Breath Retention Role in Breathing / Pranayama
1. We have commenced getting initiated in pranayama, and the pranayamic aspect of ashtanga yoga. We all know that the pranayama is done with the breath. The breath is a major vehicle, a major tool…. Breathing is a major instrument for pranayama….
2. The… three aspects of breath and breathing in yoga are the in-breath, the out-breath and the retention breath. The retention phase is also an aspect of breath and breathing. The retention is also of two types — the outer retention and inner retention, i.e., retention after out-breath and retention after in-breath.
3. These four movements… in pranayama breathing are… in-breath, out-breath, and retention… of two types — outer-retention and inner-retention. These are the four aspects. We use these four aspects in our breathing. Of course, exhalation and inhalation go on incessantly, but for some special endeavors we also use the retention phases.
4. Go for the necessary kind of field-work to understand where to use, and how to use, the outer retention, that is, the post-exhalation retention. When you want to take a long jump, you do that with a post-exhalation retention…. [If] you want to open a tightly closed bottle, you will use a post-exhalation retention. When… motor power is required, we use post-exhalation retentions…. Try to survey… when and how we use these involuntary post-exhalation retentions….
5. Then there is also the post-inhalation phase of retention. We use it most prominently in water. If we want to take a dip in the water, we take a deeper inhalation to equip our lungs with the necessary in-breath, and then close our… nostrils and hold the breath. As long as we can hold the breath, we can submerge in the water…. Once we cannot retain, we have to bring our heads up to breathe above the water.
So the inhalation retention also comes, which has gone unnoticed. The exhalation retentions also come. These are all part of breathing. You can’t retain the inner-retention without having inhaled. You can’t retain external-retention not having exhaled. They are all parts of the breath. These are the four aspects of breathing to be considered.
6. In the common man’s language, when they say they want to check breathing, they just check whether there is inhalation and exhalation going on. In diagnosis, in a pathology, they want to see that the breath is going on. They will just see that the in-breath, and out-breath, are going on. The retention is not taken into consideration.
7. However, even in our activity of the business of life, and even so many endeavors, we do use retention. It gives us a form of energy. So there is one kind of form of energy by inhalations, one kind of energy form by the exhalations, one kind of energy form by post-exhalation retentions, and another kind of energy in post-inhalation retentions.
So we need to carry out a very formal study, a kind of examination, a study, a survey of how we use breathing in life — which is not just in-breath and out-breath, but also the post-inhalation, and post-exhalation retentions. In pranayama the breathing is considered to be of four facets, but this is the basic educational information that one needs to have.
Breath as Vehicle in Pranayama +06.00
1. Pranayama means not just in-breath and out-breath. It is really fascinating to understand the potentials of breath and breathing. I reiterate that when I say breath and breathing, [I include] the four aspects — in-breath, out-breath, outer-retention, inner-retention.
2. We all know this aspect of yoga as pranayama. But it would have been more appropriate to call this shvasayama (breath control) because breathing is considered to be shvasa. The breathing process is called shvasa. And if you are doing something voluntarily in your shvasa, in your breath, it would be more appropriate to call it shvasayama. There is no need to call it pranayama. Why Patanjali has used the word pranayama is, again, a matter to be investigated for… [us to] comprehend.
He could have used the word shvasayama. In the first sutra on pranayama, he [says] —
regulation of the incoming and outgoing flow of breath with retention [PYS II.49]
and then he says “is pranayama.”
The point is all pranayamas take place with breathing — either in-breath, out-breath or post-inhalation and post-exhalation retentions. There is no other kind of facet for pranayama that we might attempt …. These are the only pranayamas that we can attempt.
3. He does not speak about shvasayama, but pranayama, which implies the breath is merely a vehicle. When we use a vehicle, we always have a destination in mind. [When] we go to the destination, we say, “I am going to point B from point A,” while traveling in the vehicle. We don’t just say that we are traveling in the vehicle, [unless] it is very unusual, or, very rarely, a pleasure ride.
