Yoga breathing exercises or Pranayama refers to, in yoga, the technique of deep breathing. Have you ever observed the way you breathe? How to perform breathing exercises in yoga? It’s natural from the moment we’re born so we don’t feel the need. But paying little attention to this can benefit your health. Before actually getting started with real high-intensity yoga or even a workout, you have to do a few breathing exercises to empty your lungs. This is necessary to keep it clean.
It is also said that pranayama can cleanse all 72,000 Nadi or nerves in the body. It also helps to add enough oxygen to your body’s blood. Did you know our breath is linked to the mind when we are angry, our breathing is faster and calmer when we are calm? This is why you need to know pranayama. The most important thing is that you know the different types of yoga breathing techniques.
You should always practice under the guidance of a well-trained instructor. So, let’s take a look at basically what these yoga breathing techniques are,
Yoga Breathing Techniques for Beginners
There are many different breathing techniques in yoga but most of them require some guidance if you are doing it for the first time. Here are a few things to keep in mind,
- Maintain the correct posture as you perform each of those poses. Correct posture has a lot of consequences on the body and can affect your overall posture.
- Doing yoga in the morning is the best way to start.
- If you have neck or back pain, be sure to get expert guidance before putting your feet up to try it out on your own.
13 Yoga Breathing Exercises
- Bhastrika Pranayama.
- Anulom Vilom Pranayama.
- Bhramari Pranayama.
- Sitkari Pranayama.
- Sitali Pranayama.
- Long Exhalation Technique.
- Yogic Breathing for Asthma.
- Breath and Stretch.
- Nadi Shodhana.
- Bahya Pranayama.
- Dirga Pranayama.
- Ujjayi Pranayama.
“Kapal” means forehead and “Bhati” means shine. Kapal Bhati pranayama discharges all the toxins from the body through open air breathing. This is a very powerful breathing rhythm that not only helps with weight loss but also balances the entire system. With this pranayama, you will surely have a bright forehead from the outside but also from the inside with a sharp and sharp mind. Due to the hectic schedule and long workday make you feel lifeless and dull? Here is a way to rejuvenate your soul from the inside out with the help of Kapal Bharti pranayama. It offers practitioners many benefits such as:
- Diseases such as obesity, indigestion, acidity, problems related to gas.
- Cures breast cancer and all other diseases related to the abdomen.
- Helps to remove dark circles and tension from the eyes.
- It energizes your nerves and brain.
- Elevates your mind and soul.
- It will brighten your face and activate your body.
- Helps with weight loss.
- Clean the airways inside the body.
- Improve muscle tone.
- Helps Relax.
- This is basically a strong belly breathing technique.
Steps for Kapalbhati Pranayama: It involves sitting cross-legged on a yoga mat while maintaining a straight back, neck and chin up position.
- Then put your hands on your knees.
- Your abdominal muscles should be completely relaxed.
- Part breathing is done normally and exhalation is forceful.
- With each exhalation, the abdominal muscles will be contracted.
- Practicing this breathing pattern 30 times is enough for a beginner.
- Do not perform this exercise if you are menstruating, have high blood pressure or any other heart condition.
2. Bhastrika Pranayama
The word “bhastrika” means bellows. This pranayama provides your body with the maximum amount of oxygen. Bhastrika pranayama is a yoga breathing exercise; It purifies and balances all incorrect imbalances in the body. Ancient yogis called this pranayama the ‘Breath of Fire’. Both inhalation and exhalation are done through the nostrils. This is an energetic and powerful breathing exercise in yoga. Thanks to this pranayama, we get enough oxygen in our body and we feel energized and refreshed. There are several benefits:
- It refreshes mind and body.
- It improves memory.
- It cleans the blood and removes toxins.
- Immune system is improved.
- It helps cure the common cold.
- Three well-balanced dosages.
- Healthy lungs.
- It helps to treat asthma, thyroid, tonsils and allergies.
- It is also helpful in treating low blood pressure.
Steps for Bhastrika Pranayama: This exercise consists of sitting comfortably in padmasana followed by normal breathing and relaxation.
- Now, begin to breathe deeply and completely to infuse oxygen into the lungs.
- Then, exhale forcefully.
- Repeat this movement 5-10 times.
- People with heart disease should not do this exercise.
3. Anulom Vilom Pranayama
This breathing technique is also known as alternate nostril breathing. Anulom vilom pranayama is one of the core practices of Pranayama. Ancient yogis developed it to activate higher consciousness, purify the energy body, and balance nadis. There are many health benefits:
- It relieves stress.
