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Pranayama in yoga is  Expansion of life force through breathing

Boost your energy by the practice of Pranayama.

Learn to master your breath will make you mastery of the mind.

Pranayama in Yoga is generally confined as a breathing Yoga exercise. As a matter of fact, it has profound meaning than the confinement as a breathing activity. The term ‘Pranayama’ has been formulated by the addition of two word ‘Prana’ and ‘Ayama’. The word ‘Prana’ means vital energy or life force. Ayama means the expansion or extension. In this regard, the expansion of vital energy through breathing is called pranayama.

The existence of prana is not limited in the living things. Therefore, prana should not be misunderstood as an air or oxygen. It has unfathomable idea inherited with its understanding. The prana also presents in non-living things. Mere word may not be sufficient to get the idea of what the prana really is. Most importantly, only the practice of pranayama makes your realize how much significance it has in our life. In the practice of pranayama, what we do is- we try to control the dimension of life; we practice to get mastery over modes and amplitude of life.

Pranayama according to Patanjali

Patanjali Yoga Sutra defines ‘Pranayama’ as “tasmin sati śvāsa-praśvāsayor gati-vicchedaḥ prāṇāyāmaḥ” [II.49 तस्मिन् सति श्वासप्रश्वासयोर्गतिविच्छेदः प्राणायामः]

Tasmin= On/in/at that (that means the stage just before pranayama i.e. asana along with its practice and effects. They are given in chapter 2, verse no- 46, 47 and 48. )

Sati ( PaliसतिSanskrit: स्मृति smṛti)=

1) mindfulness or awareness

2) Existing or upon that existing, established on

3) Gain, acquisition, wealth, property; winning the prize, making booty.

4) End, destruction.

5)  Gift, giving, donation

6) .षण् to give up or षो to destroy,

7) Truth

Svasa- Praswasayor (Svasa- Praswasayoh) = of both inhalation and exhalation

Gati= movement

Vicchedah= Cutting asunder, cutting, dividing, separation; interruption, stoppage

Pranayamah= (is called) Pranayama

Thus Pranayama can be defined as-

  1. end of breath movement
  2. give up or destroy the breath movement
  3. cessation/ stoppage of breath
  4. interruption of breath
  5. control and mastery over breath being established on asana along with being aware or mindful during the time.

Thus pranayama has focused on awareness of the breath. You will practice breath-retention, suspension of breath, or holding of breath as in kumbhaka; and that moment when you are conscious (witnessing the breath) is said to be the Pranayama.

Our breath is not proper and flows in an uneven manner. Patañjali suggests the practitioner systematize inhalation and exhalation being attentive to and keeping a smooth, consistent sound along with a gentle rhythm “Constant witness alone is sufficient to make spontaneous changes in the breath’s type and pattern. Indeed, no intentional effort can form the breath as gentle and calm as it becomes naturally through persistent mindfulness. And as respiration develops incomprehensively ample and subtle, it stops being favorable for disturbing mental states.

Pranayama becomes successful when you are in Asana

The real practice of pranayama is possible when you are established in Asana (comfortable and static position of the body). But we should not miss our practice whatever state we are in, whatever pattern our breath is in. The practice marks the commencement of paying attention to the breath. The essence of practice lays in feeling the breath in the body and feeling the body through the breath.

We may govern the breath, or we may just witness it. Any effects due to either way of the breaths make you get affected by it. When you are able to feel the expansion and contraction of incoming and outgoing breath, the pranic flow of the life, unify the movement of breath and body; you will start freeing up stiffness in the body. You will start moving towards infinity from the limitedness. This will help you to understand the connection of the mind to the body with respect to breath.

