Sama vritti is composed of two words:

  • Sama – coming together or joining
  • Vritti – modifications or fluctuations  

Sama vritti is said to:

  • Remove rajas (passion) and tamas (inertia) from the mind
  • Stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system
  • Calm the mind


The Yoga philosophy of Patanjali

Book 1 on Concentration

Sutra 31.

Sorrow, dejection, restlessness of body, inhalation and exhalation arise from (previous distractions)


The natural process of inhalation and exhalation is being referred to here. When this is done unconsciously or unwillingly it is detrimental to concentration. But the regulated breathing, i.e., controlled inhalation and exhalation which is practiced for bringing about concentration through pranayama, is not likely to produce disturbances or obstacles. In complete concentration, breathing generally stops but the flow of inner consciousness resulting from pranayamic breathing continues and if recollection thereof is consciously maintained, it brings about concentration on that object.             

Calmness of the mind comes from the practice of:

  • Sama-internal restraint
  • Dama-restraint of the senses


Sama and dama form two parts of the Shat Sampat or six-fold virtues.   

  • Sama is the ability to be calm and maintain peace of mind

Sama-calmness of the mind is brought about by controlling and erasing deep rooted desires (vasanas). The mind is not allowed to connect with the indriyas.

The indriyas are made up of the:

  • The five organs of perception (senses)
  • The five organs of action (mouth, hands, feet, anus, procreation
  • Practicing sama is taking control of the mind to control the senses.


Dama is self-control and control of the senses. Brahmacharya is sense control. Practicing dama is the ability to observe the external world without identifying with it.    


Adi Shankara says uparati is the strict observance of one’s own Dharma

(Advaita Vedanta tells us that Brahaman is the only truth, everything else is an illusion (maya).  

“According to the Atma-Anatma-Viveka, uparati is the abstaining on principle from engaging in any of the acts and ceremonies enjoined by the scriptures. Otherwise, it is the state of mind which is always engaged”


Titiksha-the patient endurance of suffering or persevering through suffering. Remaining indifferent to apparent dualities such as, heat and cold, pain and suffering or expectations of reward and punishment.

Tolerance for another by someone who has the power to punish.

“The important way of practising titiksha is to watch the breath (parahara) which practice leads to the practice of meditation proper”


Shraddha is complete faith and trust. This is not blind faith or faith with out reason or verification. It would be based on one’s own experiences and verifiable written evidence. 


Samadhana-now perfect concentration of the mind is achieved through the previous steps.