A pleasure ride may not have a destination…. Then you would say, “I am just traveling in a vehicle. I want to just have an experience of a drive, the pleasure of a drive.” You just go for a drive. You have no destination in mind. But, otherwise, when we get into a vehicle, we always have a destination in mind, and how to get to that destination — in what time, route, path, and way. That’s how we drive the vehicle.
The shvasa, the breathing is merely a vehicle. It has certain schemes — a destination, a way to go about it, and a duration of time to go about it. That’s why there is that aspect of regulation. That regulation will be pranayama, provided we satisfy the conditions for such regulations. So, basically, to get the necessary basic education we need to handle the breath.
Breath Regulation in Pranayama +10.10
1. We all know that pranayama is a breath-regulation. If you know that it is a regulation, then it implies that you must know what that entity is, the purpose and function of that entity, and how it can be used, applied, and addressed.
The function of our respiratory breathing… is only to keep us living, and keep our autonomic system functioning. That’s the function of our respiratory breathing and breath.
2. But, then, pranayama implies a kind of regulation that is also called breath control. Why do you want to control it? Basically, the breath is the most conscientious factor in our embodiment working on its own. It doesn’t need any motivation. It doesn’t need any enticement. It just goes on doing its work. It is the most conscientious active entity within us.
3. Needless to say, our mind is not really so conscientious. The mind has its own tendencies…, whims, -cracies, crazes. We can’t say that our mind is a very conscientious entity. Often the mind doesn’t function when we want it to function in a particular way…. When we want the mind to function, it doesn’t function, when we don’t want it to function, it functions. When we want the mind to work in a particular way, it doesn’t work in that particular way. It works in some other way, or more often, in the opposite way. We can’t call the mind a conscientious entity, which is an activity.
4. So is the case of our intelligence…, emotions…, memory…, psyche…, and body. We can only say that the autonomic system is working, very conscientiously. It doesn’t have its whims…, choices and selections…, and tantrums. The mind has its tantrums…. Emotions, mind, sentiments, memory, intelligence, intuition, creativity, and imagination all have tantrums. We can’t say they are conscientious activity agencies….
5. However, the breath is very, very, very, very conscientious. Whether you are conscious or unconscious, whether you are [aware] or comatose, the breath will keep on working conscientiously. Then, if something is working so conscientiously, why do you want to regulate it?
6. Imagine you have a servant in your house who is very conscientious. If you get behind that person every time for every single thing, that servant will lose that fabric of conscience, and soon the person will be bereft of any conscience. The servant will wait to be told… [to] work…. If you have someone working under you very, very conscientiously, you must give some liberty to the person. But if you get behind him with a whip to get things done, that conscientious fabric will be lost sooner or later — more often sooner than later. That fabric will be lost. We must never get behind a very conscientious person who works under us, who works for us.
7. Where is the question of regulating this breath which is working so conscientiously? Why should you regulate it when it is working so conscientiously? Whether you are conscious or unconscious, it works. Whether you are awake or asleep, it works. So, the connotation of regulation is totally different.
[When] you… regulate the mind — you know that the mind is naughty. How will you… regulate your mind which is so naughty…, so unscrupulous, and which has whims, [and] strange ways to work? So when it comes to regulating the senses… [and] the mind, it has one connotation. Regulation has one connotation because none of them is so conscientious. None of them are selfless. Senses are selfish, mind is selfish, mind factors are selfish. They are selfish, and they have whims, [and] moods…. So… regulating the mind has one connotation, and regulating the senses a similar connotation….
But regulating the breath has a totally different connotation. This should be borne in mind. Try to inquire what might be regulating the breath, which [has been] so sincere and so faithful to you…, so conscientious. Have you ever seen the breath going for sick leave, casual leave, or any kind of leave…? Nothing works as conscientiously for us as much as the breath. It is the most conscientious activity agency within us. What does it mean to say that it should be regulated? There must be an inquiry into… what must be regulation [in regard] to the breath.
