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.Our Sponsors WACCES Yoga GearYoga mats, wheels, straps, towels and blocks to keep your body fit.Jane Inc.Organic Cotton &… Read More→

Ujjayi Pranayama

pranayama yoga breathing

The victory or ocean sounding breath is focusing, grounding, and aids in concentration.Our Sponsors Jane Inc.Organic Cotton & Silk Eye Pillows in over 30 styles all made in the USAYogaDirectBuy… Read More→

Nadi Sodhana Pranayama

alternate nostril pranayama yoga breath

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Shitali Pranayama

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Kapalabhati Pranayama

yoga breathing pranayama

The breath of fire or the skull shining breath is invigorating, energizing, and purifying.Our Sponsors MyYogaWorks950+ online yoga classes streaming to your laptop, phone or TVJapa Mala BeadsBeautiful prayer beads… Read More→

Bhramari Pranayama

The bee breath soothes the nerves and calms the mind.Our Sponsors WACCES Yoga GearYoga mats, wheels, straps, towels and blocks to keep your body fit.Yoga OutletLow price guarantee on brand-name… Read More→

Sit Cari Pranayama

The hissing breath cools the body and calms the mind.Our Sponsors Buddha PantsThe only yoga pant that packs into its pocket! Pants that make you dance!YogaDirectBuy one get one free… Read More→

Bhastrika Pranayama

The bellows breath is warming, energizing, and purifying.Our Sponsors Buddha PantsThe only yoga pant that packs into its pocket! Pants that make you dance!Jane Inc.Organic Cotton & Silk Eye Pillows… 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

Watch your thoughts; they become words.

Watch your words; they become actions.

Watch your actions; they become habits.

Watch your habits; they become character.

Watch your character; for it becomes your

-Upanishads
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