How does perception occur in humans and what is the advantage of retention?

EDIT: Perception and retention are related to dharana (concentration of the mind) which is part of Astangik Yoga. It is mentioned in the Upanishads.

  • Could make the wording of your question clearer? I'm not sure what your question has to do with Hinduism. Feb 16, 2015 at 15:49
  • perception and retention means Dharana which is part of Astangik Yoga .It is mentioned in upnisadas .Also yoga is in the root of hinduism so how its not releated. Feb 16, 2015 at 15:53
  • What do you expect to happen? If you must follow Patanjali's Yoga sutras, you must follow it completely. Just practising Dharana and saying nothing has happened, is not right. Start with Niyama and Yama, give up all bad habits and cultivate good habits. Then go for Asana, Pranayama and Pratyahara. Then move to Dharana then Dhayana. Finally you will attain Samadhi as the goal. Start from Step 1. It is impossible to expect any results by jumping and skipping steps and following as one wishes. All the best and I hope you attain success!!
    – Sai
    Feb 16, 2015 at 16:29
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    @EshanSingh I think you should just consult some Yoga teacher. Kundalini Yoga is highly dangerous, for the Adi Shakti (kundalini energy) is extremely powerful and not all can bear such surges of energy. It is said that people go lunatic because they are not able to properly channelize that energy derived from Kundalini Energy. A proper Guru or atleast a established Yoga teacher is a must. See here ishafoundation.org/blog/yoga-meditation/demystifying-yoga/…
    – Sai
    Feb 16, 2015 at 18:22
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    Especially this "So many people have come to me who have lost their mental balance and physical capabilities because they tried to do Kundalini Yoga without the necessary guidance and assistance." All the best and I hope that you get the proper techniques in finding a good Teacher who can guide you :).
    – Sai
    Feb 16, 2015 at 18:23

1 Answer 1


Simply retaining the breath alone is not pranayama. There are three parts to pranayama, restraining being only one. I read recently that there is a European man who holds what is considered the world record and can hold his breath underwater for 23 minutes. So at 3.5 minutes you have a long way to go.

According to Patanjali in his Yoga Aphorisms, the first step in yoga is Yama. Yama consists of 5 things. 1) Non-injury, 2) Truthfulness 3) Non-covetousness 4) Chastity 5) Sinlessness. The second step is Asana. Learning to have a correct posture while seated, firm, erect. The third step is Pranayama - suspending, restraining, and controlling the breath. The fourth step is Pratyahara - restraining the organs of sense from outward objects and directing them inward.

There are 3 other steps after this.

When trying to do Pranayama it should be done under the direction of your Guru. Doing it without your Guru's guidance can do more harm than good. It can lead to uncontrolled lust and your downfall.

The reason for Pranayama is that it is the 'flywheel' in the body to learn to control your prana. Once you learn pranayama correctly, you get hold of the thread that gets hold of the string that gets hold of the rope that controls the mind.

"Control the mind, cut off the senses, then you are a Yogi; after that, all the rest will come..." - Swami Vivekananda

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