trouble you. The car will not serve your purpose well.
Just dealing with in-breath and out-breath is not pranayama, [although] this is the popular notion that has come in the world today because of the popularization of yoga. It’s all… in-breath and out-breath….
Pranayama — Partially Open Nostrils +33.40
Digital pranayama deals with the concept of chandra nadi (moon channel), and surya nadi (sun channel)…. People [mistakenly] block the nostril in any way [they can] — one nostril blocked, and one nostril open [by] doing all kinds of ridiculous things on the nose. Straight nose and nostril is being tilted by the pressures. To inhale in the right [nostril], we [mistakenly] tilt the septum to the right. To inhale in the left, we [mistakenly] tilt the septum to the left. We press so [hard] on the nostrils that we deviate the septum.
Do you want a deviated septum? When God has given you a straight nose, why make it crooked? [When] making it crooked, what’s the logic to say that it is pranayama? These ridiculous things are very rampant in nasal pranayama…. [Why] do you want to block one nostril in pranayama? You don’t have to block the nose physically, because the nostrils can get blocked as it is.
[Suppose] you have a cold. When you have a cold, you experience… one… or both nostrils choked…, blocked…. Although your nasal gates are open — nobody is blocking your nose — the passages are blocked…. You don’t have to close the nose to block the… nostrils [as]…. in a cold, [when] either one or both of your nostrils are choked. The gates are open…, yet the breath cannot go in, or… out. Either it is choked for exhalation, or it is choked for inhalation.
Then we use the mouth to exhale or inhale because the nose cannot do it. We don’t need to tilt our nose and nostrils to be doing so-called Anuloma, Pratiloma, Surya Bhedana, Chandra Bhedana, ida pranayama, or pingala pranayama. You don’t have to put the fingers on the nostrils aggressively.
Pranayama Mudra +36.35
The tradition has a beautiful delicate mudra for pranayama, where only the right hand should be used on the nostrils. Only if the right hand is injured, or if you don’t have a right hand, can you use the left hand. Otherwise, only the right hand should be used for pranayama. Then, there is a beautiful mudra for pranayama. The index finger and middle finger of your right hand should be folded in, and the thumb, ring finger and small finger should form a ring-like shape. [It] should be as if it were an ornament delicately placed on the nostrils….
It’s not aggressively blocking the nose, thinking that the nostrils [should be] blocked. [That is] a ridiculous way to do… alternate right and left nostril pranayama, etc…. There is a delicate mudra using the ring finger, and small finger, along with the thumb.
There are also energy aspects [that explain] why two fingers and the thumb — and no other two fingers… — should come. You could also be blocking with the other two fingers — the index and middle finger — and the thumb, but there are energy circuits in our palms. That is why the yogis have discovered, embarked upon, and have stipulated a particular mudra — the small finger, and ring finger with the opposing thumb as the best. The thumb is opposite of all the fingers…. The best for pranayama are those two which come face to face. Because these (ring finger and small finger) are the last two fingers, and thumb is the first one, they come in almost straight opposite rather than angularly.
Ida & Pingala Nadi Pranayama +38.55
There are energy aspects considered by the shastras. We don’t have to go into it today, because this is an introductory education. Nasal pranayama means ida… and pingala pranayama. The nadi is not as huge as a nostril. There are nadis in the right and left nostril…. That is, again, an influence that today we do the digital breathing — the Surya Bhedana pranayama, the Chandra Bhedana pranayama, or Anuloma, Pratiloma, or Nadi Shodhana, etc… — by [mistakenly] blocking the nostrils aggressively, in an uncivilized way. There is no… civility in taking the fingers like that [pushing] on the nose — pressing the index finger on the nose or the middle finger on the nose. Understand that it’s a very delicate act. It’s a tender act.
Pranayama works as an ornament… on your chitta. [Would] you like an ornament of [just] any shape and form on your body? You want a beautiful shape. You want all ornaments that go on the body to be a wonderful shape, a beautiful shape, to beautify you. Pranayama… beautifies the chitta. Therefore, when it comes to digital pranayama, place the fingers as an ornament on chitta.
We have to come out of these ideas and notions about pranayama. Basically, we think it is something to do with inhalative and exhalative respiration, and perhaps retention… after inhalation and exhalation. We just deal with the… respiratory breath….
Prana Classifications +41.15
Pranayama is holistic because there are five pranas. If you’re dealing with the nose, then you’re dealing with only one prana, whereas pranayama [also] implies apanayama, samanayama, and udanayama [restraint of the other three pranas]. How can you deal with breath in one location, such as the nostrils? Because the nostrils are in [only] one location, as far as pranic division is concerned. Nose to heart, is said to be prana. Heart to navel, is said to be samana. Navel and below is said to be apana. Nostrils, and above, is said to be udana. And vyana is all over…. There are five pranas, however four pranayamas.
