Definition - What does Brahmana mean?

Within Ayurveda, yoga asana and pranayama are divided into two energetic principles: brahmana and langhana. From Sanskrit, brahmana means "expansion," while langhana means "reduction."

Yoga asana and breathing techniques that promote brahmana energize the body and mind. They increase mental activity and enhance metabolic functions. Asanas that encourage langhana, on the other hand, work to soothe the body and mind. They relax the body, reducing the heart rate and stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system. Langhana asana can be thought of as a restorative asana. These two energetic principles can be thought of as similar to the yin and yang energies of Chinese medicine, with one being envigorating and the other calming.

Yogapedia explains Brahmana

Cultivating awareness of these two energetic qualities into one's own yoga practice is the goal of the Viniyoga tradition. If one is feeling sluggish or lazy then encouraging brahmana by practicing a stimulating asana sequence will energize the body, bringing it back into harmony.

Applying brahmana during yoga asana and pranayama helps to strengthen the nervous system, boost energy, promote vitality and support metabolism. Some asanas that encourage brahmana energy include Virabhadrasana 2, Sun Salutations and invigorating vinyasa flows. Pranayama breathing exercises, such as kapalabhati, also work to energize the body and increase brahmana.

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