15 Breathing Exercise and Their Benefits

Physical exercise that keeps our physical body sound and stable is known as asan. A sound and healthy body is a must for practice of breathing exercise. Breathing exercise know as pranayama.

But, it is necessary to have a workable knowledge of air and the correct understanding of breathing exercises. The respiratory organs of the gross body is known as Pran (life), the different veins and arteries connected with our circulatory system as well as the main centers of Pran (life).

Table of Contents

Why Breathing Exercise?

This is a true fact that a person’s breathing process continues unabated from birth to till death. But how little we know about it!

A yoga mat is important before we start learning Yoga. If you have yet to purchase it then read this article “5 Best Yoga Mats 2020: Unbiased Review Guide” and purchase a perfect Yoga mat as per your need.

If you have not read yet “How to Do Kapalbhati Pranayama and it’s Benefits” Please read this post.

Before we start breathing yoga and its benefits, we should have clarity about breath and Pran (life). Breath and Pran (life) both are two different things altogether. But we cannot see them apart from each other.

Breath is gross and Pran (life) is subtle. It is the vital force. Breath is the external manifestation of Pran (life). Pran (life) permeates everything and everywhere.

It is the through the agency of breath that we partake of this vital force ceaselessly.

The energy that activates or vitalizes in our nervous system is the same energy that permeates the whole universe. The process by which the Pran (life) is controlled by the regulation of breath is called Pranayam or breathing exercise.

A person, who knows the art of controlling his/her breathe, also comes to know the art of controlling universal energy.

When we take deep breath, all the parts of the lungs are fully charged with energy and the circulation of this energy flows in the naval region and in the middle section.

Every ordinary person breaths but the breathing process of a common person is different from one who is practicing breathing yoga.

If you have not started Yoga yet then read “15 Best Yoga Asanas That Every Beginner Should Know” and start Yoga at home.

The Importance of Breathing Exercise

There are multiple reasons that why breathing yoga is important in our life. One of them is when we breathe in natural manner; we cannot stimulate the different parts of the body equally well. Consequently the functional capability of lungs and other organs of the body start deteriorating, their purification also does not take place.

The practice of breathing yoga (pranayama) makes them more active and healthy. Every organ of the body is activated through the medium of veins only when this vital energy comes in play.

The breathing yoga generates vital energy which helps to smooth processing of internal functions like heart beating, the process of excretion, the transformation of food in to juice and its distribution into various organs of the body.

Other most important functions of breathing yoga (pranayama) are to bring about the stability of the mind, contraction of all the muscles of the body and blood circulation.

All breathing yoga should be performed in the fresh air and early morning. The normal process of this pranayam is to wake up early in the morning and start the pranayama on empty stomach.

Three Phases of Breathing Exercise (pranayama)

  1. Inhalation of deep breath.
  2. Retention of breath according to one’s capacity & exhalation of breath to one’s fullest capacity
  3. Retention of breath externally

Ujjayi Breathing Exercise/Ocean Breath

Let we deep understand about breathing exercises and the technique of these Pranayama. Ujjayi is one of them.

How to Perform Ujjayi Pranayama?

Sit in lotus pose, keep the neck and spine straight. Close the eyes gently. Rest both the hands on the knees in Gyan-mudra pose. Twist the tongue inward by touching the palate with it. Press throat a little and contract the pelvic region by exhaling.

ujjayi-pranayama

Now start inhaling through the nostrils in such a manner as if one is producing a sweet snoring sound from the throat. Exhale deeply, slowly, steadily, and evenly, producing the same continuous frictional melodious sound from the throat. Remember that the breath should go from the throat up to the heart and vice versa.

While practicing this breathing yoga neither the rips nor the pelvic region should feel any effect. In the beginning do it 15-20 times. Then gradually increase the number of such breaths.

The Benefits of Ujjayi Breathing Exercise.