Pranayama as given in Hatha Yoga Pradipika, II.2

Svatmarama, in his Hatha Yoga Pradipika, emphasizes prāṇāyāma as the connection of citta (psyche) to breathe:

cale vāte calam cittam
muddled the breath, the mind muddled
niścale niścalam cittam
fixed or unagitated [the breath], the mind fixed
yogī sthānutvam āpnoti
the yogi  sets foot on steadiness (balance, constancy)
tato vāyum nirodhayet
thus, practice control on breath

“When the breath is unsettled, the mind also gets unsettled. When the breath is free from agitation, there is no agitation in the mind. Therefore, one should do breathe practice.”

Svatmarama and BKS Iyenger on Pranayama

Svatmarama mostly focus on disturbed breathing. He suggests, “Be connected with the breath, work with it to get the mind stable and undisturbed”.

Breath is corpus to the assignment of āsana. We become connected to breathe through the mind with the breath to find adherence and comfort and to free useless stress. It is the breath through which we grip our consciousness–we expand ourselves in the realm of realization.

B.K.S. Iyengar states prāṇa as the heart of yoga, executes as a bond to the inner body and to the spirit. He suggests Pranayama should never be a forceful practice.

Multifold meaning Pranayama

We find multifold meaning Pranayama as “breathe regulation”. Prāṇa indicates breath, life force, or cosmic energy. Āyama means discipline, restraint–also, extension, expansion. This variety of meanings is often expressed by this fourth limb of yoga as “breath regulation.” For pranayama, one could practice breath restraint, breath control, breath expansion, breath mastery, and finally breath consciousness. Breath awareness is missed in many places since it requires a higher level of mindfulness.

The body expands and shrinks as an ingenious indivisible piece as an amoeba. It is the most basic sense of being, the most primary movement. The lungs and oxygen in blood flow and saturation of cells (cellular breathing) induce through a flow of expanding and condensing. As the breath is combined throughout the body, every part of the body will naturally move relatively to a certain extent in integration with the in / out breath pattern. You are asked to apply breath rhythm to come around and establish a rapport with ‘proprioceptive self’, ‘with one’s body self’, ‘with own’, the ‘internal state’, to realize your entire body is united.

Pranayama in Upaniṣads

It is the philosophy of life and consciousness, as per the Upaniṣads, we live with our individual consciousness with its finite intelligence, often feeling solitary, small, and delicate, when there is a channel on hand straightway to cosmic consciousness and infinite intelligence. The channel i.e. breath joins each individual among us to the highest original principle of Nature.


  • Apart from breath awareness, there are various types of pranayama techniques such as Bhastrika, Kapalbhati, Nadi-sodhan, Ujjyai, Bhramari, etc. Which has been important for you?
  • What concept on the breath has been good to you?
  • How do you use breath for asana practice? What difference you experience practicing asana with breath awareness and without?
  • Can you think back to your initial experience listening to the breath, like where, when, what was the situation or setting?
  • What do you get from halting in your day and witnessing your in-breath, out-breath, and various situations of the breath?

Main purpose

The purpose of pranayama is to strengthen the association between your body and mind. Research reveals that pranayama can improve refreshment and relief. It aids to heighten your awareness level and mindfulness. It’s proved that pranayama (fourth stage of yoga) supports complete physical and mental health, including lung function, blood pressure, and brain function. It is the path leading to Pratyahara (the fifth stage of yoga).

Pranayama a breathing Yoga has four features which are as follows:

    • Pooraka (inhalation)
    • Rechaka (exhalation)
    • Antar kumbhaka (internal breath retention)
  • Bahir Kumbhaka (external breath retention)

Even though we have been inhaling and exhaling till the death falls on us, the idea of pranayama is to make the way of inhalation and exhalation quite friendly and beneficial to the health and spiritual path. Through the certain practice and procedures, we not only empower our health, but also the corridor to the spirituality gets heightened. Therefore, the practice of pranayama is not the different things brought in practice. Rather it is the phenomenon actually inherited with every person that has to be guided in a certain way.

As a human being we start breath before we come to the world. It only comes to an end when we physically die. Breath has such a magnitude for the complete balance of the life. The speed of your breathing has greater impact on your state of mind. When you are in livid mood, your speed of inhalation and exhalation increases. The slower your breathing is, the longer, it is believed, your life will be. In the case of human being a normal person breathes 15 times in a minute. In this fashion, breath occurs 21,600 times per day.

