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Gibberishing and more gibberishes[edit]

I am new as an editor to wikipedia and I have a positive personal experience with pranayama so please be critical to what I write !

Controlling prana is Prana nigraha not Pranayama. Pranayama means expanding (ayama) prana. This is why I did this last edit.

Should writing of this quality be allowed to exist in WIkipedia. This really comes very close to gibberish. Mandel June 30, 2005 19:33 (UTC)

I agree. Your comment is gibberish. It shouldn't be allowed to exist in Wikipedia.
Failure to understand something does not make it gibberish. Does failure to understand something justify rudeness ? Let's express our gratitude to these yoga contributors who so generously share their knowledge with the world.
Sorry fellas, Mandel is absolutely right, and he is being very diplomatic already. The whole article almost makes no sense. That's not to say that Pranayama is nonsense per se, but this article needs to explain what it actually is to someone who doesn't know what it is. That's the point of an encyclopedic article.
I mean sentences like "In a systematic manner Patañjali proceeds from the external sheath of man and slowly proceeds to the subtler and subtler sheaths.", and "Just as by catching hold of the key of a timepiece you do not allow it to move and the subtler cog wheels and finally the subtlest hair-spring come to a standstill, even so, by the control of that force which sets into motion the mind, the mind stops its motion." aren't very illuminating. And I agree with Hawol. There are way too many quotes.--Zhuuu 09:19, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm working on this; so please bear with some incomplete references for a week or so Binpajama 23:35, 5 November 2006 (UTC)


I have done some editing. Adding one new reference and moving the quote from the sutras to a section called cautions. I believe that the article is under-developed and that it relies too much on quotes. It needs more references from academic and clinical studies as well as a more thorough discussion of the socio-historical context of pranayama. --Hawol 12:46, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

more text and more references[edit]

I am new as an editor to wikipedia and I have a positive personal experience with pranayama so please be critical to what I write --johanflod 13:46 28 July 2006

Literal translation, 'cognate', 'three elements'[edit]

I removed the statement that prana "is cognate with the Chinese concept of "chi"". The two words are dissimilar enough that it raises doubts about whether they are cognate. I also couldn't find any evidence of this online, and don't have any language reference books. If there is a reliable linguist's reference to this statement, please add the statement back, along with the reference. Along the same lines, the statement "The word pranayama comprises two roots: prana and ayama and three elements: prana, ayama and yama" is puzzling. I couldn't find any language references to 'pranayama' having 'three elements'. The 'root' part makes sense, but the 'three elements' statement is what threw me. I'll add a cite tag soon if this can't be answered or referenced. ॐ Priyanath talk 16:33, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

