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Prāṇāyāma

Prāṇāyāma (Skt.). Breath (prāṇa) control in yoga; the fourth limb of Patañjali's eight-limbed (aṣṭāṅga) or rāja yoga. In the Yoga Sūtra (2. 49) Patañjali defines it as the ‘cutting off (viccheda) of the flow of inhalation and exhalation’ which is achieved after the attaining of ‘posture’ (āsana) and prepares the mind for concentration (dhāraṇā).

Haṭha Yoga texts connect prāṇāyāma with the physiology of the subtle body (sūkṣmaśarīra, liṅga-śarīra).

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