There are two ways in terms of performing Breath control to achieve Self Realisation. One is regulating Consciousness through Breath Control.Direct Control/ Regulating,Communion with Consciousness through Breath Control is Vaasi Yoga. Regulating the Mind through Breath Control, Pranayama, and thus reaching out to Consciousness is the process of Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali. Both have the same Objective, that of Self Realisation. In one, we deal with Consciousness direct and in the other through Mind. The Preceptor of both systems is Siva. First Yogi,Adhi Yogi is Siva. He practiced Vaasi Yoga.
Please read my articles on Vassi Yoga. As practising Vassi Yoga is difficult , Siva ordered Patanjali to devise a simpler ,yet effective way of Self realisation through Yoga by controlling the Mind, through it Consciousness.
Thus was born Asthanga Yoga by Patanjali.
Though Vaasi and Asthanga Yoga address the issue of Realisation through, among others, Breath Control,there are subtle differences.In this article we shall see about the exact Time,Ratio of Breath Control , Pranayama.
Thirumoolar is Yogi,A Siddha. He is a disciple of Siva. He has written a treatise , of 3047 verses ,Thirumandhiram in Tamil.It is an authentic text on Shaivism and on Yoga system that outlines Vaasi Yoga and also refers to Ashtanga Yoga. Thirumandhiram deals with all the aspects of Yoga,Life,it’s location in Human body,number of breaths per Human and much more. I shall write on them shortly.
Thirumoolar in Thirumandhiram verse number 568 talks about the ratio of Breath Control , Pranayama.
ஏறுதல் பூரகம் ஈரெட்டு வாமத்தால் ஆறுதல் . கும்பம் அறுபத்து நாலதில் ஊறுதல் முப்பத் திரண்டதி ரேசகம் மாறுதல் ஒன்றின் கண் வஞ்சக மாமே .
The breath that we draw is Puraka. Retention of Breath by closing both nostrils is Kumbaka.Exhalation is Rechaka. The Nadi, the flow of breath on the left nostril is Ida,while on the right is Pingala.In the verse quoted above Thirumoolar says the process is Sixteen Matras for Puraka,Sixty four Matras for Kumbaka and Thirty two Matras for Rechaka. (Matra is the time for taken for one involuntary wink.Tamil language is designed on Matra. Each letter of Tamil is assigned the time, Matra. For Instance A,அ is one Matra, Kuril,குறில்.) Aa ஆ has two Matras.The pronounciation of Siva Siva is assigned Four Matras. So for Puraka one has to chant mentally Siva Siva four times: Kumbhaka Siva Siva sixteen times,and for Rechaka Siva Siva Eight times.Please note Matra is not Seconds.Correct way to do Thirumoolar Pranayama is to follow exactly what is mentioned by him. However, as it may be difficult for the beginner to do achieve this, the ratio 16:64:32 or 4:16:8 is practiced in the beginning.