  • It makes our voice melodious.
  • It massages the heart and makes it strong
  • The capacity of the lungs for the absorption of oxygen augments a hundred percent.
  • Such ailments as tonsillitis, cough, seminal disorders, dropsy of the Nadis bile, stomach-ache, dysentery, indigestion, epilepsy, asthma, pulmonary consumption, bad cold, and diseases of ear, nose, and throat are cured by the practice of this pranayama.
  • It mollifies the heat of the brain.
  • Emotional balance is established.
  • Prolonged practice of this Pranayam will enhance the capacity for meditation.
  • It brings luster to our face and body

Anulom Vilom Breathing Exercise

Anulom-Vilom Pranayama technique is very simple and useful for beginners. There is no mistake if I say this Pranayama as a beginner Pranayama because this Pranayama could be performed at any age and at any time. There are no difficult instructions to perform this Pranayama. But this Pranayama leaves deep and positive effects on our body and very useful to make the respiratory system deep and rhythmical.

Anulom-vilom

Advance technique of this Pranayama strengthens all the respiratory organs and generates sufficient Oxygen in our body.

How to Perform Anulom Vilom Breathing Exercise?

Sit in the lotus pose with making the neck and spine straight, but you’re both hands on your both knees. You can perform this Pranayama with open or closed eyes, there is no special instruction to close eyes but closing eyes may help to concentration on your breath. Before starting this Pranayama draw a deep breath at least five times and rest for awhile.

Now place your tow fingers on the root of the thumb and press the right thumb on the right nostril and start drawing in deep breath through your left nostril. When you draw the breath with left nostril hold the breath for a while and then leave the breath from right nostril. In the same way repeat this process with right nostril, draw breath with right nostril and leave the breath from the left nostril. Repeat this process at least 30 to 40 times in beginning.

Benefits of Anulom-Vilom Pranayama

It is helpful to make the mind sharpen and mind never feel tired.

It helps to improve sleeping disorder.

It is useful in migraine pain.

This Pranayma is helpful in releasing stress.

It is helpful in controlling blood pressure.

It is beneficial for eyes.

Anulom – Vilom reduces anger.

This Pranayam maintain energy level in our body.

Bhramri Pranayam/Bee Breath

Sit in lotus pose or any other convenient asan. Keep the neck and spine straight. Close the eyes gently. Close both the ears with the thumbs. Put the first two fingers on the eyes and the last two fingers on the lips as shown in this picture.

bhramari-brathing-exercise

Inhale slowly through the nostrils and fill the lungs with air. Now exhale slowly through the nostrils, producing the buzzing sound of a Bhramar.

This is one round. Gradually increase the rounds.

Take only three or four rounds in starting and then increase gradually.

Important points of Bhramri Pranayam.

Concentrate on the buzzing sound.

Buzzing should be rhythmical.

In the last round, remove the thumbs from the ears before inhaling.

The Benefits of Bhramari Pranayam

  • By inhaling through the nostrils and making the sound of a bee, all the veins and tissues of the brain are stimulated. Such ailments as insomnia and epilepsy, connected with the brain disorder are cured.
  • Blood and bone marrows are purified.
  • It imparts purity to semen which after being purified takes an upward movement towards Bhramari Randhr
  • It tones up the vocal cord and makes our sound sweet.
  • Our breath becomes steady and subtle.
  • The power of concentration of mind is accelerated.
  • By achieving success in Bharamari Pranayama, the practitioner starts hearing various types of subtle sweet sounds.
  • For practitioner who aspire to achieve success in smadhi, this pranayama is very effective.

Kapalbhati Breathing Exercise/Skull Shining Breath

If you have not read this post”How to Do Kapalbhati Pranayama and its Benefits”. It has a detailed description of Kapalbhati Pranayama.

Sit in lotus pose, hold the knees firmly with the hands. Close the eyes gently. Keep the spine and neck erect. Look cheerful. First inhale completely through the nostrils and apply Mool Bandh.

kapalbhati-breathing-exercise

Now makes a short and sudden expulsion of breath through the nostrils with force and repeat it a number of times in quick succession.

In the beginning let there be a little pause between the successive expulsions, so that normal breath is automatically inhaled inside and the capacity for successive forceful expulsions is regained every time.

Simultaneously with the forceful exhalations, contract repeatedly the lower abdomen towards the spine by a vigorous inward stroke or thrust of the abdominal muscles.

Perform this according to the capacity. After completing the last round, let there be a complete expiration of breath.

Hold out the breath so long as possible and with ease. On returning to the original position, first release the Uddiyan Bandh, next the jalandhar Bandh and thereafter the Mool Bandh. Now breathe freely until until respiration returns to normal and watch the mind for some time. Inhale deeply, letting the air filled from stomach to throat.

