9 Best Yoga Breathing Exercises

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Pranayama refers to, in yoga, deep breathing techniques. Before you actually get started with the real intense yoga or even workouts, it is necessary that you do a couple of breathing exercises so that the you empty the lungs completely. This is essential to keep it clean. It is also said that pranayama can cleanse all the 72,000 nadi or nerve in the body. It also helps to enrich your body blood with enough oxygen. But, what is most important of all is, you know the different breathing techniques in yoga. Take a look at some of them here.

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You should always practice under a well-trained instructor. Given that, let’s have a look at what basically these yoga breathing techniques are all about.

Yoga Breathing Technique for Beginners:

There are different breathing techniques in yoga but most of them need some guidance if you are doing it for the first time. Here are somethings you need to keep in mind.

  • Maintain the right pose when you do each of them. Right pose has a lot of consequences on the body and can affect your overall posture.
  • Practicing yoga in the morning is the best way to get started.
  • If you have a neck or back ache, make sure to get expert guidance before you set your feet on your own to try.

Yoga Breathing Exercises:

1. Kapalbhati:

Yoga Breathing Exercises-kalapabathi

“kapal” means forehead and “bhati” means shining. This yogic breathing technique is also known as breath of fire technique. It provides the practitioner with multiple benefits like weight loss, cleansing of airways, improving muscle tone, relaxation. This is basically vigorous abdominal breathing technique.

It involves sitting cross-legged on the yoga mat while maintaining a straight back and neck and chin up posture.

  • Then, place your hands on your knees.
  • Your abdomen muscles should be completely relaxed.
  • The breathing in part is done normally and breathing out part is forceful.
  • With each exhalation, the abdominal muscles are to be contracted.
  • Practicing this breathing style for 30 times should be enough for a beginner.

This exercise is not to be done if you are on a period, suffering from high blood pressure or any other heart disease.

See More: Yoga Asanas For Children

2. Bhastrika Pranayama:

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The word ‘’bhastrika’’ means bellows. This pranayama provides your body with maximum amount of oxygen.

  • This exercise involves, sitting comfortably in padmasana followed by normal breathing and relaxation.
  • Now, start breathing deeply and completely to infuse your lungs with oxygen.
  • Thereafter, breathe out forcefully.
  • Repeat this for 5-10 times.

This exercise should not be practiced by people suffering from any heart disease.

See More: How To Do Yoga At Home For Beginners

3. Anulom Vilom Pranayama:

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This breathing technique is also known as alternate nostril breathing.

  • This exercise involves, sitting comfortably with cross-legs.
  • Then, close your eyes and keeping your muscles relaxed.
  • Now, the right nostril is to be pressed with the thumb of your right hand and a deep breath is to be taken through the left nostril.
  • Retain this for 5 seconds.
  • Then, release the right nostril and force out the inhaled air from that.
  • Repeat process with alternate nostrils.
  • Repeat this cycle for 10-15 rounds.

This exercise should not be practiced if you are pregnant or having periods

4. Bhramari Pranayama:

The word ‘‘bhramari’’ means bee. Bhramari pranayama is one of the best breathing exercises to release the mental tension and de-stress yourself.

  • It involves sitting cross-legged on the yoga mat while maintaining a straight.
  • Now, close both your ears with your thumbs.
  • Put your lady fingers on your closed eyes, gently. Put your index fingers on your temples and press lightly.
  • Likewise, place the ring fingers and little fingers on the bridge of your nose.
  • Now breathe inhale and exhale while making a humming sound like a bee.
  • Carry on for 11-21 times.

See More: List of Yoga Asanas

5. Sitkari Pranayama:

Sitkari means the sound that is produced when we draw in air through the front teeth.

  • The upper and lower teeth are kept either tightly closed or slightly opened in relation to each other.
  • Here, the tip of the tongue regulates the air pressure.
  • This technique concentrates on only inhaling while the exhalation is carried out, normally. This is like ‘’sipping air’’.

This technique helps relax body.

6. Sitali Pranayama:

The term sitali means sound caused when air is drawn in through tongue folded into a tube.

  • This technique involves round the lips into an “o” formation.
  • Roll the tongue into”u” breathing with tongue curled up at both edges.
  • This has to be maintained both during inhalation and exhalation with variable degree of folding of tongue.
  • Also, we can breathe out either through the throat or through the nostrils.