- It has limitless healing power.
- Helps cure diseases like asthma, blood pressure, arthritis.
- It also improves heart health.
Steps for Anulom Vilom Pranayama:
- This exercise involves sitting comfortably cross-legged.
- Then close your eyes and keep your muscles relaxed.
- Now, you must press on the right nostril with the thumb of your right hand and breathe deeply through the left nostril.
- Hold this for 5 seconds.
- Then, release the right nostril and push the inhaled air from the right nostril.
- Repeat the process with alternate nostrils.
- Repeat this cycle for 10-15 sets.
- This exercise should not be practiced if you are pregnant or having your period.
4. Bhramari Pranayama
The word “bhramari” means bee. Bhramari pranayama is one of the best breathing exercises to release mental tension and relieve stress for yourself. The name itself is humming, the name is derived from the black bee species called bhramari in India. If you feel uncomfortable at any time of the day or in an awkward place, you can do bhramari pranayama and calm you down instantly. It’s a simple practice that can be done anywhere. Benefits:
- It helps with paralysis.
- It reduces anxiety, anger and stress.
- People with insomnia can be relieved with this exercise.
- It helps with concentration and builds memory.
- It also builds confidence.
- It helps to reduce migraine problem.
Steps for Bhramari Pranayama:
- It involves sitting cross-legged on a yoga mat while maintaining a straight posture.
- Now, close both ears with your thumb.
- Gently place the ladies panties over your closed eyes. Place your index finger on your temple and press gently.
- Similarly, place your ring and little fingers on the bridge of your nose.
- Now inhale and exhale while making a humming sound like a bee.
- Perform for 11-21 times.
5. Sitkari Pranayama
Sitkari means the sound made when we suck air through the front teeth. This technique helps to relax the body. Benefits:
- It cools the whole body, brain and nervous system.
- It lowers blood pressure.
- Help cure insomnia.
Steps for Sitkari Pranayama:
- The upper and lower teeth are held tightly or slightly open relative to each other.
- Here, the tip of the blade regulates the air pressure.
- This technique focuses only on inhalation while exhalation is performed normally. This is like “sipping the air”.
6. Sitali Pranayama
The term sitali means the sound produced when air is drawn in through a tongue folded into a tube. This technique helps:
- Throat cooling.
- Lower body temperature.
- And even temper control.
Steps for Sitali Pranayama:
- This technique involves rounding the lips into an “o” shape.
- Roll your tongue into a ‘u’ breath with your tongue curled at the edges.
- This must be maintained both during inhalation and exhalation with varying degrees of tongue flexion.
- Alternatively, we can exhale through our throat or through our nostrils.
7. Long Exhalation Technique
This breathing technique involves gradually increasing your exhalation until it is twice as long as inhaling.-This specific breathing technique can help combat problems like,
- Sleep disorders.
- And worry.
Steps for the Long Exhalation:
- This involves lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Then, place your palms on your stomach and do a few normal breathing patterns, trying to feel your belly expand as you inhale and gently contract as you exhale.
- Try to observe the length of each inhalation and exhalation.
- Now, you have to last and gradually increase the exhalation length, my second, until it is twice as long as the inhalation.
8. Yogic Breathing for Asthma
Breathing is always helpful. This is a very easy exercise to do. And here are some benefits of yoga breathing exercise:
- It helps strengthen the lungs
- It improves the immune system and helps fight cold
- It also helps reduce stress and depression.
Steps of yogic breathing for bronchial asthma:
- In this technique, you must synchronize the rise and fall of the abs/abs with deep breathing.
- During the exercise, you must inhale slowly and exhale fully.
- Also, say ‘ahhh’ in low volume as you exhale and try to feel the vibrations in the lower body.
- Repeat for 5 cycles.
9. Breath and Stretch
This technique is beneficial for pregnant women. It includes deep breathing combined with stretching exercises. This technique improves your blood circulation and helps you feel energetic.
10. Nadi Shodhana
Benefits of this breathing yoga:
- It helps to clean up and recognize harmful substances.
- It helps balance hormones.
- It supports and cleanses the respiratory system.
- It transmits oxygen in the body.
Steps for Nadi Shodhana Pranayama
- Sit in a comfortable position and perform the amrigi mudra.
- Now, close the right nostril with your thumb and inhale through the left nostril. Close the left side with the ring fingers.
- Gently open and exhale through the right nostril.
- Now, keep this right nostril open at all times. Inhale then close and open and exhale slowly to the left.
