Posted by: Dania Corrigan Category: MY YOGA BODY Post Date: 09.07.2021

3 Types of Pranayama I mostly practice

Prana means vital energy.
Yama means to control.
Ayma means expansions.
Pranayama means controlled expansion of the prana. The goal of all pranayama is KUMBHAKA.

KUMBHAKA means retention or holding breath. When you hold your breath you hold the energy.
KUMBHAKA strengthen your heart and lungs.

First step to Pranayama is to balance your breath with 1:1 ratio. Breathe in 5 seconds, breath out 5 seconds.
Second phase of Pranayama is to balance breath with 1:2 ratio.
Third phase of Pranayama is to include KUMBHAKA with 1:4:2. For example you inhale 3 seconds, hold 12 seconds and exhale 6 seconds.
Beginners can do it 8:32:16. Advanced can do it 16:64:32.

Types of Pranayama I mostly practice


Pranayama must be performed on an empty stomach. I used to do it early in the morning.


Sit in any comfortable position, keep head and spine straight. Take a deep breath in and breathe out forcefully through the nose. Immediately after breathe in with the same force. When you inhale fully expand the abdominal muscles, when you exhale firm contract the abdominal muscle. Don’t strain.

This cools the body. People with low blood pressure should not practice more than 5 times, maximum 3 rounds.

This Pranayama increases vital capacity, relaxes the whole body and mind, good for concentration , increases the oxygen level, good for those with heart and/or mental problems such as stress, tension, and insomnia. It is very beneficial for those with high blood pressure.

Here is a good video on how to do BHASTRIKA


Also called Frontal Brain Cleansing. This is fast breath that mimics hyperventilation, increasing your heart and blood pressure. It also tones your abdominals. Avoid this technique if you are pregnant or menstruating woman, have ulcers or tumors in the abdomen area, history of epilepsy or stroke, have anxiety, certain eye conditions, or high blood pressure. Similar effects and precautions apply for breath holding (KUMBHAKA).

Sit in a comfortable posture. Breathe out with force with a contraction of the abdominal muscles. Do not focus on your inhalation, as it will be automatic. The rapid breathing should be from the abdomen; the shoulder and face remain relaxed.

KAPALABHATI should be performed on an empty stomach. If pain or dizziness appeared, stop the practice and sit quietly for some time.

This Pranayama cleanses the abdominal organs such as the liver, kidney, pancreas, stomach, intestines, and adrenal gland. It also increases the oxygen flow in the brain.

Here is a good video on how to do KAPALABHATI


I pracice this type of Pranayama early in the morning, but it is better to practice it in the evening, before you go to sleep because this Pranayama calms the mind and balances the nervous system.

Nadi means Nerves, Shodhana means Cleaning.

Start in a comfortable seated position. Place the right thumb on your right nostril to prevent the flow of airs. Inhale slowly through the left nostril. At the end of your inhalation, place the ring finger on the left nostril, release the thumb, and exhale slowly through the right nostril. At the end of your exhalation, inhale through the right nostril, then place the thumb on the right nostril again, release the finger from the left nostril and exhale. Repeat.

Practice NADI-SHODHANA to cleanse the nervous system and all related problems such as weakness or unbalance. Brings peace of mind, lifts our center of consciousness, cleanses the chakras, and improves insomnia.

Don’t practice while suffering from colds, flu or fever.

Here is a good video on how to do NADI-SHODHANA OR ANULOM-VILOM

There are several other types of pranayama that you can try. Each of them has its positive effects on the body and mind. Breathing control, which we learn to do by practicing Pranayama is important for our health and wellness. It is a helpful tool for our peace of mind.


This article is written by using the helpful information from my yoga textbook.

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