Is pranayama just Ujjayi or is it more?

Is pranayama just the slowing and extension of the breath (aka Ujjayi) or is it more?
Pranayama is defined in Yoga Sutra II.49 as extension of inhalation and exhalation (for example Ujjayi during Ashtanga Vinyasa). Sutra II.50, however, gives a deeper meaning of pranayama […]

How does asana work and why is it important?

The importance that yoga places on deleting bodily, tissue and cell memory and what attitude the yogi needs to do so. To inquire into this we first need to understand yoga’s panchakosha model. The model was already alluded to in Brhad Aranyaka Upanishad but found its fullest expression in Taittiriya Upanishad (II.2-5).

How many asanas do you need?

Was early yoga and Patanjali only referring to sitting postures like Padmasana or also to a multiple set of yoga asanas, as we know them today? Additionally, are the numbers of asanas declining or increasing?

The four qualities of a yoga teacher

Many modern yogis and indeed many teachers practise to improve their yoga and to get recognition. When I started to train teachers in 1998 (must be getting old..) I had learned in India that the quality of a teacher grows proportional to their ability to perform asanas.

Why yoga without pranayama is not enough

Although yoga has eight limbs (Yoga Sutra II.29) we can discern three main layers of practice of which the others are subdivisions or ancillary techniques. These three layers are posture (asana), breath work (pranayama) and meditation (dhyana). Two of them, posture and meditation, are today very widely practised, but they are usually not linked […].

The limitations of practising only postures

Another thing that I’ve been asked for a lot since the publication of my Intermediate Series book is to write one about the Advanced A series. I had started such a book in 2008 and got about half-way through before I put it to the side and left it there for now. Instead I renewed […]