REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 68-70

Tirumūlar on evaluating the qualitative standard of the pace of exhaling breath in pranayama practitioners


1 Clinical Research Section, Siddha Clinical Research Unit, A&U Tibbia College Campus, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Varmam, Pura Maruthuvam and Sirappu Maruthuvam, Maria Siddha Medical College and Hospital, Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Subramanian Saravanan
Siddha Clinical Research Unit, A&U Tibbia College Campus, Karol Bagh, New Delhi - 110 005
India
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DOI: 10.4103/ym.ym_15_19

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Tirumūlar's Tirumantiram is the earliest known Tamil treatise on yoga, in which 14 poems are dedicated to the practice of pranayama. These poems give a detailed insight on the methods and benefits of pranayama. The purpose of the study is to advance ideas related to pranayama by proposing a test to identify the stages of progression of a pranayama practitioner. The proposed test is based on the method prescribed in the poems of pranayama in Tirumantiram on evaluating the qualitative standard of the pace of exhaling breath in pranayama practitioners. The verse 567 from the research edition of Tirumantiram critically edited by Annamalai was selected for decoding in which the highest quality standard for the three phases of breath in a pranayama cycle, namely Pūraka (inhalation), Kumbhaka (retention) and Rēsaka (exhalation) is described. On the highest quality standard of Rēsaka, Tirumūlar says 'the exhaling breath should not cause flutters in powder of bran kept nearby'. The description exhibits a method to visually evaluate the pace of exhaling breath by observing its impact on powder of bran. Tirumūlar's ideology on “the exhaling breath and its impact on rice bran powder” could be developed in the name of 'Bran test' to identify the stages of progression of a pranayama practitioner.


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