In the beginning have 15 expulsions and increase them gradually every week.

Benefits of Kapalbhati

  • Kapalbhati flushes out the accumulated impure residual air in the lungs., which cannot be flushed out by normal exhalation. A fresh supply of air reaches the lungs. Due to a large absorption of oxygen, it makes the blood purer and stimulates the normal circulation of blood in the body.
  • It purifies the nostrils and the respiratory system. The windpipe becomes flexible and the functioning of the respiratory system improves as it is massaged properly.
  • This pranayam has an unparalleled capacity for augmenting the power of memory and thinking.
  • The agitated mind becomes calm and expansive with regular practice.

Bhastrika Pranayam

In Sanskrit Bhastrika means blows. Its working is similar to that of the blows of the black-smith. Rapid succession of forcible expulsions of breath links the blowing of the black-smiths bellows known as bhastrika pranayam.

Bhastrika pranayam

Sit in lotus pose, keep the body, neck and heart erect. Rest the palms on the knees and do bhastrika with both nostrils simultaneously. In the end retain the breath after inhalation according to capacity, apply Antrik Kumbhak with three bands and slowly exhale from both the nostrils. Normalize the breath.

Do at least rounds in the morning and gradually increase the rounds.

The Benefits of Bhastrika Pranayam

  • The practice of this pranayam cures many disorders caused by excess of phlegm, wind and bile in the system. This Pranayam cures such diseases as asthma, T B, cough, malfunctioning of the liver, burning sensation in the chest and gastric disorders etc.
  • Bharamari Pranayama rectifies the swelling of the throat and indigestion.
  • This Pranayama accelerates the purification of blood as well as blood circulation
  • It removes all the impurities in the cerebral pulses that passes through brain.
  • It is the most beneficial breathing yoga in stimulating the prans as it enables the pran to break through the three knots.

Plavini Breathing Exercise

New blood is infused in the body twice in a year with the changing seasons, March-April and September-October. It is during these seasons that the digestive power weakens and the fury of bile seems to disturb our disposition. Palvini Breathing Exercise is extremely beneficial in such a situation.

Justas Kunjal Kriya purifies our alimentary canal from the stomach to the throat, likewise Palvini Breathing Exercise purifies this part of our body through the medium of air. Hence those persons who experience difficulty in expelling water from the mouth in Kunal Kriya, can perform this Breathing Exercise with sufficient ease.

Benefits of Plavini Breathing Exercise

It expels all foul air from the stomach and cures all bilious disorders and abdominal ailments.

It destroys parasites of the abdomen

Digestive power is rectified.

It cures hysteria

By its constant practice one can live on air and dispense food for some days.

How to perform Plavini Breathing Exercise?

Sit in Lotus Pose (Padmasan) and place the hands on the knees. Keep the neck and spine straight.  Look cheerful and close the eyes gently.

Keeping the mouth in a round shape, start sipping air in the same manner in which water is sipped. Let the stomach be bloated with air. When the stomach is filled to capacity with air, close the mouth for a few moments and hold the breath for a while from the stomach to the throat. Now protrude the tongue out and bending from the lower part of the back exhale the completely out of the lungs. Start inhaling & repeat the process. The number of repetitions may be increased gradually.

palvini-pranayama

The most important point to be noted in this Breathing Exercise is that inhaling air should be sipped like water. Do not inhale it in one gulp. When the stomach is filled fully with air, see to it that the air flows in all parts of abdomen. Similarly when the air is fully exhaled out, note that all foul matter is expelled out of the abdomen.

Agnisar Breathing Exercise

This is the most effective Breathing Exercise in improving the digestive system and in curing the ailment of dyspepsia. Constant practice of Agnisar technique is helpful in attaining perfection over abdominal churning. The important of this pranayam is as follow.

This breathing exercise is very helpful in proper massaging of all the digestive organs of our body. It stimulates their functional capability and the gastric or digestive fire is augmented.

Abdominal obesity is reduced.

It cures constipation.

It is very effective in toning up the saman pran which invigorates the digestive organs and controls the juices emanating from them.

Apan pran is equally strengthened  by this technique, as it helps in the proper excretion of waste matter.