- Repeat this cycle 3 to 5 cycles per day. This will lower your heart rate which will also reduce stress and anxiety.
11. Bahya Pranayama
Bahya means outside and the breath is kept outside the body. This is one of the best yoga breathing exercises. It will be done Kapalbhati Pranayama. Benefits of this yoga pranayama:
- It helps in problems related to the reproductive organs.
- It completely cures hernia, constipation, stomach problems and acidity.
- It helps people with diabetes because bandha helps improve insulin control reproductive organs.
- Organs such as spleen, stomach, intestines, uterus, kidneys, etc. are supplied with fresh blood when all the bandages are released.
- It helps to focus and concentrate more.
- It also helps to sharpen memory.
- It also helps with urinary and sperm related problems.
- It helps to achieve self-enlightenment and stillness.
Steps for Bahya Pranayama:
- Start by sitting in padmasana by making sure your spine and head are straight.
- Inhale deeply and exhale completely.
- As you exhale completely, hold your breath and pull your belly up as far as you can. Remember to pull up the muscles in the area around the navel.
- Next, move your head so that your chin touches your chest.
- Hold this position for 5-10 seconds.
- Repeat this movement at least 5 to 10 times, for those of you with neck and back pain, you don’t need to bend your neck, just look straight.
Dirga Pranayama is known as the ‘triple breath’. As you breathe into three parts of your body, the first is the lower abdomen, the second is the lower chest, and the third is the lower throat. Inhalation begins with the first position of the lower abdomen and then moves to the second position, which is the lower chest, and then the third position, which is the lower throat. There are many benefits:
12. Dirga Pranayama
- It helps to breathe fully.
- It helps keep the lungs healthy.
- It helps to meditate more deeply.
- It also helps with muscle tension.
- Reduce stress and anxiety.
Steps for Dirga Pranayama: Lie on your back, close your eyes, relax your body and face. You can bend your knee or keep it stretched. When you bend your knees, you can let them rest against each other. In case of stretching them, place the two soles together on the mat.
- Inhale and exhale naturally without thinking or redirecting. Concentrate and pay attention to your inhalation and exhalation.
- Slowly, begin to inhale and exhale deeply through your nose. Every time you inhale, you’re taking in a lot of air into your stomach.
- As you exhale, exhale from your belly through your nose and bring your navel toward your spine, to ensure that your stomach is completely empty.
- Repeat breathing deeply into your abdomen and chest for about five breaths. This is part two of three.
- On your next inhale, fill your belly and rib cage with the same air as before. Fill in a little more air and let it fill the upper chest, all the way to the collarbone, making the area around the heart expand and rise.
- While exhaling, let the breath go first from the top of the ribcage, causing the heart to sink back and then from the rib cage, causing the ribs to slide closer together. Let the air go from your belly and pull your navel toward your spine.
- This is the three-part breath. Continue at a comfortable pace.
- Continue for about 10 breaths. This is a yoga exercise, deep breathing.
13. Ujjayi Pranayama
Ancient yogis performed this pranayama, which is part of the Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga practices. Ujjayi breath means victory breath. In this case, both inhalation and exhalation are done through the nostrils only. In this typical ocean-like sound, sound is produced. It is even said that with ujjayi pranayama ancient yogis used to melt snow. There are many benefits of this pranayama:
- It generates heat inside the body.
- It regulates cholesterol
- It creates a positive attitude.
- You get a more focused and powerful mind.
- Reducing the problem of lisp in children
- Concentration is growing
Steps for Ujjayi Pranayama:
- Sit in a comfortable position. Relax your jaw and tongue by relaxing your mouth slightly.
- Now, inhale and exhale through your mouth and feel it in your windpipe.
- As you exhale, contract the back of your throat and whisper ‘aah’ as you exhale.
- As you slowly get comfortable with your exhalation, maintain a slight constriction in your throat even as you inhale.
- Begin breathing through your nose when you are comfortable with inhaling and exhaling with the contraction of your throat. Maintain the same contraction as you breathe through your nose. You will hear an ocean-like sound.
- Do this for 15 minutes when you start high-intensity exercise.
Yoga or pranayama breathing exercises are well documented and they not only improve one’s flexibility, balance and strength and help us to relax. The rule of thumb is to choose what is appropriate for your current fitness level. Be clear about the purpose or purpose of actually pursuing yoga, be it to improve your overall strength or reduce your stress levels. This will help you determine the right exercise to choose from among the various yoga disciplines. I hope this article was helpful in putting you on the right path of yoga breathing exercises. Please share with us your valuable feedback.