Ayama (Control) in Pranayama +17.00
1. Pranayama is also called breath control. Now the very connotation of the word control is unique, absolutely unique. When it comes to breath control, we need to inquire as to what the connotation is. If ayama is regulation, controlling, what is that control?
One of the mystic poets has beautifully described this: Tell me whether between a parent and a child…, who really controls whom? How much are the parents under the control of the child, and how much is the child under the control of the parents…? When they say parental regulation, it is the parents that are regulated by… an innocent child. The parents need to often yield to the child, provided it is totally not an untoward demand of the child. Parents will yield to an innocent child, because innocent child cannot be a crafty child….
2. Or, another example that the poet gives is between a cow and a calf. The cow will go behind the calf, rather than the calf going behind the cow. The cow will follow the calf to see that its safety is ensured. There is no case like a human being, where we will hold the hand of the child [to] walk on the street. We will hold the child by the finger or the palm or the hand and then we will walk. A cow cannot do that with a calf. Most of the creatures cannot do that. They go behind their babies because they cannot hold the hands, or legs, of their babies, and mobilize them, like when we hold a child.
There are only a few animals…, like the cat and kitten: The cat will hold the kitten in her mouth to traverse. The monkey and the baby monkey: The baby monkey will cling to the belly of the mother monkey. That’s how the baby is mobilized.
Between cow and calf — the calf is the regulator and the cow is regulated. The condition with the breath is similar… when you say breath- regulation.
3. We need to examine this very term regulation which comes in pranayama. It has a unique connotation, I repeat once again. You just can’t go just by the [dictionary] meaning of what regulation is. What is the meaning of control that applies here…? Basically it is the most conscientious, most sincere, most faithfully active agency within us for us. No other active agency is as conscientious. Therefore, we need to understand at some point in time that the whole culture of regulation is unique.
4. Of course we will not go to that right in the beginning because we have just commenced. But I am just hinting that we need to have a kind of education about the word regulation, the word ayama. When it comes to regulation of anything, basically we must know its function….
If… person A wants to regulate person B, A must know the potentials… traits, [and] qualifications of person B — the caliber, qualification, capacity. Unless A has knowledge of all that, he cannot regulate B. A should know the potentials of B — where person B is good…, not good…, bad. Wherever he is bad, he will not allow B to do that. So how to use… person B has to be understood. The potentials, functions, and acts of person B have to be first identified.
5. Similarly, it implies that we must first know the functions of the breath in our embodiment. What functions can it carry out? What are its potentials to work on our body matter, body organs, body parts, body factors, body aspects? What are its potentials to work on mind, mind factors, mind facets, mind organs, and mind functions? How far can the breath come in?
This kind of exploration is implied before one goes to pranayama. This is the classical approach. In the classical approach we are first made to realize…, to identify the potentials of the breath and breathing within ourselves.
6. We think that the in-breath is only something that comes in, and the out-breath is only something that goes out. But we will realize that the in-breath can do so many things within us. The out-breath can do so many things within us. We need to identify their… extra-respiratory functions, as I said in the last lesson. What are the extra-respiratory functions of in-breath and out-breath? By modification of in-breath and out-breath, volume, velocity, density, deployment, flow, quantum… — the quality of the breath and quantity of the breath.
We need to carry out this kind of field work as to what the breath really can do in the extra-respiratory realm. It has extra-respiratory potentials. This must be first identified. It has extra-respiratory activities. This must be first identified. Then we must try to understand the greater details in clarity, as to what the uses…, applications…, [and] activities of the breath are. How the breath can be used, activated, applied… are required as a pre-cursor to… pranayama.
Asana is a wonderful academy for this is. This academy will tell you how the breath can function in the realm of yoga. Otherwise, you can see the usage of the breath outside the yogic realm. Embark upon hill-climbing. Then you will know when you do mountaineering, hill-climbing, or climbing ten, fifteen, twenty stories… how the breath comes in handy.
