Sūtra II.49 – Chapter II, Sūtra 49

तस्मिन् सति श्वासप्रश्वासयोर्गतिविच्छेदः प्राणायामः I

tasmin-sati śvāsa-praśvāsayoḥ-gati-vicchedaḥ prāṇāyāmaḥ

Having experienced this (tasmin-sati), expansion of life force through breath regulation (prāṇāyāmaḥ) is mastered by interrupting (vicchedaḥ) the flow (gati) of unconscious and irregular breathing (śvāsa-praśvāsayoḥ).

PRACTICAL LIVING     The first thing we do when we are born is inhale. The last thing we will do before dying is exhale. In between that first and last breath, lots of breathing happens, without us being aware it is happening. Breathing, for the most past, is an unconscious pattern. It does, however, affect us physiologically, mentally, emotionally and energetically in expansive ways. Patañjali says that once we’ve understood the concept of balancing effort with ease (mentioned in the previous sūtras), and we have learned how to move the body with the breath, then we are ready to sit in stillness and observe a more subtle part of practice: the breath.

IN THE YOGA WORLD     Breath-centered āsana practice prepares our wild mind for breath work. We move from gross to subtle. We move from the body to the breath. The mind needs to be prepared to go inward because the senses are frequently pulling us outward. A lot of yoga āsana practice nowadays focuses on the gross part of the practice – the body. People who begin to observe their breathing and consciously change their breathing patterns feel instant changes in calmness and ease. Their focus shifts from acrobatic-focused āsana to breath-focused āsana.

If possible, spend some time every day observing the breath. This observation leads you to change the way you breathe, which calms the mind and takes you on a beautiful journey inward. Find a teacher that can help you through that journey. There are many breathing techniques one can use. Start simple. And enjoy the magic of working with your own breath! Simple, yet so profound.

INSPIRATIONAL PERSON     Silvita, a being dedicated to self-growth so she can impact others, is simply Sutra II.49-Silvitadelightful. She has been dedicated to the practice and philosophy of yoga for years, and it is clear how the knowledge and experience has impacted her as an individual. Watching her do her yoga practice is beautiful. She is devoted to her breath. She understands the depths of using the breath as an inner guide, or inner teacher. She respects the power of the breath and moves with so much grace. Her body has definitely understood the balance between effort and ease, firmness and softness. And that makes it so that the breath has space to be the master, to express itself as the bridge between body and soul, between mind and essence. Silvita, I have always felt deep cariño towards you. And this time in India together simply deepened that. Love you Goddess!

Do you have any experiences you would like to share? Please interact as much as you like – everyone will learn from your personal experiences!

Thanks and next week we will discuss how to practice conscious breathing!

9 thoughts on “Sūtra II.49 – Chapter II, Sūtra 49

  1. Thank very very very very very much I hope you can Imagine how is being good and transformer each weekly sutra to several people.. Namaste!!!!.. HARI OM TAT SAT

  2. I have participated in yoga classes for several years… but simply as exercise. Sure occasionally, the teacher would say breathe or stay here for a couple of breaths… but not until Teacher Training did I start to realize what this does for your mind. Before, I had only experienced it in savasana. I saw that in my life, this was a time of focus that I could not accomplish any other way. I am so excited to be able to have a guide to get to that peace and expand on this knowledge and learn more as I go forward in this journey. Thank you Lucia, from the bottom of my heart for bringing me to my breath!

  3. Breath awareness has taken so much practice,yet after 8 months of teacher training I am beginning to experience the benefits not only in my yoga practice but in my life.
    As I move from pose to pose in my practice, I no longer focus on achieving the pose but letting the breath guide each asana. What is so amazing is that I now feel more connected to my inner self, discovering and learning to love myself.
    I also never realized how much tension I had been holding in my hips and stomach until I allowed the exhale to really move through these areas of my body. This has had a profound effect on my ability to relax, let go of anxiousness and most of all feel at such a deeper level. Ah…… the healing power of the breath.

  4. When I match my movement to my breath, my movement becomes less labored and I feel as if I am dancing across my mat. The practice slips by so fast because I am in a state of pleasure. My breath clears my mind, but it also removes many physical obstacles that I face. The more awareness and focus I have on my breath, the more I surrender to light, to love, to knowledge, to peace… and….I know I said this already…but LOVE.

  5. This is the only space where I actually feel blessed that I had no prior yoga experience because I never missed the breath with my asana practice and began my yoga journey learning how to BREATHE right from the start. It still amazes me that I am just learning how to breath and how much power it has.

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