The deep, slow and rhythmic breathing pattern is advantageous for the health whereas fast, irregular breath can create problems in your body. This is why it’s always suggested to breathe calm and cool manner. The benefits of proper deep breathing has ranging from physical, psychological to spiritual balance in your life.

Practice of pranayama increase intake of oxygen which helps to take out carbon dioxide and other toxins from body. Generally, we utilize only one third part of our lung capacity. This inadequate supply of oxygen results in improper waste disposal from our body. Oxygen in the blood is vital role for assimilation of food, stimulating of the endocrine glands, providing energy for functioning of brain and heart etc.

Some of the most common breathing yoga or pranayama benefits are as follows:

  • Pranayama is helpful to improve anger, anxiety, stress, depression and lower the nervous tensions. Once the breath is still your mind will still.
  • Improves blood circulation and distribute fresh oxygenated blood, nutrients and life force in every cells of the body.
  • Helps the body get rid of excessive fat and weight.
  • Increase longevity of life. Lower your breathing rate and increase your life.
  • Pranayama Yoga improves the autonomic functions.
  • It helps to relieve respiratory problems.
  • Enhancing the functioning of several organs like kidneys, pancreas, intestines, diaphragm, lungs, heart etc.
  • Pranayama helps to steady mind, strong will power and sound judgments.
  • Regular pranayama is helpful to enhance positive perception of life.
  • pranayama improves in the cardio respiratory problem including blood pressure, heart rate etc.
  • Certain pranayama’s are excellent for weight loss.
  • Helps to Cure problems that are related to the digestive system
  • Improves insomnia and other sleep disturbances.
  • Removing the toxins from body
  • Prevents various diseases by strengthening the life force.

Points to be noted for practicing Breathing Yoga

  1. The practice of pranayama is not advised during the illness. However, natural breathing exercise lying down on the floor can be performed.
  2. The appropriate time for practicing is supposed to be in the morning and in the evening. In the morning it is Bramhamuharata, the period about one and half an hour before sunrise. It is also believed to be the time when the solar and lunar activities meet and merge in the sushumna. And in the evening it is Sandhyakal which is just after sunset.
  3. Have a bath before pranayamic practices.
  4. Keep in mind if your clothes are tight enough to make your feel discomfort while sitting in the practice of pranayama.
  5. It’s always better to practice in empty stomach if not so keep the gap about 3-4 hours of your meal.
  6. Practice at a clean, natural, ventilated and peaceful place where you can get fresh air.
  7. Breath always through the nose until it is specified.
  8. Sit on a cross-legged position with spine, head and neck straight. You also can sit with straight legs and hands on the thighs. If you can’t stay longer with spine straight, take the support of wall or a chair.
  9. Rest at least 30 minutes between practicing Pranayama and eating.
  10. A healthy person can start with any type of pranayama. It is advisable first practice Asanas (yoga posture) to tune the body before pranayama.

 Natural Breathing

This is the kind of breathing system which comes naturally. Natural breathing is the breathing we are actually supposed to be practiced when we are in normal state.


  1. Close your eyes. Sit on a cross-legged position or any comfortable meditative posture. Or, you can lie down if you want. Focus on your breathing pattern how the air is going in and coming out from the nostril. Feel the coolness of breathe when you inhale and the warmness of the breath when your exhale.
  2. Take deep inhalation and concentrate at the back of the mouth. Observe how the breath is going inside.
  3. Notice and take the breath deep down to the throat then to the chest. Feel the breath flows in trachea and bronchial tube and it even goes down to the lungs.
  4. Your observation continues to the ribcage area where you feel the breath is flowing. From the area of ribcage it even enters to the abdomen zone. On inhalation the abdomen comes upward and on exhalation it moves downward and inward.
  5. Now focus the whole breathing process from the nostril to the abdomen and observe how the breath travels along the way. Observe this process for few minutes.
  6. Gradually bring your awareness to the whole body and then rub your palms. Massage on your face clockwise and anti-clockwise and open your eyes

 Abdominal Breathing

Abdominal breathing or diaphragmatic breathing is regarded as the well-organized way of breathing. In this breathing system, entering from the nostril the breath goes down to the diaphragm. During this breathing, ribcage and the chest is kept still. The movement of the diaphragm and abdomen area is expected in this kind of breathing.


