Pranayama Inhaling Exhaling Time Taken Authentic Ratio Thirumoolar

Thirumoolar explains the time to be taken for Pranayama.

Draw the Breath in (Purakam) in 16 mathras ( a measure of time,equivalent to blinking of Eye),Retain Breath, Kumbaka for 64 mathras and Exhale in 32 Mathras.

ஏறுதல் பூரகம், ஈர்எட்டு வாமத்தால்;

ஆறுதல் கும்பம், அறுபத்து நாலதில்;

ஊறுதல் முப்பத்து இரண்டுஅதி ரேசகம்;

மாறுதல் ஒன்றின்கண் வஞ்சகம் ஆமே.

(திருமந்திரம் 568)

The ratio is 16:64:32 or 1:4:2

4 :16: 8 In Seconds. You can maintain this Ratio.

Thirumoolar is quite explicit in stating that that in this Pranayama one should draw Breath only from the left nostril and exhale through the right nostril.And changing the process like drawing/ inhaling through Right nostril is harmful.

2 கைநொடி1 மாத்திரை (0.25 second) .One Second equals Four Mathirai.

6 responses to “Pranayama Inhaling Exhaling Time Taken Authentic Ratio Thirumoolar”

  1. Hi Sir,

    So we are not allowed to inhale from the right nostril and exhale from the left nostril.
    Please clarify ?


    • Yes, as expounded by Thirumoolar. Exhaling is done through by nostril in some practices. I go by Thirumoolar text. I am also looking for credible sources which indicate to the contrary. Readers may also contribute. I am rechecking Patanjali’ s 🧘‍♀️ sutra

      Liked by 1 person

    • I am not an expert on prANAyAmam. But I would venture to say that the inhale/exhale regimen should alternate with left and right nostrils–such as inhale with left exhale with right followed by inhale with right and exhale with left. That makes both the lungs fill with air properly. I don’t understand tirumUlar’s logic about prohibiting right inhale left exhale.


      • It is an intrigue so did some google research on anatomy and would propose following theory – besides breathing for air, the nose is also how we smell. The olfactory bulbs on from both sides are connected – however studies ( show the smells from the right side end up more in the right side of the brain and the ones from left (nostril)side end up in the left brain. Left brain being the center for reasoning, logic & analysis PERHAPS the sages wanted the practitioner to exercise the left brain more – hence more breathing in via left nostril. The right brain seems to be more for creative / imaginative stuff – not the ideal state for focus during Pranayaman! (all this just my semi-educated theory).

        This sentence from the above link astounded me : “The Left Versus the Right Nostril
        The nose is an amazing organ, and now researchers have evidence that smells that enter the left nostril are processed by the brain in a different way than smells that enter the right nostril. In a study published in December 1999, 32 college students were asked to sniff eight common odors through either the right or left nostril and asked to identify each scent and rank each one on pleasantness. One week later, the test was repeated with the other nostril.
        Researchers found that people were better at identifying odors when they used their left nostrils. However, odors were perceived as more pleasant if smelled through the right nostril.”

        Also note that though we have two nostrils, there is only one trachea (windpipe) that feeds both lungs – which seems to mean the inflow from either nostrils merge high up in the nose and then travel down the pipe as one flow.


  2. Very useful explanation, thank you. In the Thirumoolar text quoted, for Purakam, duration says ‘ ஈரெட்டு’. Wouldn’t that imply 16, making the ratio 16:64:32 ? =1:4:2? Looking fwd to clarification and apologies if impertinent .


    • You are right. I made a mistake. I have corrected in the article. I should be more careful
      Thank you for pointing out. Please check my articles for errors. Regards.


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