The are not cognate in an etymological sense, but conceptually there are similarities. It is fine that you cut the issue, as we can find a better citation for it. In general this article suffers the same weak sourcing as other articles to which the concept is related, so I think the first step is to try to get better compliance with WP:RS and WP:CITE. The "three roots" business is an interpretation of what the practices involve overall, and a solid etymology section needs to be built. I expect that some of these edits will be controversial, so I think it would be best not to make too many changes at once, and simply begin to structure in an etymology section, which I have done. According to Wikipedia:Verifiability "The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material. Material that is challenged or likely to be challenged needs a reliable source, which should be cited in the article. Quotations should also be attributed. If an article topic has no reliable, third-party sources, Wikipedia should not have an article on it." Buddhipriya 05:47, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
Regarding the compound prāṇāyāma the confusion in the article about "three roots" seems to be due to an attempt to deal with the long ā, but to me it looks like sandhi in which the masculine plural form prāṇāḥ ("the vital airs") meets with the following yāma (cessation, restraint), and the sandhi rule is: -āḥ + y = in the formation of a tatpuruṣa compound. I will ask Rudra to comment on this etymology to be sure I am seeing it correctly. We know from Apte that when considered as "the vital airs" prāṇa is generally made plural, and MW confirms the plural usage. However I did find a citation to the alternate etymology and have cited Mishra in the etymology section to get that version in. Buddhipriya 09:20, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
To keep the thread together I am adding Rudras answer to my question to him about this: "AFAIK, plurals are not retained in tatpurushas. Also, the action noun yāma (== cessation) sounds Vedic: I think it's āyāma in Classical Sanskrit; whence a straightforward prāna + āyāma would seem to be the correct parsing. rudra 19:02, 5 May 2007 (UTC)" I still have been unable to find a clear WP:RS to cite a written etymology of the compound. Buddhipriya 19:15, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
I have received back via non-Wikipedia sources an answer from a pandit whom I personally consider reliable that the derivation prāṇa + āyāma (expansion) is his understanding as well, so that seems confirmed. I asked him about the alternative of prāṇa + yāma and he simply chuckled and said that was a common misunderstanding. How do we go about documenting a common misunderstanding that is not clearly discussed in a WP:RS that I can cite? I can't appeal to authority of the pandit to overrule the very common translation as "breath control". Buddhipriya 21:25, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
Reliable Sources also allow for the 'energy control' version (and I think they may also chuckle at the other interpretation.....). Like many things in Hinduism, there apparently isn't one correct answer. Both should be included, with their references. ॐ Priyanath talk 22:33, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
Added— An additional Reliable Source is Vivekananda in his book Raja Yoga, where he states " Pranayama, or controlling the vital forces of the body "(Bharatiya Kala Prakashan,India (August 15, 2004) ISBN 978-8180900365). When sage/teachers of Raja Yoga and pandits disagree, I personally go with the yogi-sages, especially when it comes from multiple independent respected lineages - three so far in this case (Ramakrishna/Vivekananda, Yogananda-Kriyananda, Sivananda). But for an encyclopedia, both versions are acceptable, since sources can be found for both. ॐ Priyanath talk 22:50, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
Add— One way to solve this is to say that the literal translation is "expansion" (if indeed that's so), and the meaning ascribed by renowned teachers of Patanajali's Ashtanga Yoga is "control". Because Raja Yoga and Patanjali are a wisdom teaching, and not merely an academic one, the true teachers are the real authorities. But the academics should probably have their say too. ॐ Priyanath talk 23:01, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
I think you have hit the nail on the head when you say that there is no one correct answer. The trick is to cite a wide range of WP:RS and try to identify patterns. The puzzling thing about the etymology is that so few of the sources I have checked so far actually give an etymology. I agree that Vivekananda's Raja Yoga is notable, and next I will go over a number of books I have related to Patanjali to look for more variants. We must remember that if we cite Swami X to prove a point, someone else will cite Swami Y to refute it. So we must look for patterns, and always push back on non-notable sources. Keep adding as many variants as you can, with sources, and it will sort into a pattern eventually. Buddhipriya 23:26, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks to a conversation with the non-citable pandit, I think I now see the problem more clearly. Apparently there is a specific Paninian sutra covering ā + yāma as meaning "expansion", and I have been assisted in locating some additional material in Apte that shows pretty clearly that what āyāma means in this compound is ambiguous, potentially leading to translations of "expanding the prana" or "restraining the prana" depending on the interpreter. I will try to work in the cites and nail down the Paninian reference (perhaps 2.1.16 yasya ca = āyāmaḥ)[1] (२. १. १६ यस्य च आयामः [2]). Buddhipriya 03:32, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Though I have no reference to back it up: a polysemic language like sanskrit is sometimes intentionally vague. When two letter 'a's occur side by side they become ā. The same thing happens when three letter 'a's come together. Hence we get words like Tathāgata that mean simultaneously he who has arrived and departed (thathā + gata OR agata). In the same way pranāyama can be seen as both the expansion and control of the breath (ayama OR yama).Iṣṭa Devata (talk) 17:43, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

The article lead currently has the following statement about prana which I think is poorly sourced, overgeneral, and off topic to some degree. Should it be cut, as it really has to do with the prana article? "Prana includes the breath, but also signifies the 'vital energy' or 'life force' that permeates and enlivens the universe. Its meaning is similar to the Chinese concept of "chi" and the Hawaiian concept of "mana.""