  1. Lie down on the floor over the mat keeping your eyes close and let the body relax. Keep concentrate on your breathing pattern. Try to come in normal breathing state.
  2. Put your right hand on the abdomen, the area above the navel centre, place your left hand on the chest.
  3. On inhalation your right hand moves up and on exhalation it goes down. Here, the left hand does not move.
  4. On inhalation the diaphragm goes downward and abdomen goes outward while during exhalation diaphragm moves upward and the abdominal goes inward.
  5. Take a deep inhalation expanding your abdomen to the level of your comfort. During inhalation, don’t expand the ribcage. No sooner have your completed the inhalation than the diaphragm compresses the abdomen.
  6. At the completion of exhalation, diaphragm compresses the abdomen and navel to the spine. You can carry on the practice of abdominal breathing for few minutes.
  7. Gradually bring awareness to the body which is lying down on the floor. Then you can rub your palms and put your palm on the eyes and then massage your whole face. Then open your eyes.

 Thoracic Breathing

Thoracic breathing takes place at the middle lobe of the lungs with the expansion and contraction of ribcage. This kind of breathing occurs at the time of physical exercise. When a person is in tension and stressful situation. For the same amount of air exchange more energy is needed for this breathing than the abdominal breathing. It is not advised to remain in this sort of breathing pattern for long time even after the physical exercise or stressful situation.


  1. You can sit on meditative posture or lie down in savasana. Keep your eyes closed. Try to make your body relaxed.
  2. After few moments of natural breathing, inhale only with the expansion of ribcage. Don’t use the diaphragm now.
  3. On every inhalation, the ribcage moves outward and exhalation it goes inward. With inhalation expand your chest as much as you can.
  4. When you exhale, the ribcage goes inward shrinking and taking the breath out of the lungs. Your breathing should happen with the use of chest only.
  5. You can proceed this breathing for few minutes before your again come to normal breathing. Now you can invite the awareness to the whole body. Scrub your palms and place the warmed palm on the eyes and then massage gently on the face clock-wise and anti-clockwise. Then open your eyes.

Clavicular Breathing

Clavicular breath operates the upper ribs and the collar bone which are pulled upwards by the muscles of the neck, throat and sternum. In this breathing, the demand of the air into the lungs is higher than in the thoracic breathing. In the case of thoracic breathing middle lobe of the lungs are utilized whereas in clavicular breathing upper lobes of the lungs only get aired. This breathing pattern takes place at the period of physically demanded exercise and the case of asthma where airways is obstructed.

  1. Lie down in savasana or any comfortable meditative posture with your eyes closed.
  2. After few moment of natural breathing, practice thoracic breathing for a few minutes.
  3. From state of thoracic breathing where during inhalation ribcage is expanded, expand the shoulder and collar bone upward.
  4. On exhalation lower down the neck and upper chest up to the ribcage.
  5. You can practice for few minutes keeping attention of its effect.
  6. Come down to the normal breathing and concentrate your whole body. Scrub your palms and put on your eyes. Gradually massage your face and feel vibration of your palms on the face. Slowly open your eyes.

Yogic Breathing 

This is the union of natural, abdominal and clavicular breathing. Yogic breathing helps to spot-on your breathing habits. Through the practice of the yogic breath, you can release your stress, anger and anxiety caused by different reason. It helps to calm down your nerves. Most importantly though it should be not performed in continuous manner.