In one classification there are only four — prana-vyanayama, apana vyanayama, samana vyanayama, udana vyanayama (each of four pranas combined with vyana prana). Then, another classification says that there are… only two kinds of pranayama — samantraka (accompanied with mantra), and amantraka (unaccompanied by mantra). Another classification tells us puraka (inhalation), rechaka (exhalation), kumbhaka (retention) pranayama. There are two kumbhakas, outer and inner, external and internal.
These are various classifications… [of] various types of pranayamas in the classical approach. Otherwise, in the popular approach, you have Ujjayi, Viloma, Anuloma, Pratiloma, Surya Bhedana, Chandra Bhedana, Nadi Shodhana, Brahmari, or Plavini. These are some of the pranayamas mentioned and we think these are the pranayamas.
But in the educational process, we are introduced to the, samantraka, amantraka, bahya (external) vrtti, abhyantara (internal) vrtti, stambha (cessation) vrtti types of pranayamas….
Pranayama Linked to Asana +44.15
If you recall in our last session…, we were dealing with orientation of pranayama in various asanas. We must be familiar with the potentials of breathing. What are the potentials of the breath and breathing? Asana is a wonderful academy. Don’t [make] divisions — these are asana practices, these are pranayama practices. Patanjali gives us a link between asana and pranayama. Why? Because asanas will induct us to the enormous potentials of the breath and breathing, the enormous function of breath and breathing.
You can animate the inanimate body and mind. You can pacify the super mercurial, animated, body and mind. Different conditions [exist] in the body and mind. The breath has those chemical constitutions to counter negative conditions and build up positive conditions. In asana we must [do] fieldwork to explore the potentials of the breath, uses of the breath, applications of the breath…. What can the breath do to our composite body and mind? What can be done for the breath with the composite body, mind, and senses?
Making the breath a benefactor, making the breath a beneficiary, making the breath an agent, making the breath a tool… This all has to be carried out as fieldwork in asana. It will give you a wonderful academy to identify the potentials of the breath, uses of the breath, and applications of the breath…. They are an enormous resource. Breath, according to yoga, is an enormous resource, an enormous body of resources. It’s almost an omnipotent agency, omniscient agency within us. We are not omnipotent, we are not omniscient. We are mortals, but the breath within us is almost an omnipotent and omniscient principle. It’s a… multitasking agency.
What the breath doesn’t do… has to be explored. In the beginning you must go on exploring, what does the breath do? How much does the breath do? When you have carried out sufficient fieldwork, you will realize the question should be the other way around: What is it that the breath doesn’t do? In the beginning the question is: What does the breath do?
Then we go on exploring what the breath does in body, in mind, on the senses, in the organs, on the body matter, on the mind matter, on the body state, on the mind state. So what the breath does is explored. When the exploration is sufficient, then the question will be the other way around: What is it that the breath doesn’t do?
Associated Breath — A Swiss Army Knife +47.50
The associated breath is a marvel. Whereas in modern pranayama we are dealing with isolated breath, yoga… implies that it must be an associated breath. So the associated breath is really a marvel. It’s a multi-tasking agency.
Many times I have said in class… that a Swiss knife, or military knife, has so many things apart from [just a] knife…. There are many gadgets in it…. But… they call it a Swiss knife, or military knife. A Swiss knife can carry out so many processes that a mere knife cannot…. It’s instrument for so many acts.
Similarly, the associated breath is like a Swiss knife. Our respiratory breath is just like a knife [with] only one function… — to cut something into pieces…. But a Swiss knife has so many functions.
An isolated breath is like a knife [with] only one purpose — to keep you alive as a biological creature and keep your autonomous system functioning. That is the [entire] role of this respiratory breath, the isolated breath.
But the associated breath has an enormous [number of] facets. It is really a multi-tasking agency. It conditions and cultures your mind… and body. It remedies… body matters. It remedies… mind matters. It remedies… the very consciousness, chitta.
Associated Breath in Asana +50.20
The associated breath is a marvel. If you recall, I said the associated condition is a basic preparatory of asana. In that case breath will start working as an associated breath; mind will start working as associated mind; body will start working as associated body. They are all marvels…. The breath works in an extraordinary way on body matter, body organs, body factors, and body facets; mind, mind matter, mind facets, mind factors, mind organs.
The breath also benefits from them. They are mutually compatible and work for each other, in an associated…, kneaded…, and unified condition. Therefore, this is one of the basic kinds of survey. We need to carry out fieldwork… to really embark upon pranayama, rather than making an [artificial] division that this is pranayama, and this is asana. I will do pranayama first, asana later, or asana first and pranayama later. [When] we make water tight compartments, we look at them totally differently. This is… not the classical approach…. [It is] an anti-classical approach.
Asana give you a wonderful academy, a wonderful lab, a wonderful field, to develop literacy about the associated breath. It’s an… absolutely enormous, fascinatingly enormous, potential to work on your embodiment — grosser to subtler.
pranayama dahair doshan
pranayama burns the defects [untraced]
is a scriptural statement. It can work on our psyche, and consciousness, chitta. It has such enormous penetration…, depth…, potential…, and instrumentation that the breath can work.
