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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 34-41

Nine techniques of Prāṇāyāma from One yoga-Sūtra? A review of 15 Saṃskṛta commentaries of Yogasūtra 1.34

Department of Research, Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Jayaraman Mahadevan
4/10, First Trust Cross Street, Mandavelipakkam, Chennai - 600 028, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoyppp.ijoyppp_11_21

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The current pandemic situation has put a lot of strain on both the human respiratory system and mind. As contemporary sources are to be explored to find solace and solution, ancient yogic resources in this regard should also be systematically studied. With this as background, a study of hitherto less noticed Sūtra in the first chapter of Yogasūtras-pracchardanavidhāraṇābhyāṁ vā prāṇasya (1.34) was done based on 15 Saṃskṛta commentaries ranging from 4th to 20th century CE. This Sūtra mentions about a practice of prāṇāyāma toward attainment of calmness of the mind. Calmness of mind is an indicator of subjective wellbeing – which will be necessary in facing the challenges posed by the pandemic confidently and effectively. A systematic study of these commentaries reveals nine unique techniques of Prāṇāyāma toward steadiness and calmness of the mind (Cittasthairya and Cittaprasādana). It is to be noted that these techniques are not to be found in any of the numerous Haṭhayoga texts that run parallel to the period of the commentaries of Yogasūtras. Although the commentaries also add other insights on the practice including the kind of food for the practitioners, the mechanism of working of this Prāṇāyāma in bringing about the outcomes, and so on, this paper focuses on the nine techniques only, to draw the attention of researchers and practitioners for further exploration, validation, and utilization.

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