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Trembling Of Body During Pranayama

Trembling of the body during pranayama is known as kampana. This is experienced by a practitioner of yoga in two different ways. Patanjali has mentioned in Yoga Sutra (I.31) five situations which arise in the wake of the nine obstacles on the path of Yoga. They are – pain, mental dejection due to frustration of desire, trembling of the body, forcible inspirations and forcible expirations.

The trembling of the body parts caused by lack of stability is a situation which puts an obstacle in the practice of posture for sitting in meditation. To overcome all these five situations Sage Patanjali has recommended the practice of pinpointedness (Yoga Sutra I.32).

The other way of experiencing trembling is associated with prolonged practice of pranayama. It is described in Hatha Yoga Pradipika (II. 11-12). It is recommended by Swatmarama that a sincere student who wants to derive the full benefits of pranayama should practice it four times each day. And at each sitting one should practice 80 kumbhakas, that is holding the breath inside the lungs.

The duration of each kumbhaka is measure according to three standards. The lowest standard means holding the breath for approximately twelve seconds in each kumbhaka; the middle standard is of kumbhaka for twenty four seconds, and the highest standard includes each kumbhaka of forty seconds or more. Practicing three hundred and twenty kumbhakas of the lowest measure every day leads to profuse sweating of the body. The middle standard gives rise to tingling sensation along the spine. This is an indication of good progress.

Source – Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume V page 439 - IHRF