How to perform Agnisar Breathing Exercise?

Sit in Lotus pose and place both the hands on the knees. Keep the neck and spine erect. Face should give a look of cheerfulness. Eyes should be gently closed. No stress of any kind on the eye-brows is felt. Draw in a long breath and apply Mool Bandh. Expire slowly and relax the abdominal part. Now contract the navel-root repeatedly towards the spine and loosen it as long as external Kumbliak is maintained.

Agnisar-Pranayama

So long as the process of moving, the abdomen inward and outward continues, do maintain external kumbhak with ease and comfort. Do not do it beyond the capacity.

More benefits will accrue if agnisar kriya is practiced with mool Bandh

Initially repeat the inward outward movement of the abdomen about 15 times. Increase the number of repetitions gradually.

C autions

Persons who have undergone the abdominal operation recently or those who suffer from heart disease or high blood pressure should not practice Agnisar Techinque at all.

Surya Bhedi (Right Nostril) Breathing Exercise.

Here Surya means Sun and sun the symptom of energy, on the same way this Pranayama generates energy in the body. This Pranayama generates fire in the body. This breathing exercise is performed only with right nostril and thereby solar energy is infused in all astral tubes and this flow of heart into the human body is ensured. Winter season is perfect to perform this Pranayama. It helps up the ailments of throat, tongue and voice.

How to perform the Surya Bhedi Breathing Exercise?

Sit in lotus pose with keeping the neck and spine straight, and close the eyes. Keep the face cheerful and place the left hand on the left knee. Place the two forefingers of the right hand in the root of the thumb. Push the left nostril with the right ring finger and inhale deeply through the right nostril. Retain the breath as much as your capacity and then exhale the breath with the same nostril. Again repeat the process with the same nostril, Inhale and exhale for at least 10 to 12 round.

Benefits of Surya Bhedi (Right Nostril) Breathing Exercise

This Pranayama is helpful in low blood pressure.

It is helpful to generate energy in the body.

This Pranayama activates the inactive cells in the body.

It warm-up the body and cures many kinds of diseases.

It is very helpful in arousing the latent powers of a person and awakening the kundalini power.

It purifies the brain.

Caustion

People, who are suffering with high blood pressure, should avoid this Pranayama because this may increase the blood pressure.

Heart and Asthma patients should perform this Pranayama without retaining the breath for long time.

Chandra Bhedi Breathing Exercise

This is the opposite of Surya Bhedi pranayama as deep inhalation is to be done through the left nostril and on same way exhale only with left nostril .

Benefits of Chandra Bhedi Pranayama

It removes fatigue and excess of heat in the body.

Many diseases caused by the excess bile in the body are cured.

It helps to secure the calmness of the mind and nectar starts circulating in the body.

High blood pressure and such a horrible disease are herpes is cured by this breathing exercise.

How to Perform Chandra Bhedi Breathing Exercise?

Sit in Lotus pose, keep the neck and trunk straight. Eyes may be closed gently. Rest the left hand on the left knee in the Gyan mudra pose. Placing the two forefingers of the right hand at the root of the thumb, close the right nostril gently with the help of the ring finger. Close the left nostril and hold the breath in Antrik Kumbhak. Also, perform all the three Bandhas while doing kumbhak. When it is not possible to hold the breath any longer, exhale slowly through the right nostril. This makes one round. Repeat five such rounds and then take a rest. Increase the rounds gradually.

Cautions while Performing this Pranayama.

Do not perform Kumbhak beyond the capaciry.

By constant practice, the duration of Kumbhak will be automatically increased.

While inhaling make the breath deep and rhythmical.

This Pranayama should be performed only in the summer season.

Persons suffering from the ailments of heart and asthma should not perform Kumbhak. Those suffering from low blood pressure should avoid the practice of this pranayama

sheetli-pranayama

Sheetli Breathing Exercise

Among the pranayama suitable in the summer season. Sheetli pranayama occupies a very significant place. The practice of this pranayama cools all the veins and tissues of the body. Hence the name ‘Sheetli’. If water is not available during travel, the practice of this Pranayama will maintain the level of water in the body.

Benefits of Sheetli Breathing Exercise

In purifying the blood, this Pranayama is without a parallel.