This technique helps in cooling the throat, lower body temperatures and even controls temperament.

7. The Long Exhale Technique:

This breathing technique involves gradually increasing your exhalation until it is twice the length of your inhalation.-this particular breathing technique can help in combating problems like insomnia, sleep disturbances, and anxiety.

  • This involves lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Then, rest a palm your abdomen and take a few practice normal breathing, try to feel the abdomen expand on the inhalation and gently contract on the exhalation.
  • Try to observe the length of each inhalation and exhalation.
  • Now, you have to eventually and gradually increase the length of exhalation, second my second, till it is double of inhalation.

8. Yogic Breathing For Bronchial Asthma:

  • In this technique, you have to sync the rise and fall of your tummy/ abdominal muscles with your deep breathing.
  • While doing so, you have to inhale slowly and exhale fully.
  • In addition, say ‘ahhh’ in a low volume as you exhale and try to feel the vibrations in the lower portion of your body.
  • Repeat for 5 cycles.

9. Breath And Stretch:

This technique is particularly useful for pregnant women. It involves, deep breathing combined with stretching exercises. This technique improves your blood circulation and helps you feel energetic.

10. NadiSodhana:

  • Sit in a comfortable asana and make a mrigi mudra.
  • Now, close the right nostril with the thumb and inhale through the left nostril. Close the left with the ring fingers.
  • Gently open and exhale through the right nostril.
  • Now, keep this right nostril open. Inhale through it and then close it and open and exhale slowly through the left.

Repeat this cycle 3 to 5 cycles every day. This will lower your heart rate will also reduce stress and anxiety.

11. Bahya Pranayama:

  • Begin by sitting in the padmasana position by making sure your spine and head are erect.
  • Inhale deeply and exhale completely.
  • Once you exhale completely, hold your breath and pull your stomach upwards, as much as you can. Remember to pull up your muscles in the area around the navel.
  • Next, move your head such that your chin touches the chest.
  • Remain in this position for 5-10 seconds.

Repeat this at least 5 to 10 times and for those of you with neck and back pain, you don’t have to move your neck down, but just look straight.

12. Dirga Pranayama:

Lie down on the back with your eyes closed and loosen your body and face. You can bend your knees or keep it stretched. When bending your knee, you can allow them to rest against each other. In case of stretching them, bring the soles together on the mat.

  • Inhale and exhale naturally without any thoughts or getting diverted. Focus and pay attention to the inhaling and exhaling.
  • Slowly, begin to inhale and exhale deeply through the nose. Every time you inhale fill up your stomach with a lot of air.
  • When you exhale, exhale out from the belly through your nose and bring the navel back towards your spine, to make sure the stomach is empty completely.
  • Repeat the deep breathing into the belly and rib cage for about five breaths. This is part two of three.
  • The next time you inhale, fill the belly and rib cage up with air just like before. Fill up with a little more air and allowing it to fill the upper chest, all the way up to the collarbone, making the area around the heart to expand and rise.
  • While exhaling, let the breath go first from the upper chest, making the heart sink back and then from the rib cage, making the ribs slide closer together. Let the air go from the belly and draw your navel back towards the spine.
  • This is the three-part breath. Continue at a comfortable pace

Continue for about 10 breaths. This is a yoga deep breathing exercise.

13. Ujjayi Pranayama:

  • Sit in a comfortable position. Relax your jaw and tongue by allowing your mouth to drop a little.
    Now, inhale and exhale through your mouth and feel it in the windpipe.
  • When you exhale, contract the back of your throat and whisper ‘aah’ as you exhale.
  • When you slowly become comfortable with the exhalation, maintain a slight constriction in your throat even when you inhale.
  • Start breathing through your nose when you are comfortable with the inhalation and exhalation with the constriction in the throat. Maintain the same constriction when you breathe through the nose too. You will hear the ocean like sound.

Do this for 15 minutes when you start doing intensely.

Pranayama comes in many variants. Each of them has their own positive impact on our body. However, what is important is all of these need to be practiced every day to see the best results. 15 minutes in a day is a make possible time for the most of us. So, how about you start leading a healthy life from today? Here are the exercises to get you started!

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