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:

[content_band style="color: #2C3640; border: 1px solid #dfdfdf" bg_color="#f5f5f5" no_margin="true" inner_container="true"] [custom_headline style="color: #C0470F; margin-top: 0;" class="slider"][x_icon type="lock"] Premium Content[/custom_headline][line] Please login as a premium member to view the additional content on this page. If you are not a premium member you can upgrade your basic account or sign up for a premium membership to access this page and receive all of the benefits of supporting our site. [line] [slider animation="slide" slide_time="6000" slide_speed="600" slideshow="true" prev_next_nav="false" control_nav="true" no_container="true"] [slide] [x_icon type="warning"] Please contact customer service if you are having trouble viewing premium content. [/slide] [slide][button size="large" href="https://www.yogabasics.com/membership-login/" title="Login"]Login[/button]       [button size="large" href="http://www.yogabasics.com/membership-subscription-plans/" title="Sign Up"]Sign Up![/button] [/slide][/slider] [/content_band] [gap size="25px"]


Dirga Pranayama

The 3 part breath or complete breath is nourishing, calming and relaxing.Our Sponsors Vira Bhava Yoga at Brevard Yoga CenterA radical recalibration of your life and experience in the world…. Read More→

Ujjayi Pranayama

pranayama yoga breathing

The victory or ocean sounding breath is focusing, grounding, and aids in concentration.Our Sponsors Yoga Teacher InsuranceIs your Yoga practice at risk? Get insurance coverage today for $129Buddha PantsThe only… Read More→

Nadi Sodhana Pranayama

alternate nostril pranayama yoga breath

Alternate nostril breathing is balancing, calming, anti-anxiety, and very relaxing.Our Sponsors Grocer Yoga Videos30 Day Free Trial + 30% Off Yoga, Fitness and Cooking Video SubscriptionsVira Bhava Yoga at Brevard… Read More→

Shitali Pranayama

The cooling breath cools the body and calms the mind.Our Sponsors WACCES Yoga GearYoga mats, wheels, straps, towels and blocks to keep your body fit.YogaDirectBuy one get one free and… Read More→

Kapalabhati Pranayama

yoga breathing pranayama

The breath of fire or the skull shining breath is invigorating, energizing, and purifying.Our Sponsors Grocer Yoga Videos30 Day Free Trial + 30% Off Yoga, Fitness and Cooking Video SubscriptionsJapa… Read More→

Bhramari Pranayama

The bee breath soothes the nerves and calms the mind.Our Sponsors Japa Mala BeadsBeautiful prayer beads to enhance your meditation and yoga practice.Yoga OutletLow price guarantee on brand-name yoga clothes,… 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!Vira Bhava Yoga at Brevard… Read More→

Bhastrika Pranayama

The bellows breath is warming, energizing, and purifying.Our Sponsors Yoga OutletLow price guarantee on brand-name yoga clothes, mats and yoga gear.YogaDirectBuy one get one free and other great deals on… 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

We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.
- E.E. Cummings


  • Free YogaBasics Newsletter



    Subscribe to our Yoga Newsletter and receive updates on yoga news, articles, inspiration and more. We send out only 2-3 emails per month and keep our list 100% private and spam free.



  • September Giveaway: Japa Mala Beads


    In this month’s giveaway, YogaBasics’s readers can Enter to win a pair of Sacred Sphere Leggings & a Geo Track Jacket from iamVibes!
    Enter Giveaway!

  • Our Premium Membership

    Like what you see…and want more? Our premium members have access to deluxe features, promo content, detailed yogic information and downloadable MP3s.
    Join Now!