It quenches thirst and appeases hunger.

It cools the body relieves the heat.

Diseases like herpes, jaundice, chronic dyspepsia, inflammation of spleen, billions consumption, indigestion, tonsils disorder, fever, various chronic skin diseases, phlegm, dysentery and poisons of all sorts in the blood and high blood pressure are cured by Sheetli breathing exercise.

Effect of poison on the body id reduced.

Lethargy and sleep are controlled.

It enhances the beauty of the practitioner and the glamour of the body.

How to Perform Sheetli Breathing Exercise?

Keeping the neck and spine erect, sit in Lotus pose. Close the eyes gently. Rest both of the hands-on the knees in the Gyan Mudra pose. Protrude the tongue out and fold it like a tube. Draw in the air through the mouth. Draw in it slowly and deeply. Turn the tongue inside and close the lips. Fill the lungs with air in such a way as to make the cheeks fully inflated. Perform all the three Bandhas and retain the breath as long as possible. Open the Bandhas slowly and exhale gently and steadily. Start this Pranayama with three rounds and go on increasing them gradually.

Caution

This Breathing Exercise should not be performed in winter.

Persons suffering from ailments of heart and asthma should practice this exercise without Kumbhak.

Persons suffering from low blood pressure should not perform this exercise.

Sheetkari Breathing Exercise

This exercise also has a cooling effect on the body and its benefits are similar to those of the Sheetli Pranayama. It helps the foul smell of the mouth and pyorrhea.

How to Perform Sheetkari Breathing Exercise?

Sit in Lotus Pose and keep the neck spine erect. Close the eyes gently. Place both of the hands-on the knees in the Gyan Mudra pose. Stretching the lips, bring the two rows of the teeth in contact with each other. Fold the tongue so that the tip of the tongue may touch the upper part of the palate. Draw a deep breath from the sides of the mouth, producing a sizzling sound. Now close the lips and perform Antrik Kumbhak, simultaneously with the three Bandhas. Retain the breath as long as possible. Then exhale slowly through the nostrils. This constitutes one round.

Observe the same precautions in this Pranayama as advised above with regard to Sheetali Pranayama.

Murchha Breathing Exercise

The more the practice of this exercise, the more power to increase the retention of the breathing is acquired. This Pranayama is instrumental in increasing our capacity for retaining our breath for a longer duration which ultimately arrests the fluctuations of the mind. Control of breath brings about the control of the Pran and the control of Pran leads to the control of the Mind to attains the state of stability or equality.

Benefits of Murchha Breathing Exercise.

This exercise has a unique effect on the mind of the practitioner.

Contact with the objective world comes to an end. Mind is drawn inward.

The practitioner transcends the consciousness of his/her body state.

Power of memory increases with the increase in the luster of the eyes.

It gives relief to headache, nervous debility and insomnia.

Steady practice of this Pranayama arouses inner spiritual light and our vital energy gets and upward push.

How to Perform Murchha Breathing Exercise?

Sit in Lotus pose or any other convenient pose. The spine and neck should be erect. Keep the eyes gently closed. Insert both of the thumbs into the ears, Now put the index fingers on the eyes, the middle fingers on the nostrils, and the little fingers on your lips. Now inhale slowly, gently, and deeply through the nostrils. Thereafter close the nostrils with the middle fingers and perform Antrik Kumbhak along with the three Bandhas. Stay in this position as long as possible. The more capacity for retaining the breath, the more beneficial, it is for the practitioner.

Now release the Jalandhar Bandh and lifting the middle fingers from the nostrils slowly. Exhale through the nostrils. This constitutes one round. Repeat five such rounds in the beginning and go on increasing the round gradually.

Things to Remember.

Every neophyte (practitioner) should take rest after every round of this exercise.

Do not retain the breath in Kumbhak beyond the capacity.

The period of Kumbhak will increase automatically with constant and unhampered practice of this practice.

After the last round of this exercise removes the thumbs from the ears from inhaling the breath.

Just as in sleeping stage, one loses the consciousness of the mind, likewise Mutchha Kumbhak makes the mind senseless and merges it into the super consciousness.

Talbadh Breathing Exercise.

