Pranayama: Yoga Breathing

Pranayamas are breathing exercises developed by the ancient yogis for purification. Prana translates into “life force energy” and Yama translates into “control or mastery of.” Thus, Pranyama is used to control, cultivate, and modify the Prana in the body. Prana is taken in through the air we breathe, and since the pranayama exercises increase the amount of air we take in, they also increase our intake of Prana.

For most pranayamas, the breath is slow and steady, breathed in and out of the nose and down into the belly. Always sit with a straight spine and a relaxed body. While you are practicing Pranayama, let go of any thoughts by focusing on the type of breathing involved with the pranayama.


Audio: Intro to Pranayama

Use the player below to stream a low-fi instructional audio track for this practice:

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Dirga Pranayama

The 3 part breath or complete breath is nourishing, calming and relaxing.View All Sponsors ➞Yogi WearComfortable, stylish and beautiful yoga clothing made in America.YogaDirectBuy one get one free and other… Read More→

Ujjayi Pranayama

pranayama yoga breathing

The victory or ocean sounding breath is focusing, grounding, and aids in concentration.View All Sponsors ➞Yogi WearComfortable, stylish and beautiful yoga clothing made in America.YogaDirectBuy one get one free and… Read More→

Nadi Sodhana Pranayama

alternate nostril pranayama yoga breath

Alternate nostril breathing is balancing, calming, anti-anxiety, and very relaxing.View All Sponsors ➞Japa Mala BeadsBeautiful prayer beads to enhance your meditation and yoga practice.Yogi WearComfortable, stylish and beautiful yoga clothing… Read More→

Kapalabhati Pranayama

yoga breathing pranayama

The breath of fire or the skull shining breath is invigorating, energizing, and purifying.View All Sponsors ➞Yoga InternationalPractice yoga anytime, anywhere. Available on all devices. Try 30 Days Free.Yoga Burn… Read More→

Bhramari Pranayama

The bee breath soothes the nerves and calms the mind.View All Sponsors ➞Yoga OutletLow price guarantee on brand-name yoga clothes, mats and yoga gear.Yoga InternationalPractice yoga anytime, anywhere. Available on… Read More→

Sit Cari Pranayama

The hissing breath cools the body and calms the mind.View All Sponsors ➞Japa Mala BeadsBeautiful prayer beads to enhance your meditation and yoga practice.Yogi WearComfortable, stylish and beautiful yoga clothing… Read More→

Shitali Pranayama

The cooling breath cools the body and calms the mind.View All Sponsors ➞Yoga Books on SaleTeacher training grade collection at lower than Amazon pricesYoga OutletLow price guarantee on brand-name yoga… Read More→

Bhastrika Pranayama

The bellows breath is warming, energizing, and purifying.View All Sponsors ➞Yoga InternationalPractice yoga anytime, anywhere. Available on all devices. Try 30 Days Free.Japa Mala BeadsBeautiful prayer beads to enhance your… Read More→

New to Yoga?

To get the most out of our site, we suggest you take some time to explore before jumping into the practice. Browse our yoga 101 section for general info on the history and types of yoga, then start exploring asanas the physical postures used in hatha yoga. Remember to breathe and always start your yoga practice with a brief meditation. If you are new to yoga, please read our Yoga for Beginner's page

Yogic Wisdom

These days, my practice is teaching me to embrace imperfection: to have compassion for all the ways things haven't turned out as I planned, in my body and in my life – for the ways things keep falling apart, and failing, and breaking down. It's less about fixing things, and more about learning to be present for exactly what is.
- Anne Cushman

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