Breath As Locomotive Assists the Legs +26.10
1. The breath becomes a locomotive organ when you are climbing a hill. Soon you will come to a stage when you will start using your breath almost as if it were a locomotive organ assisting the legs — hauling and banking the legs because the legs in mountaineering need a hauling force and a banking force.
2. I hope you understand the phrases hauling force and banking force. This terminology particularly comes in railways. When the railways negotiate the ghat [hill] sections, there is a hauling engine and there is a banker engine. The hauling engine pulls, and the banker engine pushes [when] extra power is required for the train to negotiate a ghat section because it is climbing up and climbing down. Even when climbing down the banker engine keeps the train pulled backwards, and the hauling engine keeps pulling the train backwards. Otherwise, the train can just reel down by hauling….
When you are riding a vehicle on a slope your momentum gets an added boost of two, three, or even ten times. [When] you need a control, you use the brakes when you are riding down the slope. Otherwise you will be just reel down. So when the train is climbing down the ghat section, there is a force needed, the banker engine comes to pull the train and the front engine, which is the hauling engine, keeps hauling the train so that it moves forward. So there are banking forces and hauling forces required when something is in motion, in momentum.
3. So the breath sometimes [acts] as a banking force, sometimes as a hauling force. When you are climbing up the stairs, find out how the breath might be working. When you are climbing up the hill, how is the breath working to [help] you climb up? While you are climbing down, you can easily reel down. That’s why, when you are climbing down, you slightly lean backwards… [for] a kind of pulling force so that you won’t reel down. The breath also works like a… banker engine with a force to pull back. When you are climbing up, you need hauling forces. So you always climb with slightly leaning forward. You lean forward when you climb up, and you slightly lean backward when you climb down. If you lean forward you will reel down. The breath has such movements. So this needs to be identified… how the breath works in the extra-yogic realm.
4. Climbing up is not yoga. Climbing up a hill or climbing up a ten, fifteen, or twenty story building for physical feat is not yoga. So in the extra-yogic realm we use the breath. It works as a hauling force, banking force…; propelling force and impelling force. But… any study there is not going to come handy in the yogic pursuit. If you know how to climb up a hill skillfully, or climb down a hill skillfully with effort management, that is not going to contribute to your yoga. However, yoga will contribute there. But that will not contribute to your yoga.
Identify Breath Potential As Beneficiary Through Asana +30.35
1. In yoga we need to identify how the breath works, and not go for a physical feat where the breath works in an exalted way. The best academy to learn about breath uses — or identify the breath potentials, breath activities, breath uses, breath applications — is [through] asanas.
Therefore, if you recall, I said devote at least 5-10-15-20% of your asana practice… [to] breath studies, studies in the realm of breathing processes…, acts…, functions. Breath as benefactor…, [and] beneficiary because asana implies that you must make your breath a beneficiary as well.
2. [Do] not just keep it as the benefactor, and exploit it as benefactor…. It is like going shopping, going to all the counters in a shopping mall and filling up your trolley, and then refusing to go the payment counter. You need to pay when you have bought so many things. When your trolley is full of things you need to [go] to the payment counter and pay correspondingly.
You can’t just make the breath the benefactor, benefactor, benefactor, and benefactor and just use it. Do you like you being used? Do you like being taken for granted? You don’t like you being used.
In yoga we must see that we just don’t use the breath, which is utter selfishness. We must pay back the breath, we must pay back the dues to the breath by making the breath a beneficiary.
In every asana it is important, it is implied that you have this approach: “Let me make my breath and breathing a beneficiary, rather than through and through a benefactor [to be] used and exploited.” It can be very easily exploited, basically because it is a very conscientious force. It is a very conscientious agency. It can be easily used. Therefore, it is an implied lesson in asanas that you must also pay attention to the breath being made a beneficiary of body — which gets benefits through breath, then a beneficiary of the mind — which also gets benefits through the breath.