  1. Sit on a comfortable meditative posture or you can lie down on savasana keeping your body relax and contented.
  2. Take a deep inhalation to expand your abdomen. Then focus on the expansion of chest. While expanding your chest, your ribcage gets expanded. Feel the air on the upper portion of the lungs along with shoulder and collar bone moving up.
  3. The inhalation into the abdomen, ribcage, middle lobe and upper lobe of the lungs along with the movement of shoulder, collar bone and neck should be one continuous process.
  4. While exhaling start the release the lower neck, upper chest. At the time of exhalation, the chest goes inward and downward.
  5. Diaphragm also moves upward and compressing the abdomen to the spine.
  6. Retain your breath for few seconds after the end of exhalation. Here you complete the one round of yogic breathing.
  7. Then bring your awareness to the whole body and scrub your palms. Place your palms on the eyes and massage your face clock-wise and anti-clockwise gently. Open your eyes.

Nadi Sodhana

Nadi means energy channel and shodhana means purification. In combination, the purification of energy channel is called nadi shodhana. In other words the purification of psychic network is nadi sodhana. While practicing nadi shodhana, nasagra mudra is performed.  While doing nadi shodhana nasagra mudra is practiced with thumb closing the right nostril and the ring and little fingers closing the left nostril. The index and middle fingers are bent or can be placed at the third eye centre.


  1. Sit on a comfortable meditative posture with cross legged.
  2. Place your left hand on the left thigh or knee and make nasagra mudra with right hand.
  3. Start your practice keeping your right nostril closed with right thumb. Inhale and exhale from the left nostril for 5 times. Then switch to right nostril while closing your left nostril.
  4. After completion of the single nostril breathing. Start alternate nostril breathing. Take deep inhalation from left nostril with right nostril closed. Exhale from the right nostril. Switch the side. This time inhale from right nostril and exhale from the left. The period of inhalation and exhalation is same here. The ratio here is 1:1. Continue it for 5 times.
  5. Practice with alternate nostril breating in the ratio of 1:1 initially. Then increase the amount of exhalation twice of inhalation i.e. the ratio of 1:2 with alternate nostril breathing. Continue it for 5 times. You can go up to 10 times.
  6. Then comes the time of inner retention ( Antar Kumbhaka). After the completion of inhalation from left nostril close the both nostril. Retain the breath twice the count of inhalation i.e. the ratio of 1:2:1. Exhale from right nostril. Now inhale from the right nostril. Retain keeping both nostrils closed and then exhale from the left nostril. Then you can make it up to 1:4:2. For example, when you inhale for two count, retention takes place for 8 count then the exhalation is for 4 count.
  7. When you have long practice of inner retention, you start the practice of external retention in which after exhalation also you retain the breath for the specific period of time. The ratio of the starting of internal and external retention is 1:1:1:1. Then increase the count of internal retention twice. After having good practice of internal retention up to its count increase the exhalation. Hence, the ratio becomes 1:2:2:1. You can lead it up to 2:4:2:2.
  8. The application of bandhas (lock) such jalandhara ( Throat) and Moola ( Root) bandhas is important which can be practiced when you have easiness in nadi shodhana pranayama with retention.
  9. Breathing is expected to be silent in every practice of nadi shodhana. On physical level keep your awareness on the breath and counting. Mentally observe how your mind runs hither and thither. Spiritually focus on ajna chakra.


  1. Nadi shodhana pranayama provides you more amount of oxygen in the body. It helps to maintain the temperature of the body. It comes under balancing pranayama.
  2. It is also beneficial for balancing the ida, pingala and sushumna nadi.
  3. It helps to decrease your stress and anxiety creating harmonious relationship with pranas.
  4. It increases the clarity of thought, concentration and is highly effective pranayama for the people who are engaged in more mental activities.


