A Course on the Special Module on Civilisation – II : Inner Journey to Self-Discovery
National Resource Center for Value Education in Engineering (NRCVEE),
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, India.
Session 6 of the online course for IIT Delhi took place on 22nd November 2020
In the concluding session of the 6 part series of the online course with IIT Delhi, Sri M continues from the previous discussion on the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga. Here he gives a very detailed explanation on the 4th limb which is ‘Pranayama’. He stresses the importance of the balance of the prana to control the energies which are of vital importance for one to proceed on the spiritual path.
Sri M says, “The yogi believes that much of the disorders of the body and mind are caused by an imbalance of the pranas because a mind which has imbalanced pranas cannot sit down, meditate and go deep within oneself.” One of the reasons one practises pranayama with the rules and regulations, is to bring about a harmony and balance in the flow of prana.
He speaks on the effect of the state of the mind or emotions on the rhythm of the breathing and demonstrates a simple practical technique of pranayama called ‘Anapana’ which is observation of one’s natural breathing and proceeds to demonstrate Anulom/Vilom pranayam which aids in the balancing of the pranas.
Sri M then moves on to the next anga which is ‘Pratyahara’ and explains how once one masters the anga of pratyahara, one should be able to detach oneself with ease, from any task one is deeply absorbed in. The prolonged, single-pointed attention in Pratyahara leads one to the subsequent states of Dharana and Dhyana and finally culminating in the last anga, which is Samadhi. The point stressed upon here by Patanjali, in the Yoga Sutras is the concept of ‘Nairantarya Abhyasa or prolonged regular practice.
The session ends with Sri M answering a few questions by the students and staff.