If the sound is uncontrolled, it is called noise. But when the same sound becomes rhythmical it is known as ‘music’. The same logic applies to the type of Pranayama. One noteworthy specialty of this Pranayama is to gain control over our mind and Prans by regularizing our expiration and inspiration in a definite ratio.

The duration of time of drawing in the breath should be the same as the duration of expiration. This capacity for the regularizing the breathing system will b e achieved naturally after some time. The practice of this Pranayama has an uncommon impact on the gross and body.

The Benefits of Talbhadh Breathing Exercise.

It imparts real rest to the body.

The respiratory and the centers of nervous system in the brain are brought under control.

This Pranayama is very helpful in gaining control over our Pran by the rhythmic functioning of respiration and a smooth circulation of Pran in the veins and tissues of our body.

All kinds of excitements and emotional outbursts are modified.

It helps in controlling the storms of anger.

Concentration of mind increases.

Regular and continuous practice of this Pranayama will enable to awaken the vital centres of energy of the syatems.

How to Perform Talbadh Breathing Exercise?

Sit in Lotus Pose or any other pose of concentration. Keep the neck and spine erect. Eyes may be closed gently. Inhale a deep breath through the nostrils in four counts of OM. Retain the breath in four-count of OM and also exhale the breath in four counts of OM. Start with five rounds and increase them gradually according to the capacity. This is the first stage of this Pranayama.

talbhadh-pranayama

Now try to understand the meaning of Mantra. The time taken by a practitioner in pronouncing the word OM,or in blinking or the breathing of the pulse or producing a tik sound of the second’s arm of a watch – is what is called ‘Mantra’. It must be remembered that the rhythm of breath is to be controlled with the ‘Mantra’ of ‘OM’.

The main point to be noted here is that due importance should be given to rhythm of the breath and not the length of the breath. The entire body should ring with this rhythmical respiration and it will definitely be achieved by constant and unabated practice.

 Important notes keep in Mind.

At the time of piercing the chakras with a view to awaken them, while performing this Pranayama and inhaling a deep beath the practitioner must feel as if the breath is directly rising from the Mooladhar. Whem Kumbhak is performed concentrate of Mooladhar Chakra and repeat ‘OM’ Mantra in the Mind as long as possible.

At the time of exhalation, develop the same feeling that the breath is expiring through the same Chakra. When you perform the Bahye Kumbhak concentrate om Mooldhar Chakra with mind involved ‘OM’ Mantra. Maintain the same rhythm in all these conditions. With the advancement in practice go on changing the point of concentration from one chakra to another.

Nadi Shodhan (Pulse Purification) Breathing Exercise

The practice of above mentioned Pranayama will enable the practitioner to acquire the capacity to perform Nadi Shodhan (Pulse Purification) Pranayama.

There are two processes of purifying our pulse.

Dhauti technique (This comes under Shat Kriyas)

Samnu (This comes under Pranayama) It has also two parts

Ni-garbh or Nirmann Pranayama (without Mantra)

Sa-garbh Pranayama(with mantra)

Special importance is attached to the technique of Pranayama as it is instrumental in purifying the entire nervous system in the body that is why it is called Nadi Shodhan (Pulse Purification). Air cannot enter the Pulse if they are full of impurities and those organs that are strengthened by those Pulses lose their functional strength and hence the practitioner fails to achieve any spiritual advancement, such as the realization of the self.

This Pranayama is different from other Pranayamas in the sense that while it makes the respiratory process quite rhythmical, it also makes our breath extremely subtle. The term ‘subtle’ means that we should not hear the sound of the breath. We must inhale and exhale slowly and inaudibly.

 Just as after the performance of Yoga asana, the practice of Sarvangasana is very beneficial, likewise the practice of Pulse rectification Pranayama should round off the practice of other Pranayamas. It is highly beneficial in the sense that it is very useful and helpful in the practice of meditation. Our scriptures have therefore advised the practice of Nadi Shodhan (Pulse purification) before meditation.

The benefits of Nadi Shodhan Breathing Exercise.

It is helpful in the purification of all the Pulse in our system.

It expels all the waste matter and poisonous elements from the body.

It gives longevity and enhances the beauty of the face.

For the rectification of the different systems and their vitalization, Nadi Shodhan (Pulse Purification) Pranayama is highly instrumental.