Blatant spamming[edit]

The section on "Specific Pranayama techniques" contains blatant spamming as is evident when you follow the links to specific web pages, which cite no sources, but push traffic to specific web sites. Can other editors please examine these links? My removal of this spam was reverted by another editor, so I will not revert it again immediately in hopes of getting more editorial opinion on them:

Buddhipriya 08:42, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Well, shouldn't there be included in this article some mention about the standard practices of this yogic technique? I would like to know...Sanitycult (talk) 15:37, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

'Crystal Clear (Clear, Like An Unmuddied Lake)' (all glories to The Grid)[edit]

Following B.K.S. Iyengar (1966, 1968, 1976: pp.359-377), in parsing prāṇāyāma it is seminal to note the syllable 'ā' in italicized and bold font which in traditional received pronunciation is sounded at a higher pitch. For the Dzogchenpa as well as for the Mantrayana mantrika, the end is in the beginning, the 'fruit' (Sanskrit: phala) is contained in the 'causal base' (Sanskrit: hetu ?), the omega is in the alpha of Ah, the first phoneme of the 'Garland of phonemes' (Sanskrit: Varnamala).[1] Worthy of note, is that this syllable is 'ā' not 'a'; therefore, Prāṇāyāma is to be parsed as 'neither prāṇa-yāma nor prāṇa-ayāma' and this is an application of the fourth function of the Catuskoti. Where 'yāma' may be understood as 'cessation' and 'ayāma' as 'continuity'. Therefore, following Indian logic, prāṇāyāma is the sadhana of neither the cessation nor continuity of prāṇa: that is, it is the discipline of neither the expiration/exhalation nor inspiration/inhalation of prāṇa.
The sum is more than the parts.
B9 hummingbird hovering (talkcontribs) 09:12, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Is this a joke? Mitsube (talk) 20:11, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

material from another page[edit]

I'm moving the following material from the page Diaphragmatic breathing to here because it belongs in this sort of category, pranayama and so forth, rather than the category of diaphragmatic breathing. I doubt that this material will be of any use on this page either, and the citation it provides does not seem to be scholarly.

"There are some [citation needed] yoga and pranayama teachers believe that the most complete and fullest way of breathing is the "three-part breath," also called in yoga "The Complete Breath," which includes diaphragmatic breathing as the first step, followed by thorax expansion and then chest expansion. This method of breathing is considered in Tantric yoga to facilitate the greatest flow of life force through the body. There are several variations of the "three-part breath"; however, many [citation needed] breath therapists and breathing teachers maintain that this approach can create breathing imbalances and other problems.The Complete Breath in Yoga

Buddhist section. Please could we consider removing this as it is not really relevant to the main topic, which is yoga pranayama. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:52, 15 May 2012 (UTC)


whilst interesting the Buddhist section should be on a Buddhist wiki page as it is not directly pertinent to yoga pranayama which is what this pge is about. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:59, 15 May 2012 (UTC)


I have deleted this section as it should be on a Buddhism page. Whilst interesting it is not directly relevant to this page on YOGA pranayama. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Spathi2 (talkcontribs) 06:08, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Rectus sheath hematoma[edit]

Rectus sheath hematoma Just a note for future reference. User:Fred Bauder Talk 03:31, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

Final A[edit]

