This sutra’s sankrit has a unique sound to it and I chant this one regularly after doing pranayama. I’ve been studying Sanskrit with Leslie Freyberg and on my own and I can read the sutras in Sanskrit now.
Iyengar: Principles which run contrary to the yamas and niyamas are to be countered with the knowledge of discrimination.
Iyengar’s translation differs significantly from other commentators and he explains that if a person is violent for example or angry, that’s his state. Instead of trying to cultivate the opposite condition, he should go deep into the cause of his violence or anger. He says that the opposite forces should also be studies with “calmness and patience. This develops equipoise.” He comments on how this sutra applies to asana and pranayama practice by counterbalancing and focusing on the controlled in and out going breath. Iyengar says that yama and niyama are the foundation of yoga which is why they are in this translation.
Bryant: Upon being harassed by negative thoughts, one should cultivate counteracting thoughts.
This is my favorite translation as I apply it in my everyday life. Bryant says that these negative thoughts are the “activation of … samskaras lying in storage”. He compares the work of this sutra to a garden: the more one weeds a garden, the more there is room for fragrant flowers. But the weeding can never stop.
Taimni: When the mind is disturbed by improper thoughts constant pondering over the opposites (is the remedy).
Taimni says that an undesirable mental habit can be changed only by replace it by “a mental habit of an exactly opposite kind – hatred by love, dishonesty by uprightness”. New mental pathways are built and gradual replace the old ones
Carrera: When disturbed by negative thoughts, opposite (positive) ones should be thought of. This is pratipaksha bhavana.
Carrera says that when the mind is in the middle of negative thoughts it is in no shape to calmly remove those negative thoughts. The only thing to do is to replace it with opposite thoughts. This mechanical action will resolve the pattern in the ways the previous commentators agree upon.