Last Updated: December 23, 2016

Definition - What does Bahir mean?

Bahir is a Sanskrit word that means "outer" or "outside" and is used in yoga in combination with other Sanskrit words to describe meditation and breathing techniques. Bahir is used in pranayama to guide the yogi on the tempo of the breath after exhalation and is used in meditation to direct the gaze or drishti.

Yogapedia explains Bahir

The intention of bahir in yoga depends on how it is used:

In meditation, bahir is used as, bahir trataka, which directs both the gaze and the attention of the mind to the observation of an external object, such as a crystal, a flower or a flame. In meditation, both the physical gaze and the mental or emotional concentration of the mind is directed outward; this helps the yogi to develop observation without judgment.

In pranayama, bahir kumbhaka directs the yogi to refrain from inhaling immediately at the end of the exhale and to pause instead. During this brief breathlessness, the yogi controls the physical rhythm of the breath and experiences the stillness of the mind while also engaging the maha bandha or the "great lock." The yogi engages maha bandha by performing 3 bandhas (locks) - the moola bandha, the uddiyana bandha and the Jalandhara bandha.

During bahir kumbhaka, the yogi experiences the stillness and steadiness in the mind and in the body as maha bandha is engaged.

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