Priority For Asanas And Pranayam in Yoga Sequence

by Lalit Gupta
(New Delhi)

1. Of the two, which is more beneficial asanas or pranayama, or is one incomplete without the other?

2. If one is weak or recuperating from a serious illness, how to start with yoga? Only pranayama, pranayama and some poses or only some relaxation poses?

3. On an intermediate level in what sequence should poses and pranayam be performed, asanas first and pranayam later or vice versa?

4. On an intermediate level if one has only around 30 minutes time which of the two should be taken up poses or pranayama?

5. Is shavasana madatory even if one has only practiced pranayam and no asanas?


1. Asanas and Pranayama are two of the eight constituents of yoga practice as per Patanjali. Practice of both asanas and pranayama is essential. Asanas prepare the body for the practice of pranayama. Asanas tone up the body and clear any blockages in the flow of body fluids and various energy channels. Pranayama practice recharges the body with 'prana' or energy and this energy is distributed to all parts of our body. Though there are some people who prefer to practice yoga poses only and some people prefer to do pranayama only, this is not correct. Both asanas and pranayama must be practiced in a yoga sequence.

2, If one is recuperating from a serious illness, yoga practice needs to be restorative with a focus on complete relaxation. Few easy asanas and pranayama can be practiced provided the person concerned has gained adequate strength for performance of these asanas or pranayama. Also, this practice should not put him/her under undue stress.

3. Asanas practice should be followed up by pranayama.

4. If a person has only around 30 minutes time, yoga poses can be practiced.

5. Shavasana at the end of yoga practice is meant to provide deep relaxation irrespective of whether you have practice yoga poses or pranayama.

Hope this helps

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