3. In the asana endeavor your mind, too, benefits — for will, volition, resoluteness, activity to respite, to relaxation, to quietude. The mind benefits in a great way — a dull mind is activated, an overactive mind is regulated. The mind is also given any respite that is needed, or any conditioner that is needed. Mind is quieted, that is a benefit to the mind. Quietude, tranquility, neutrality, virginity, purity, piety, sanity, sanctity, equity, and equanimity must all come to mind in an asana, so the mind becomes a beneficiary.
As such, the mind must also specifically become benefactor to the breath. It must contribute correspondingly to the breath so that will be a justifiable [merchant] within us. In the give and take of body, mind, and breath for each other, there must be balance. So in asanas we have to learn how not only take benefit from the breath, but also how to give benefit to the breath. Carry out this aspect in all the asanas.
Breath Velocity in Baddha Konasana / Supta Virasana +35.00
1. Therefore, for now…, lets try to understand how the breath can be used…. In asana you first want to exercise your body, is that right? You want to exercise various body parts, body organs, body limbs. You want to exercise them, not just activate… them.
2. There are certain things which are called pranayama exercises which will [provide] you literacy for a better understanding as to how the breath is, can be, may be, more prudently be, more [skillfully] be, and justifiably be used. That will help you identify potentials of the breath. You will learn in an asana how to even address the breath…, and how to get addressed by the breath. Therefore, these certain exercises understand and conceive the various processes….
3. For example, settle down to Supta Virasana or Supta Baddha Konasana. If Supta Virasana is a problem, then you can [do] Supta Baddha Konasana. Settle down in your position with a bolster under your back. In Supta Baddha Konasana or Supta Virasana we can understand how the breath works as an agent.
4. Try to understand how the exhalations can work for the belly region. Exhale profoundly with a normal velocity pattern, then, at times, with a hyper-velocity pattern, and at [other] times with a lower-velocity pattern. Learn different strokes by changing the velocity in these three grades — normal velocity range, hypo-normal velocity range, and hyper-normal velocity range.
A deeper breath in normal velocity, and, then, slower, and slower, and slower in each degree of it — slower and profound.
Then thicker, and thicker, and thicker, and thicker in each degree of it and profound.
Uddiyanic Exhalation Benefits Abdominal Organs +37.30
1. Then we will see how it can work on the abdominal organs. Exhale with Uddiyanic mannerisms from the gall bladder to urinary bladder, that too. Learn the strokes of your out-breath.
2. Exhale in stages. Inhale in stages. A little sharper, heavy-duty, kind of exhalation, heavy-duty kind of inhalation, which implies a higher velocity. It should be a kind of pneumatic exhalation. Pneumatic machines have enormous power. The exhalations have enormous power to activate all the entire organic complex from the gall bladder to urinary bladder.
3. There are enormous exhalation and inhalation processes. They work differently. Study how they work in exhalation… and in inhalation… as a preparation for pranayama. This is a preparatory exercise.
4. Then, if you start going for normal velocity, but deeper, it has different functions for organs, from gall bladder at the top, to urinary bladder at the bottom. It will have different kinds of actions, and functions, [when] the velocity is dropped. Velocity is a major active agent. You will be able to carry out… an enormous spectrum of activity [through] the whole range of velocity for the gall bladder at the top of the belly to the urinary bladder at the bottom of the belly. It has certain functions for those organs, particularly with uddiyanic mannerisms in your breath.
5. Then, post-exhalation retention and Uddiyana Mudra. Again you will address these organs differently, uniquely, by post-exhalation retention and then the inhalation process. So learn the different strokes of in-breath and out-breath….
Breath Configurations in Graphic Modes +39.45
1. In pranayamic breathing there are configurations of the breath. It’s not just volume and velocity. Modern science tries to measure the breath in terms of volume, and perhaps, velocity. It does not know the third dimension of the breath.
