Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 1

देशबन्धः चित्तस्य धारणा ॥१॥

deśa-bandhaḥ cittasya dhāraṇā ||1||

Concentration is binding the psyche to a place.

deśa - place, point, region, spotbandha - binding, tying, a bond, tie, chain, fettercitta - psyche (the totality of the human mind, conscious and unconscious); mind; heartdhāraṇā - retaining, keeping back; collection or concentration of the mind; to exercise concentration; the act of holding, bearing, wearing, supporting, maintaining;

Commentaries and Reflections

Commentary by T Krishnamacharya:

“Just as Mūla BandhaUḍḍīyāna Bandha,
Jālandhara Bandha and Jivha Bandha
are very important for Prāṇāyāma,
Mano Bandha is very important for Dhyānam.
Mano Bandha is Dhāraṇā.”

Dhyānam is the seventh Aṅga of the Aṣṭāṅga Yoga.
In order to experience Dhyānam, the sixth step,
Dhāraṇā, should have been practiced thoroughly.”

Commentary by TKV Desikachar:

Prāṇāyāma leads to this.
Pratyāhāra, to see without the senses distracting or pulling the mind, and
Dhāraṇā –
To see without the mind losing itself,
because of colouring or expectations.”

“Perhaps the best explanation of Dhyāna is given by Patañjali in the Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verses One and Two, where he states that one must first fix the question (Dhāraṇā) and then link to it (Dhyāna).
One who is not able to fix the question is not able to succeed in Dhyāna.”

“Since Dhyāna cannot occur without an object of concentration,
there must be an area (Deśa) where you fix your mind.
So, first you have to fix or bind (Bandha) your mind on a particular place (Deśa), a chosen object; this is known as (Deśa Bandha as in YS C3 v1).
And second, the mind should establish a relationship with this object which should last, at least, for a moment.”

Commentary by Paul Harvey:

Dhāraṇā is the process of ‘holding onto’ the object.
Dhyānā is the process of ‘linking with’ the object.
Samādhi is the process of ‘integration into’ the object.”
Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter 3 verses 1-3

“To hold the Citta for connective moments is Dhāraṇā.
To be held by the Citta for connective moments is Dhyānam
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verses 1-2

“We might want to consider the notion that the
most important standing Āsana is Samasthiti.
Its role is to ensure we engage with the next Āsana
from a place of attention and aware anticipation,
and after it, return to a place of fullness and reflection.
As if we are experiencing the fullness of the aftertaste
that naturally follows the ingestion of well-cooked food.
It’s learned Bhāvana is a quality of stillness within any
moment of inaction, ere to a transition to the next action.”
108 Postural Practice Pointers