Pranayama Types

Pranayama – essential component (foundation) of Yoga

Ancient Indian texts on Yoga describe, “As the breath moves, so does the mind, and mind ceases to move as the breath is stopped.”

Yoga include 

  • disciplined lifestyle (Yama and Niyama), 
  • cleansing procedures (Kriya), 
  • physical postures (Asana), 
  • breath regulation (Pranayama), 
  • concentration (Dharana),
  • meditation (Dhyana)
Name of the practiceMethod of practice
KapalabhatiSitting with back and neck erect, one should inhale through both nostrils and exhale rapidly by flapping the abdomen during each exhalation at a pace of 60–120 breaths/min.
Bastrika (Bellow’s breath)One should inhale and exhale quickly and forcefully without straining by flapping the abdomen. This should be practiced for up to 100 breaths.
Nadishodhana/Nadishuddhi (Alternate nostril breathing)With the right thumb, close the right nostril and inhale through left nostril. Closing the left nostril, exhale through right, following which inhalation should be done through right nostril. Closing the right nostril, breath out through left nostril. This is one round. The procedure is repeated for desired number of rounds.
Suryanuloma Viloma (Right uninostril breathing)Closing the left nostril, both inhalation and exhalation should be done through right nostril, without altering the normal pace of breathing.
Chandranuloma Viloma (Left uninostril breathing)Procedure similar to Suryanuloma Viloma, breathing is done through left nostril alone, by closing the right nostril.
Suryabhedana (Right nostril initiated breathing)Closing the left nostril, inhalation should be done through right nostril. At the end of inhalation, close the right nostril and exhale through the left nostril. This is one round. The procedure is repeated for desired number of rounds.
Ujjayi (Psychic Breath)Inhalation and exhalation are done through the nose at normal pace, with partial contraction of glottis, which produce light snoring sound. One should be aware of the passage of breath through the throat during the practice.
Bhramari (Female honeybee humming breath)After a full inhalation, closing the ears using the index fingers, one should exhale making a soft humming sound similar to that of a female honeybee.

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