When many people think of Yoga, they think of the poses (asanas). But Yoga is much more than that—it is an ancient system for training the whole person, overcoming all types of suffering, and growing spiritually.
Classical Yoga, or Raja Yoga, is composed of eight “limbs”, comprising the following practices:
- Ethical and mental disciplines (yamas, niyamas);
- Postures (asanas);
- Breathing exercises (pranayama);
- Meditation training (pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, samadhi);
In this episode we talk about pranayama, or yogic breathing. This is a huge topic, and we have barely scratched the surface here. This interview serves as an introduction.
I’m talking with Puneet Nanda (aka Gurunanda), who is an entrepreneur turned Yogi, and a proponent of Pranayama breathing techniques. GuruNanda was having a 16-hour workday life, filled with stress, which culminated into an emergency trip to the hospital with chest pains during what turned out to be a severe anxiety attack. This prompted him to rediscover the yoga he loved as a child growing up in India. He healed himself with Yoga and Ayurveda, sold his business, and is now committed to sharing with the world the power of breathing and meditation.
Related links, topics, places and people mentioned:
- Introduction to pranayama (video)
- Five breathing exercises (videos by Gurunanda)
- Wall Street Yoga (Gurunanda’s book)
- Medanta Hospital – hospital in India were Dr. Naresh Triram studies and teaches pranayama
- Ram Yoga Ashram (Rishikesh, India)
- Ananda SPA
- Laughter Yoga
- Books on Pranayama: Gregor Maehle, BKS Iyengar
Every time you create a gap in the stream of mind, the light of your consciousness grows stronger. One day you may catch yourself smiling at the voice in your head. This means that you no longer take the content of your mind all that seriously, as your sense of self does not depend on it. (Eckhart Tolle)