  1. Don’t rush with the practice of Nadi Shodhana. Do the act of inhalation and exhalation how much you feel comfortable. The state of calmness and easiness should be felt in the breathing while practicing.
  2. The retention is advised for the people having the issues of hearts, high blood pressure, emphysema, and also pregnant women at the later half of their pregnancy.
  3. Even for the introverted and depressed person are not advised to increase the ratio of pranayama more than 1:1.
  4. It’s not recommended to practice at the time suffering from colds, flu or fever.

Sheetali Pranayama

The word Sheetali is brought from the word sheet which means ‘cold’. Thus the pranayama which makes cool, calm and soothing state of mind is Sheetali Pranayama. It comes under tranquilizing pranayama.


  1. Sit on a comfortable meditative posture with eyes closed.
  2. Bring your tongue out of your
  3. mouth as much as you feel easiness. Then roll to the sides of the tongue to make a tube.
  4. Take deep inhalation from the mouth and close your mouth taking the tongue inside.
  5. Exhale from the nose. This is one round of Sheetali pranayama. You can also apply jalandhara bandha along with retention when you have a good practice of Sheetali pranayama. It is advised to practice up to 9 to 15 round. However, it’s very beneficial to go up to 60 round in hot weather to make you cool.


  1. This is the best pranayama in hot weather to make you cool.
  2. It creates the state of soothing in the body and mind which keeps you away from emotional and mental excitation.
  3. It allows the free flow of pranas in the body.
  4. It can be practiced before sleep to go on tranquilized state of mind.
  5. By the practice of Sheetali pranayama, hunger and thirst can be controlled and the feeling satisfaction is experienced in the body.


  1. It is highly restricted not to practice in an unclean atmosphere and cold weather.
  2. It is not recommended a person with low blood pressure, asthma, arthritis, bronchitis and extreme mucus.
  3. People with heart-related issues are advised to practice without retention.
  4. As the practice of Sheetali pranayama chills down the activity of the lower energy centres, the person with constipation is not advised to practice.
  5. This pranamaya is not suitable to practice in winter season.

Note: Those who can’t roll the sides of the tongue are advised to practice Sheetkari pranayama because the both of the pranayama have similar advantages.

Sheektkari Pranayama

 The Sanksrit word Sheetkari means ‘sipping’. While practicing Sheetkari pranayama sipping sound is made.


  1. Sit in a comfortable meditative posture with eyes closed.
  2. Make the teeth together in a smooth manner. Show your teeth separating your lips.
  3. You can keep your tongue flat or you can perfrom khechari mudra (folding your tongue against the soft palate).
  4. Take a deep Inhalation through the teeth. When your complete inhalation, close your mouth.
  5. Exhale through the nose. You can practice up to 9 to 15 round. In hot weather the number can be increased up to 60 round.


  1. This is the best pranayama in hot weather to make you cool.
  2. It creates the state of soothing in the body and mind which keeps you away from emotional and mental excitation.
  3. It allows the free flow of pranas in the body.
  4. It can be practiced before sleep to go on tranquilized state of mind.
  5. By the practice of Sheetkari pranayama, hunger and thirst can be controlled and the feeling satisfaction is experienced in the body.


  1. People with missing teeth or denture, sensitive teeth must not practice it.
  2. It is highly restricted not to practice in an unclean atmosphere and cold weather.
  3. It is not recommended a person with low blood pressure, asthma, arthritis, bronchitis and extreme mucus.
  4. People with heart-related issues are advised to practice without retention.
  5. As the practice of Sheetali pranayama chills down the activity of the lower energy centres, the person with constipation is not advised to practice.
  6. This pranamaya is not suitable to practice in winter season.

Bhramari Pranayama

The term Bhramari means ‘bee’. The sound that we bring while practicing Bhramari pranayama resembles the sound of black bee. Thus, the name has been given Bhramari Pranayama.


  1. Sit in a comfortable meditative posture keeping your eyes closed.
  2. Bring your index fingers to plug the ears or press the flaps of the ears to close the ears.
  3. Concentrate on your ajna chakra and take a deep inhalation through the nose.
  4. While exhalation bring humming sound with deep, slow and controlled manner. The sound is heard like black bee. You can practice 5 to 10 rounds in the beginning.