2. There are configurations of the breath. You can breathe in the graphic modes such as columnar breathing, cylindrical breathing, obverse conical, reverse conical, alternated reverse and obverse conical, then crescent moon in-breath and out-breath, semi-circular kinds of breath, and saucer breath.
Breath Dynamics — Plowing, Scraping, Endo-cavating +40.30
1. There are so many basic aerodynamics of breath and breathing. Each change of aerodynamics will change the function and action of the breath…. Attempt them to [see] how they can work on the organs. It can work similarly on the thoracic region, as if you are plowing…, or combing the thoracic region. Carry out this act of plowing, scraping, combing, drilling, excavating.
2. If I may [add], endo-cavating. This [coined] word is not in technology…. Excavation is exactly opposite of endo-cavation. We excavate the surface of the ground….
What is endocavation? [It] happens in a volcano. In a volcano, the surface of the land, called the mantle, is loosened, and opened out from the inside to the crust. That is endo-cavation. It is opposite of excavation. The breath can be endocavating…, [and] excavating…. Become familiar with these various aspects of dynamics in breath and breathing.
Breath Studies in Asana — Precursor to Pranayama +42.10
1. We need to carry out some field work in various asanas — Savasana, Swastikasana-Savasana, or Baddha Konasana, Supta Virasana, and in various supine positions. That will be a breathing exercise. There are already precursors to this in various asanas that you do. Standing poses, as I said during the last session, prone poses, supine poses, forward-bending poses, backward-bending poses, lateral bending poses, lateral rotation poses, inverted poses…. There are many classes of postures you can identify.
2. In each asana you must really make the breath a significant benefactor and a significant beneficiary. [Then] you will know the different functions of the breath, as I said yesterday in the last session, between Adho Mukha Virasana and Supta Virasana, bending forward in Virasana and bending backward in Virasana. There are diametrically opposite functions carried out. Breath can carry out diametrically opposite functions.
3. This is a precursor to pranayama…. In various asanas carry out various breath studies, observations, experimentations, uses, and applications. This is so important. Then we will understand that breath has enormous potentials to work for our body and mind organs, body and mind matters, body and mind aspects, facets and factors.
This… has gone undiscovered, except in the realm of yoga. So yoga is a great shastra (liberation scripture). It is an embodiment technology. Therefore, in the asana process you will have an enormous scope to carry out these studies. It is an enormous academy to carry out these studies. It is an enormous observatory to carry out observations. It is an enormous laboratory to carry out experimentation.
4. Attempt these pranayamic exercises, which are inscriptive breaths, inhalations, and exhalations. They are very, very conspicuous. They carry out very conspicuous functions. When the breath becomes more and more subtle…, there will be neither any conspicuousness…, [nor] ambiguity. [The lack of] conspicuousness doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be ambiguity. [Lack of conspicuousness] is a different term… in the realm of breath and breathing. It will carry out fine acts, super-fine acts, delicate acts, tender acts, waft acts. It will not carry out conspicuous activity. It will carry out waft…, delicate…, tender…, sublime…, and sober activities.
5. Explore the potentials of very sober breath on the one hand and very pneumatic breath on the other hand — heavy-duty breath…. Identify the potentials… of heavy duty breath to feather-touch breath. Identify… how heavy-duty breath is used, and how a feather-touch breath is used. How to benefit heavy-duty breath, and how to benefit feather-touch breath. Our body matter will earn those knacks, tricks, and skills to be the benefactor of a very rarefied breath.
6. There is an enormous scope, and this study is important for pranayama. The basic principle is that if you do not know [how to] use a gadget, [or] the function and purpose of a gadget, then how could you regulate it? It won’t be regulation. This is so important that it is implied — when you are going to regulate something you must be aware of it. You must have sufficient literacy about its potentials, uses, applications, functions, purpose, and acts of that agency. Only then will you be able to regulate it. So that is one thing.
Pranayama — Multi-dimensional Regulation +47.20
1.I will introduce you to another fascinating aspect [concerning] the word regulation in the education about pranayama. We know that pranayama is breath regulation, breath control.