I notice that someone has taken the time to remove the final 'A' from a lot of the Sanskrit terms effectively rendering them in a modern Hindi vernacular. This seems to be a mistake as Sanskrit would be the "lingua franca" of Yogic Academia. While most of us understand that Yog means either Yoga or Yogi depending on context, related articles will still use the more common complete word. I believe the missing A's render the article less comprehensive, though giving it a more Hindi feel, but this being an encyclopedia, readability seems more important. Thoughts?Iṣṭa Devata (talk) 04:54, 1 April 2014 (UTC)


Someone added two studies about yoga and exaggerated the claims of at least one of the studies. A study of 76 practitioners (a VERY small sample group, not blinded or double blinded, a specific population, etc) had four cases of pranayama incidents. The quote from the study "The yoga practice that was most often associated with reported adverse events was Pranayama or yoga breathing with 4 reported cases" (obviously meaning in the context of the study) was turned into the untrue statement on this page "pranayama is the most hazardous of yoga practices". I have edited the section to be less blatant of an exaggeration. I would rather remove the section as undersupported and non-concensus, but it does have two shoddy references, so I don't know. Any thoughts? Joshua Johnathan? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Iṣṭa Devata (talkcontribs) 16:54, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Also the same author directly states here that there is ONE known case of pneumothorax from Pranayama. Anything practiced by millions of people for hundreds of years presenting with a single case of pneumothorax isn't even enough to establish a definitive connection or warrant a safety warning.Iṣṭa Devata (talk) 17:59, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Or my favorite, from the same study, expanded on here: a girl who, in 1969 did "voluntary mouth-to-mouth Yoga breathing exercises with a teenage boy in a hall where 'the marihuana smoke was so thick you could cut it.'" Now does anyone here know of any 'mouth-to-mouth' pranayamas a teenage boy in the 60s might be teaching? I think the COD is unestablished in this death and the doctors blamed yoga for lack of an answer for a possibly drug related death.Iṣṭa Devata (talk) 18:10, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

And this man who had a litany of preexisting conditions experienced "Subcutaneous emphysema, air in the retroparapharyngeal spaces and pneumomediastinum." which "are usually complications of surgical procedures on the upper aerodigestive tract, trauma, intubations or ventilator malfunction, but they can occur after a Valsalva manoeuvre or spontaneously." Note: can happen spontaneously. We do valsalva 'manoeuvres' when yawning, flying, sneezing, blowing our noses. This is is no way a representative occurrence nor is yoga blamed for it in the study. All the study seems to say is "symptoms followed a yoga exercise called 'pranayam'". Not a causal connection, per se.Iṣṭa Devata (talk) 18:23, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

And our last example from this decade spanning metastudy is "a yoga practitioner who, during an exacerbation of asthma, developed a substantial increase in serum muscle enzymes. This was related to his yoga breathing exercises, which he used to enhance the delivery of aerosolised bronchodilators." In other words, a person with a preexisting condition (asthma) was doing an invented practice (pranayama with his inhaler). In yoga therapy we are taught to be very careful with pranayama and asthma or any condition that limits the tidal volume of the breath. This student was doing an invented practice and little can be gleaned from this about pranayama's safety overall.Iṣṭa Devata (talk) 18:29, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

And finally, from Dr. Sharma himself "Yoga and Pneumothorax To the Editor: We agree with Johnson and colleagues 1 (May 2004) that the “breath of fire” yoga technique most probably induced the pneumothorax they reported, and also with their appropriate cautionary advice. However, there is a question of balance and perspective here. Nowhere in their report do they clearly define the breath of fire as an advanced technique, or “extreme yoga” technique, to be practiced only by advanced students after appropriate instruction. By implication there- fore, their report appears to unjustly flame [blame?] all yoga techniques. This is not appropriate for a discipline that has generally been practiced safely for not hundreds, but thousands of years. Deane Hillsman, MD, FCCP Vijai Sharma, PhD Sacramento, CA"

Iṣṭa Devata (talk) 18:43, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^ Norbu, Namkhai (1988). The Crystal and the Way of Light: Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen (1988). Routledge & Kegan Paul. ISBN 0140190848