Prayatna is a Sanskrit term meaning “effort,” “exertion” or “endeavor.” It can also be translated as action or activity in general.

In yogic philosophy, it refers to the amount of effort required for one’s breathing to ensure that an asana practice is performed smoothly and evenly. Finding a balance between asana work and breathing that is perfectly between exertion and ease is called prayatna saithilya. With saithilya meaning “laxity” or “relaxation,” prayatna saithilya is said to be achieved when the body is held effortlessly by the yogi’s innate intelligence.

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