2. The words control or regulation have three dimensions. Some words are one-dimensional, some words are two-dimensional, some words are three-dimensional.
Words, such as man and woman, [denote] a single dimension…. But when we say this is a father, this is a mother, [the words] becomes three dimensional: they have a spouse and they have a child, or off-spring. When we say this is a husband, this is a wife, it is two-dimensional because a wife can be a wife only if she has a husband. A husband can only be a husband when he has a wife.
So, man and woman are of a single dimension, one-dimensional. Husband and wife are two-dimensional. But father and mother are three-dimensional. Son and daughter are three dimensional, because if a man is a son and a woman is a daughter, they must have parents. They cannot not have a father and mother at all, never ever. It is not possible to never have a father and mother. Son and daughter are three-dimensional. Multi-dimensional are like daughter-in-law and son-in-law. It implies they are married, and they even have a father-in-law and a mother-in-law. Only then are they son-in-laws and daughter-in-laws.
3. The word regulation is three-dimensional. The word control is three-dimensional.
Breath Regulation (Ayama) Depends On Regulator & Regulated +49.40
1. This is the [pedagogic] approach to understanding these terms…. The dictionary will never tell you that there are three dimensions of the words regulation and control. What are the three dimensions? Breath regulation means there is a regulator, and the regulated. If there is no regulator and regulated, there can be no regulating. When we use the phrase breath regulation for pranayama we must know that there is a regulator and there is regulating.
We must know the caliber, potentials, function, roles, and acts of the regulator — the qualifications, the capacities, the credentials. You can’t be a… proper regulator without proper credentials, without qualifications, without machinery. So the regulator needs machinery to regulate. The regulator should have qualifications…, and credentials.
The regulated similarly has a profile. So what is the regulated entity? What are the profiles and facets of the regulated? What are the facets of the regulator? What are the facets of regulating? These words need to be, again, churned out in our thought process to arrive at proper, suitable meanings.
2. A policeman, for example, is a regulator. How does the policeman regulate? He can only regulate [wearing] his uniform, [carrying] certain instruments, a stick, a whistle etc. He cannot be [without a] uniform. He cannot be [without ] such symbolic things… which have a function, such as a stick…, a pistol, or a whistle. He can’t carry a peacock feather in his hand and say, “I am a policeman…”. He needs to have some machinery to regulate as a policeman.
A policeman will regulate differently. Imagine a policeman called for a youth festival at a university campus where 10,000 students are going to assemble. How does the policeman [act] where there are 10,000 youth coming together?
Now, the same policeman comes to a gathering of 10,000 children below the age of eight. How does the policeman [act]? What is the machinery? He doesn’t… [use] that typical commanding voice, martial voice. He doesn’t move the stick like he would when… [regulating] a crowd of 10,000 or 25,000 youth. The children are to be regulated differently, so he will be a little fatherly. He will cajole the children, convince the children, handle the children in a tender way.
He will not handle the youth on a university campus tenderly. He will [hit] them on the buttocks…, the back, or even in the face. He doesn’t do that when regulating children.
3. I will give you the last example to end this session. In Pandharpur [southern Maharashtra town in which the ca. 1237 CE Vitthala temple shrine is located] there is a huge gathering of ten lakhs of people, one million people. The policeman are there in the temple shrine.
How do the policemen [act] there? They know that all those who have gathered are not unruly people. They are devotees of [Lord] Vitthala, Panduranga. Therefore, [the police] use different machinery to move these Varkari [Hindu devotees] in Pandharpur. The policemen are sober, and don’t have to yell at them because they are Varkaris. The Varkaris have come with an emotional tone in their mind, so they can’t regulate them with a harsh…, martial tone of voice.
They regulate the Varkaris in Pandharpur differently from… some mob collecting on the streets, where they use tear-gas, etc… in a martial [act]. So their machinery, regulation is totally different. Regulating at the Pandharpur shrine differs from regulating an assembly on a… ground, a square, a road or street. Regulating [is]multifaceted. Regulator [is] multifaceted . It depends upon what is regulated, why it is regulated, and when it is regulated.
