Coming from a western tradition, yoga’s fourth limb can be unfamiliar as it turns toward eastern mysticism. So to understand the significance of breathing, especially in Hatha yoga, it helpfs to know something about yoga’s perspective on the cosmos and the human condition.
With the first two limbs of yoga addressing the moral ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’, the third is concerned with what we in the West usually associate with yoga, namely the bodily postures or asanas.
This is the second instalment in a series about the “eight limbs of yoga”, which together constitute a guide or path toward Samadhi, the limbs that is, not the posts ;).
It’s a personal view on an ancient subject, so draws on many sources.
Unlike the second limb of yoga, the Niyamas or yogic “Dos”, the Yamas define the “Don’ts”; the rules aimed at curbing our negative tendencies and keeping us “on the straight and narrow”. Between them they constitute yoga’s ethical foundation which is meant to not only facilitate positive karma, but to also help manage the energy that comes from awakening the Kundalini Shakti within.