  1. It helps to decrease your stress and mental tension.
  2. It is also good practice to calm down your anger, anxiety and insomnia.
  3. It is good pranayama for voice improvement.
  4. It activates the higher realms of the personal self.


  1. Don’t practice in lying position.
  2. It is not advised to practice to the people having ear infections.
  3. People with heart issues are recommended to practice without retention of the breath.

Ujjayi Pranayama

The word Ujjayi is brought from Sanskrit which means ‘victorious’. The combination of the prefix ‘ud’ which means the ‘bondage’ and the root ‘ji’ which means ‘to conquer’ becomes the word ujjayi. In this sense, to conquer our desire and bondage is Ujjayi. The victorious with the self is the implied meaning of the Ujjayi.


  1. Sit in a comfortable meditative posture. Keep your eyes closed.
  2. Observe the breath that is going in and coming out. Then concentrate on the throat.
  3. Take a deep and long inhalation. While exhalation, slightly pressurize the glottis so that you could bring the hissing sound like a sleeping baby.
  4. The hissing sound should be maintained up to the level of hearing by practitioner alone.
  5. Practice up to 10 breaths in the beginning and you can make it up to 20 minutes.
  6. Contract the throat without contracting heavily during the whole practice.


  1. It comes under tranquilizing pranayama. Therefore, it makes your nervous system cool and calm and without tension.
  2. It relieves insomnia.
  3. It is very beneficial for the people with high blood pressure.
  4. It has great effect physic level.
  5. It can be practiced in standing, sitting and lying position.


  1. Don’t use the bandhas and breathe retention if you are having the heart issues.

Bhastrika Pranayama

Bhastrika is a Sanskrit word which means ‘bellows’. Through the use of bellows by the blacksmith, he increases the flow of air to heat the iron more the same way the practice of Bhastrika pranayama creates heat inside the body with the flow of air inside and also exiting outside. The practice of Bhastrika is performed with equal amount of inhalation and exhalation. The focus occurs both in inhalation and exhalation.


  1. Sit in a comfortable meditative posture with eyes closed.
  2. Place your fingers on the knee or thighs in chin mudra.
  3. Take deep and slow inhalation and exhalation with two second of inhalation and two second of exhalation. Practice this pattern of breathing for 20 times.
  4. Then speed up the inhalation and exhalation. Now, practice one second of inhalation and one second of exhalation. Continue it for 30 rounds.
  5. In the third round increase the speed of inhalation and exhalation. Complete your inhalation and exhalation in one second. The period of inhalation and exhalation should be equal i.e. 30 seconds each.
  6. While performing third round of active inhalation, the abdominal muscles gets expanded and on exhalation the abdominal muscles gets contracted. The abdomen alone is applied for pumping action. The round of pumping can be increased up to 60 when one has long practice and mastered the practice.
  7. The internal retention can be applied at the end of the every round.


  1. It revitalizes the blood circulation.
  2. It helps to make our body warm.
  3. It induces the clarity of thought and concentration through the activation of the brain.
  4. The practice of Bhastrika requires a large amount of energy. However, it increases the vitality, lowers stress and anxiety.
  5. It helps to burn toxin in the body as the blacksmith’s bellows burn the iron.
  6. It stimulates the metabolic rates.
  7. It also balances the three humours ( Vata-Wind, Pitta-Bile, and Kapha- Phlegm).
  8. It clears the pranic blocks.


  1. It is not recommended to practice by the people with high blood pressure, heart disease, hernia, gastric, ulcer, stroke, epilepsy, retinal problems, glaucoma or vertigo.

Kapalbhati Pranayama

Kapalbhati is the union of two Sanskrit words kapal which means ‘frontal lobe’ and bhati means ‘shining’. Thus the shinning of frontal lobe is the meaning of kapalbhati. In wider sense, the shinning of the brain and offering more clarity and knowledge into the brain is the meaning of Kapalbhati. The practice of Kapalbhati is concerned on active exhalation. The part of inhalation is left passive. It is also the part of shatkarma.