It makes the sense – organs more inward and brings fall to the thought currents.

Finally, in the development of our vital energy and the spiritual power, this technique is very helpful.

How to Perform Nadi Shidhan (Pulse Purification) Breathing Exercise.

With the neck and spine erect, sit down in Lotus Pose or any other asana suitable for meditation. Keep the eyes gently closed. Rest the left hand on the left knee in the Gyan mudra pose. Placing the two fore-fingers of the right hand at the root of the thumb, close the right nostril gently with the right thumb.

Start inhaling slowly but deeply through the left nostril. Close the left nostril with the ring finger, retain the breath as per capacity, and apply three Bandhas. Thereafter, start inhaling slowly through the right nostril and draw a deep breath. Do Antrik Kumbhak according to the capacity, apply three Bandhas.

Removing the ring finger from the left nostril expel the breath slowly from the left nostril, withhold the breath as per capacity and apply three Bandha. This is one round. Increase the rounds gradually along with quantity.

Fixing of Quantities and Ratio

No feeling of suffocation in the practice of inspiration, retention, and expiration of breath should be experienced by the practitioner at any stage. It is determined by the fact that if the practitioner can not retain the breath according to quantity fixed for Kumbhak after inhalation or cannot exhale according to the period fixedfor exhalation, or again cannot inhale according to quantity fixed for inhalation, then applied quantity and ratio are not according to the capacity.

For example, if the inhalation period is 5 quantity Kumbhak for a period of 10 quantity and the Rechak is for a period of 10 quantity, then again inhalation from the right nostril should be cut down to a period of 5 quantity. And if any difficulty is experienced to maintain this ration at any stage, it should be lowered down in quantities i.e make it 4:8:8. If the ratio is difficult to maintain, bring it further down to 3:6:6 and continue the practice in this very ratio.

Thus fix the number of quantity and the ratio according to the capacity so that no difficulty in inhaling, retaining, and exhaling is felt. Follow the ration thus fixed for 15 days in the beginning, and one quantity thereafter and continue the practice accordingly, index of quantities and ration for the practice of the Pranayama.

Special note for Nadi Shodhan Breathing Exercise.

The best period of the year for increasing the quantities and round is winter season. Status quo may be maintained in other months. Reduce the ration when it is too hot in summer.

The most suitable time for the practice of this Pranayama is morning, afternoon and evening in winter.

The practice should be done half an hour before meals or three hours after meals. Light food is advised for sincere and earnest practitioner. Mild and fruits should be freely used.

The practitioners of the breathing exercise should lead a life of discipline and celibacy as it is more beneficial for this practice.

With the advancement of practice in Kumbhak, Pranayama should be attended with mental chanting of ‘OM’ . It is both fruitful and essential.

Final Words

Deep and long breathing exercise helps in practicing pranayam. While, on the one side, pran (life) circulates uniformly from toe to head, with this practice, instability of the mind is also removed.

Though the process of maximum Pranayama is almost the same results are different. The common process of pranayama is to sit in a lotus posture. Keep both hands in Gyan Mudra. Back and neck be straight. Eyes are gently closed. Begin breathing out slowly. In the end, contract the abdominal muscles. The root of the navel is placed on the spine, with effort. Relaxing the abdomen, breathe in joyfully up to the throat. This is one round. Go on repeating like this. Apply Mool Bandh, after inhaling and exhaling fully.

Sit calmly. On attaining perfection with this technique, after exhaling and contracting the abdomen, relax the abdomen and, again after contraction, inhale with the effort up to the throat. Practice determined round like this. The motion of the diaphragm is enhanced with this practice which improves digestion.

Precautions for breathing Exercise /Pranayam.

  • The practice of breathing yoga should be done in a neat and open place. Do not practice it at a dusty, dirty, dingy, and stinky place.
  • While performing pranayam put on clothes in accordance with the requirements of the season.
  • A place lashed by strong winds should be avoided.
  • The practice of pranayama should be increased gradually.
  • The practice should be done only on an empty stomach. Perform it four hours after meals and half an hour before taking meals.
  • Never give a break to the breathing yoga. It should be practiced constantly and consistently.
  • Give a little rest to the breathing process after every type of pranayam. Discontinue the practice if the respiratory system is not in order or if the breathing process is not smooth.