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An integral component of most yogic and meditational practice. The aim is to still or control the body and mind by restraining the vital breaths (prāṇa, both widely and narrowly defined), using techniques of patterned breathing. According to Patañjali's Yoga Sūtra, prāṇāyāma is the fourth of the ‘outer limbs’ of his aṣṭāṅga-yoga (‘eight-limbed yoga’), and one of the prerequisites for more advanced practice.

Subjects: Hinduism.

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