  1. Sit in a comfortable meditative posture with eyes closed. Keep your head and spine straight while hands are resting on the knees with the chin or jnana mudra.
  2. Focus on exhalation. Exhalation should result the forceful contraction of the abdominal muscles.
  3. When you come to the normal breathing state, take deep inhalation and retain your breath for few seconds and then exhale. Focus at the heart chakra. This is one round. Practice it for 10 to 50 round.


  1. It cleanses the lungs and makes our respiratory system stronger.
  2. It also strengthens the digestive organs.
  3. The practice of kapalbhati makes you energetic.
  4. It is good practice purification of the nadis.
  5. It is useful practice to keep away your sleepiness and laziness.


  1. If you feel breathlessness while practicing kapalbhati, halt the practice.
  2. The practice of Kapalbhati is advised to practice only in empty stomach or the gap is maintained of ¾ hours after having meals.
  3. As it is practice to make your active, therefore don’t practice late at night which avoids your sleep.
  4. While practicing if you feel pain and dizziness, don’t practice further.
  5. It is not advised to practice by the people having heart issues, high blood pressure, vertigo, epilepsy, stroke, hernia or gastric ulcer.
  6. It is not advised to practice for pregnant woman.
  7. Do not retain the breath if you are having issues related to heart and high blood pressure.

Moorchha Pranayama

Morrchha pranayama leads you to the state of faintness. It takes you to the journey of psychic state.


  1. Sit in any comfortable meditative posture with eyes closed.
  2. Apply khechari mudra.
  3. Take deep inhalation with ujjayi pranayama. Slightly take your head back. Then perform shambhavi mudra.
  4. Press your knees with your arms straight.
  5. At the end of the inhalation retain your breath as comfortable as you feel.
  6. With exhalation release yours arms still keeping the eyes closed while bringing the head back to the straight position. You can continue your practice until you feel fainting sensation.


  1. It induces the psychic state of mind.
  2. The practice of Moorcha Pranayama leads you to the inner world.
  3. It decreases the tension, anxiety and anger.
  4. It soothes your mind.


  1. It is not recommended to practice by the people suffering from epilepsy, brain disorders.
  2. It is not advised to practice more than the state of fainting sensation.
  3. As the prerequisite of Moorchha Pranayama Is internal breath retention, it is not good practice for the person having heart diseases and high blood pressure.

Surya Bheda Pranayama

Surya means ‘sun’ and bhdda means to ‘pierce’. Sun is the symbol of pingala nadi. Thus, the meaning of Surya Bheda Pranayama is to pierce the pingala nadis.


  1. Sit in a comfortable meditative posture with eyes closed.
  2. Close your left nostril with your ring and little finger of your right hand i.e. nasagra mudra. Place your left hand on the knee in jnana or chin mudra.
  3. Take deep inhalation from the right nostril. Exhale from the same nostril still keeping your left nostril closed by your ring and little finger. This is one round. You can continue up to 10 rounds.
  4. You can apply internal retention and bandhas keeping the rest of the procedure same.


  1. It stabilizes the unevenness of the Doshas (Humours) of Vata (Wind) and Kapha ( Phelgm).
  2. The practice of Surya Bheda Pranayama activates the pingala nadi.
  3. It is very beneficial for introvert personality as it enhances the extroverted quality.
  4. It is good practice of depression.
  5. It is heating pranayama which helps to make our body warm.


    1. It is not recommended to practice Surya Bheda Pranayama after having meal because it interrupts the energy flow associated with digestion.
    1. It is not advised to practice for long time as it may cause discrepancies on the breathing pattern.
  1. Do not practice retention and bandhas if you are having issues of heart and high blood pressure.

If you like to do the pranayama retreat in Nepal Yoga Home go to the pranayama retreat here for more detail.