30 What is Prāṇāyāma?

Yoga Studies in Five Minutes - Theodora Wildcroft

Graham Burns [+-]
SOAS, University of London
Dr Graham Burns is an independent yoga teacher, teacher trainer, and scholar. As well as a law degree from Durham University, he holds an MA in Religions and a PhD in ancient Indian philosophy from SOAS University of London. He is a former Senior Teaching Fellow at SOAS, where he lectured on the MA in Traditions of Yoga and Meditation, as well as teaching undergraduate Hinduism and philosophy. He is a member of the SOAS Centre of Yoga Studies.


Prāṇāyāma is the term used in yoga for a range of practices which involve the control, or manipulation, of breath. The word itself is a compound of the Sanskrit words prāṇa, as to which see further below, and āyāma (control). Prāṇāyāma has been a hallmark of yoga practice throughout its long existence.

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Burns, Graham. 30 What is Prāṇāyāma?. Yoga Studies in Five Minutes. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Jan 2025. ISBN 9781800506008. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=46372. Date accessed: 15 Jun 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.46372. Jan 2025

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