Day 40

Sutra 1.40

परमाणु परममहत्त्वान्तोऽस्य वशीकारः॥४०॥

paramāṇu paramamahattvāntosy vaśīkāra


  1. One’s mastery in one-pointedness extends from the finest atom to the the ultimate.- CT
  2. Gradually, one’s mastery in concentration extends from the primal atom to the greatest magnitude. -SS
  3. The yogī’s mastery extends from the smallest particle of matter to the ultimate totality of matter. -EFB


paramāṇu- primal atom, smallest, most distinguished, finest, greatest atom
parama- greatest, ultimate
mahattva- magnitude, totality of matter
antaḥ- end, extension, up to 
asya- his, her, it
vaśī-kāra- mastery

Key Concepts:

The list that we are discussing now is the means for cultivating a peaceful mind. 

  1. one-pointedness, fixing the mind on one object {OM being the highest object} 1.32
  2. appropriate attitudes of friendliness, compassion, delight, and dispassion 1.33
  3. working with the breath 1.34
  4. one-pointedness on a supersensuous experience 1.35
  5. one-pointedness on a luminous and brilliant cognition 1.36
  6. one-pointedness on a great soul 1.37
  7. one-pointedness on dreams and deep sleep 1.38    
  8. one-pointedness on anything that resonates with you 1.39   

In Sutra 1.40 Patanjali explains that by practicing one-pointedness (through any of the means described in Sutra 1.32-1.39) the yogī develops mastery of concentration, mastery over the mind. That mastery extends from the most subtle to the most supreme, anything in manifest reality. If one develops this type of mastery of mind, then the other Sutras are not really needed. There will be nothing unknown to you. 


Bandha means to bind or lock. It is a means to direct and refine the movement of prāṇa in the body. Traditionally bandhas were used for directing prāṇa into the central channel, thus raising kuṇḍalini energy. 

Bandhas not only have energetic benefits, they also tone the organs and diaphragms. The three bandhas are Mūla, Uddiyana, and Jalandhara. Mula Bandha, the root lock, physically relates to the pelvic diaphragm. Uddiyana Bandha, the abdominal lock,  relates to the diaphragm, i.e.. breathing apparatus. Jalandhara Bandha, the throat lock, relates to the vocal diaphragm. 

When all three bandhas are engaged it is known as Maha Bandha, the great lock. 

Mula Bandha is engaged by drawing all four points of the pelvic floor together and up. Energetically this moves the downward moving prāṇa, Apana Vayu, up. Physically this lifts the pelvic floor stabilizing the pelvis. 

The four points of the pelvis are the two sitz bones, the pubic bone, and the tailbone. Draw the two sitz bones together, while simultaneously drawing the pubic bone and tailbone together. This creates a magnetic balance and tension that causes an upward suction of the pelvic floor. Mula bandha should be practice all the time as a slight tone in the pelvic floor. 

Uddiyana Bandha translates to flying or rising up and is speaking to the raising of the diaphragm and abdominal organs up into the ribcage. The full version can only be done on an exhalation in kumbhaka the retention of the breath outside the body. However, a subtler version can and should be practiced in asana, especially in forward folding poses. 

Jalandhara Bandha, net or throat lock serves to trap prāṇa and bindu in the body. When we engage the other bandhas we direct prāṇa up. When we engage the throat lock we trap the energy in the torso, where it can create more pressure and become amplified and thus directed into the central channel. It also serves to trap the bindu, nectar from descending into the fire of the torso. There is much speculation about what exactly this nectar is. Some say it is the grace of God, others life force, while some believe it is hormones released from the pineal or pituitary gland. 

Jalandhara Bandha is engaged by lifting the sternum, and then like a swan taking the chin up and over to place it on the base made by the lifted sternum. You will feel the pallet lift like a dome. The chest stays bright and the shoulders move down and back. 

Maha Bandha, the engagement of all three bandhas, work to amplify the energy in the body. This can be used to direct it into the central channel. It can also be sent out into the body clearing the other 72,000 nadīs. It is practiced on retention of the breath, kumbhaka. 


1. Sankalpa

2. Prayer Ritual

3. Asana:

Practice 5X Rounds

4. Mantra:

  1. Use your mantra. 
  2. Say your mantra to yourself 5 times out loud. 
  3. Say your mantra in a whisper 5 times. 
  4. Say your mantra silently in your mind 5 times.      

*When you catch your mind engaged in an activity that you find harmful, use your mantra to reset your mind. 

5. Pranayama:


Kapalabhati is the skull shining breath or breath of fire. This increases ones energy and internal fire, boosting metabolism and digestive fire. It is considered a purification practice because of its powerful ability to clear the nadīs. It increases oxygen levels in the body and clears the mind as it send prāṇa up from the pelvic floor to the crown (skull shining) 

  1. Start ujjayi, create a nice long breath, balancing the inhalation and exhalation. 
  2. Visualize the space two fingers below your navel. If it is hard to visualize, touch the space between the navel and pupil bone.  
  3. Let this place be where you initiate the breath. 
  4. Take three large inhalations followed by exhalations out of the mouth. 
  5. On the next breath, inhale half way. 
  6. Focus only on the exhale, strongly pull the low belly in to exhale. Let the inhale be spontaneous. 
  7. Do 40 to 50 pulses. Take a full inhale. Take a full exhale and engage mahabandha (see above), retaining the breath as long as is comfortable.
  8. Lift the chin. Inhale. 
  9. Take a few normal breaths. Repeat for a total of 3 rounds. 
  10. Sit for a few moments, allowing your body to breath naturally. 

6. Meditation: Choose one of the practices for fixing the mind listed above. Stay with this object of meditation for the next 10 days.

  1. Draw your attention into yourself. Removing your awareness of the objects of your senses.
  2. Focus your minds eye on your object of meditation .
  3. Practice for 10 to 20 minutes. (commit to a time and set a timer)
  4. When you feel your mind wander be so gentle in bringing it back. *Remember we are like infants in this journey. Treat yourself as you would your own child. 
  5. End by touching your heart and repeating your name 3 times. 

7. Reflection

Practice for a few days and come back later to reflect on the experience.

Dream Yoga (Look back at day 10 for more info.)

  1. Process your days events prior to sleep.   
  2. Sleep on the right side. 
  3. Scan your body and release any tension. 
  4. Extend the right hand out with the index finger lifted. 
  5. Rest your mind in your heart, maybe you touch your heart. 
  6. Slowly bring the tip of your finger to the tip of your nose. 
  7. Pray, ask for guidance and the ability to remember your dreams. 
  8. Sleep.
  9. Upon waking do not move right away, reflect. 
  10. Set an attention for your day. 

As you get better with this practice  you will be able to  recognize yourself as dreaming, when you are having a dream. The next step once recognizing the dream is to practice meditation in the dream. Whoa! 

This translates to recognizing that our waking life also has qualities of a dream. (This is a very advanced yogic practice. If you are interested practice daily and you will get better and better, eventually being able to control the dream and meditate in the dream)

  1. What means are you using to practiced one-pointedness?
  2. What is your experience with using the bandhas?
  3. How do you feel after kapalabhati?

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