The best way to start getting inducted to breath and associated breath is via the medium of asana. Asana opens out a wonderful field. There are many kinds of asanas…. You have the idea of sitting poses, standing poses, prone poses, supine poses, lateral poses, turning poses, lateral, turning poses, and inversions. These are your classifications.
In these classifications you will identify that the breath plays an enormous role, that the breath has enormous potential. Let us explore what it is.
Breath in Asana, Then Vachika Kriya, Then Prana Kriya +53.45
Then, after the exploration of the breath has taken place in asana itself, there is a part called prana kriya. You must be familiar with prana kriya. Is there any logical pranayama without prana kriya? Do you have an idea of what prana kriya is? You must have an idea of what prana kriya is. That’s why I gave you the vachika kriya… before coming to pranayama. Vachika kriya is so important. Without vachika kriya there is no prana kriya. Prana kriya implies vachika kriya. Today this vachika kriya is not known.
There might be some orthodox practitioners who may be doing samantraka pranayama, but they have no idea of what amantraka pranayama is…. They think amantraka pranayama is svasayama — just dealing with the breath. No, that is not true.
That’s why I gave you an introduction to the pranamaya kosha. Pranayama has got to do something on the pranamaya kosha. It should be from, on, in, with, by, and for the pranamaya kosha. That’s why I took some time to explain what pranamaya kosha is. To understand the pranamaya kosha, I told you about the other four koshas as well, a brief introduction. Prana kriya must be practiced thoroughly in asana, to know how the breath works under prana kriya. Breath working under prana kriya is so important in pranayama.
 During the sessions on asana I said the body, mind, breath are addressed and addressing: See “Breath-Set Addressal in Virasana +9.00±,” Lesson 3: Paradigms of Practice in Yoga 4-18-20; “Pranayama — Breath as Internal Conative & Cognitive Organ +46.15,” Lesson 22: Chitta Vrtti 6-7-20 .
 rather than investing will in our yoga, we must generate will: See “Exercise the Mind +13.05,” Lesson 1: Body, Mind, & Breath in Yogic Immunity 4-8-20 .
 I gave that example of guru and shishya: See “Shanti Mantra —Compatible Speech, Thought & Action +08.20,” Lesson 18: Vachika Kriya (Part 2) .
 The letter ja denotes the discontinuation of rebirth (janma vichheda). Pa denotes removal of sin (papa nashanam): The compound jakara, which literally means the akara (form) of the letter ja, does not merely represent a literal letter of the alphabet. It is a consecrated form of energy that has an inner meaning. See “Sahasrara Chakra — Sole Purpose is Liberation +2.45,” Lesson 27: Pranamaya Kosha—Five Pranas 6-27-20 .
 Nasal pranayama means ida… and pingala pranayama. The nadi is not as huge as a nostril. There are nadis in the right and left nostril: A nadi is a tubular channel that conveys energy in subtle anatomy. Thus, each nostril contains a nadi. The nostril itself is far too gross to be a nadi. In fact, there are more than 350 nadis in each nostril. The ida nadi, beginning in the left nostril, is the Chandra (moon or cooling) nadi. The pingala nadi, beginning in the right nostril, is the Surya (Sun or heating) nadi. They crisscross the trunk, like the medical Rod of Asclepius, or a double helix. See Prashant S. Iyengar, Pranayama: A Classical and Traditional Approach, New Delhi: New Age Books, 2016. P. 252
 Surya Bhedana pranayama, the Chandra Bhedana pranayama, or Anuloma, Pratiloma, or Nadi Shodhana: These digital pranayamas are described in B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Pranayama, New York: Crossroad, 1994.
 bahya (external) vrtti, abhyantara (internal) vrtti, stambha (cessation) vrtti types of pranayamas: Prashant has made the point that the translations of puraka as inhalation, and rechaka as exhalation are inaccurate because they are vrttis and not kriyas (actions). Breath and prana are the transcendent cosmic aspects within and not “ours.” Pranayama views puraka as nourishment of the Pranamaya Kosha in which the deities reside. Thus abhyantara as internal better conveys the intake of that cosmic prana in a way that inhalation does not. See Prashant S. Iyengar, Pranayama: A Classical and Traditional Approach, New Delhi: New Age Books, 2016. P. 219-20.
 yoga… implies that it must be an associated breath: See “Posture Awareness — Connect Mind & Breath to Body +7.15,” “Spinal Observatory & Laboratory in Asana +15:30,” Lesson 8: Virtue of Ahimsa in Asana 5-2-20 .
 I gave you the vachika kriya… before coming to pranayama: See “Vachika Kriya — Verbal Acts,” Lesson 11: Mind—External Part of Chitta 5-9-20 ; Lesson 17: Vachika Kriya (Part 1) 5-24-20 ; Lesson 18: Vachika Kriya (Part 2) 5-25-20 ; Lesson 19: Vachika Kriya (Part 3) 5-30-20
 Prana kriya implies vachika kriya: See “Prana Kriya Based on Vachika Kriya +35.45,” Lesson 17: Vachika Kriya (Part 1) 5-24-20 .