4. How the parent, father or mother, regulates an unwell child… [differs from] how the parent regulates the child that is perfectly well, and, as a matter of fact, is very very naughty. [Compare] how the parents regulate an exuberant child, [full] of kinetic energy, moving everywhere…, with how the parents regulate the same child when unwell. So regulation differs because the regulated entity is either in an unwell, or exuberant state of health.
So regulator, regulated, regulating are multi-faceted acts. Basically this is a three dimensional term. Ponder over this.
Pranayama Considers Regulator & Regulated +55.55
1.Don’t just say pranayama is breath regulation. What is the profile, function, and role of the regulator? And, then, the regulated, as well: What is regulated? Breath is regulated. What is regulating? Is it proper with proper machinery? Proper credentials? Proper processes? What is the profile of the regulator? So we need to consider the regulator, and the regulated even when pranayama is breath regulation.
2. So I have given some matter for you to ponder over. The very proposition that pranayama is breath regulation is not so simple. [It cannot use] the literal meaning of the word regulation. Ponder over this for some time. That should be enough for the day.
 The mind has its own tendencies…, whims, -cracies: cracy indicates the elevation and promotion of a specific class, such as a technocracy, or theocracy. In Prashant’s vocabulary physiocracy means a structure that relies on the undue emphasis on physicality in practice. Here, one could imagine him coining whims-ocracy, a structure built on capriciousness.
 Nothing works as conscientiously for us as much as the breath…. What does it mean to say that it should be regulated?: The three functions of regulator, regulated, and regulation can be fulfilled by three agents: 1) “I;” 2) associated breath and prana; 3) “my” mind and body. Thus “I” regulates the breath, and the breath regulates “I,” etc. This theme will continue for the remainder of the lesson. See “The Triad of Regulation,” Prashant S. Iyengar, Pranayama: A Classical and Traditional Approach, New Delhi: New Age Books, 2016. P. 45-56
 identify their… extra-respiratory functions, as I said in the last lesson: “If any part of body doesn’t get oxygen…, then that part suffers, and then it dies…. But the common man… thinks the breath circulation is only confined to the respiratory system.” See “Mind Steady for Pranayama, Not Shvasayama +13.35,” Lesson 23: Pranayama (Part 1).
 I said devote at least 5-10-15-20% of your asana practice… [to] breath studies: “But in the classical approach, you are supposed to have some percentage — ten, twenty, or thirty percent… — for… addressing the breath, and breath-considerate conditions.” See “Breath Customized in Virasana Variations +22.35,” Lesson 23: Pranayama (Part 1).
 graphic modes such as columnar breathing, cylindrical breathing, obverse conical, reverse conical, alternated reverse and obverse conical, then crescent moon in-breath and out-breath: See footnote: “obverse conical describes an upright traffic cone with the apex at the top. The reverse conical is upside down cone with the smallest part at the bottom, similar to a V-shape. An obverse conical will arise from the inner walls; a reverse conical from the outer walls.” under “Silent Commenting—Obverse, Reverse Conical Breathing Through Prana Kriya +28.30,” Lesson 18: Vachika Kriya (Part 2).
 There are already precursors to this in various asanas that you do. Standing poses, as I said during the last session, prone poses, supine poses…: See “Breath Customized in Virasana Variations +22.35,” “Breath Confines in Tadasana, Sirsasana, Uttana Padma Mayurasana +35.50,” and “Asanas Makes Breathing, Breath Circulation Flexible +40.00,” Lesson 23: Pranayama (Part 1).
 the different functions of the breath, as I said yesterday in the last session, between Adho Mukha Virasana and Supta Virasana, bending forward in Virasana and bending backward in Virasana: See “Breath Customized in Virasana Variations +22.35,” Lesson 23: Pranayama (Part 1).