laṅghana – लङ्घन / bṛṃhaṇa – बृंहण
The effects of asana and pranayama can be classified into two categories, known as langhana, “reducing,” and brumhana, “nourishing.” These concepts are very similar to the Chinese concepts of yin and yang.
Langhana means “to fast” or reduce, and is very similar to the concept of yang in traditional Chinese medicine. In reference to asana practice, it refers to the more energizing postures, which stimulate the metabolism and energize the nervous system, and balance tamas. These postures are warming to the body and activating for the mind.
Brmhana means “to expand” and is very similar to the concept of yin in traditional Chinese medicine. In reference to asana practice, it refers to the more relaxing postures, which slow down the metabolism, heart rate, respiration rate, relax the nervous system, and balance rajas. These postures are cooling to the body and calming the mind.
laṅghana: “to fast, reduce”
constrictive, solar/yang, shiva/masculine, exhalation, heating, detoxifying & reducing, vata & pitta qualities, backward bending
bṛṃhaṇa: “to expand”
expansive, lunar/yin, shakti/feminine, inhalation, cooling, nurturing & tonifying, kapha qualities, forward bending
Written by Debby Andersen