Types of Pranayam: Yoga Awareness

7 months ago

Want to do Pranayama but didn’t find a guide to starting? Pranayam essentially means “to gain control”, and the techniques are the process to actually achieve that command over our breath.

The types of Pranayam I’m going to discuss are 

  • Kumbhaka ( Breath retention )
  • Nadi shodhan (Channel cleaning breath)
  • Ujayyi Pranayam (Conqueror breath)
  • Mrigi mudra Pranayam (Deer seal)
  • Simhasana (Lion Pose)
  • Surya Bhedana and Chandra Bhedana (Single nostril breath)
  • Kapalbhati (Skull shining breath)
  • Bhramri Pranayam ( humming black bee )

1. Kumbhaka ( breath retention )

The practice is known as the central practice of hatha yoga Pranayam series. This technique requires retention of breath in both 

  • Fulness of breath 
  • The emptiness of the breath 

With the three locks in the pelvis, diaphragm and throat region at the same time.

Try this way: Inhale and take your head back, tuck your chin in and take your head in front again, such that the chin touches your neck,  this makes the neck lock. Now pull the diaphragm upwards to apply bandha or lock in the diaphragm and pull your pelvic region inside to introduce a bandha in the Muladhara.

Pranayam type
image source : Google

Hold the breath as long as possible for you ( if you cant hold it for a single second in first go even then it is fine ) now take up your head and exhale fully. Make sure that the diaphragm lock and anal lock are still there, and take your head back, tuck your chin in and again lock your neck. This retention is with the emptiness of breath. Now hold for as long as you can and release the neck lock, inhale and now release the diaphragm lock and anal lock.

Benefits of kumbhaka

  • Increase lung capacity
  • Strengthen the core
  • Generate self-awareness and creates a space within 
  • Helps you to intellectually gets sharpen

2.Nadi shodhan (Channel cleaning breath)

These breathing techniques often used to clean your energy channels in the body and considered as a preparation for intense breathing exercises or sometimes used even as a formal one too.

Try this way: sit with a comfortable cross-legged posture and keep your hands on your knees holding yoga mudra raise your right hand and put your right thumb on the right nostril and your little and ring finger on your left nostril. Open your right nostril and inhale fully, close the nostril with your thumb, and open your left nostril to exhale completely. Keep the left nostril open and inhale as deep as you can. Close the nostril and open your right nostril and exhale completely. You can repeat the steps with a minimum of 10 times, in one sitting.

Nadi shodhan
Image source : Google

Benefits of Nadi shodhan

  • The technique clears the channels and helps to balance the right and left side of the body.
  • It helps to promote oxygen in the brain and quiet the mind.
  • Nadi shodan mainly focus to balance the ida and Pingala Nadi of the system.

3. Ujjayi Pranayam (Conqueror breath)

This breathing technique is absolutely beginner-friendly and is suitable for everyone. It includes a hissing sound and thus attracts your children to try performing this Pranayam which marks their first step in their yoga journey. If you want your child to perform some yoga poses then you can check out yoga for kids which can help your way.

Ujjayi Pranayam
Image source : Google

Try this way: Sit comfortably with your spine erect and take a deep inhalation with the nose. Now exhale with your wide-open mouth and direct the vibrations across the back of your throat with a sound of HAAAA. You can repeat the process several times.

 Benefits of ujjayi Pranayam 

  • It improves your focus and creates awareness towards your breath in your system
  • Slows your breath rate and hence calms the mind.
  • Strengthens the throat

4. Mrigi mudra pranayam (Deer seal)

This Pranayam technique is performed by holding a hand seal called Mrigi mudra. This hand gesture is traditionally made up of your right hand but if you are not comfortable you can make the gesture with your dominant hand, there is no compulsion in this.

Try this way: Press your index finger and middle finger on the mount below your thumb firmly and stretch our your pinky finger to keep it relatively straight. Now keep your ring finger slightly turned and on the nail of your little finger such that the tips of the two fingers appear to be merged. Try to keep your shoulder level straight, with your spine nice and erect. Now close the left nostril with the tip of your pinky finger and the right nostril with your thumb.

Mrigi Mudra
Image source : Google

Try to create pressure with the tips of the fingers, not with their pads. inhale slowly with your left nostril and exhale from the right. Now inhale from the right, close the right nostril with your thumb and open the left to exhale. You can perform the breathing for two to three minutes if you are a beginner.

Benefits of deer seal

  • Relieves anxiety
  • Improves natural immune function
  • Promotes antioxidants in the body

5. Simhasana ( Lion Pose)

This technique blows the stream out of your body with a face expression completely stretched. This energetic breath resembles the sound of the breath of a lion and helps to lighten your face.

Try this way: Sit with your spine erect and now kneel forward such that the legs at your back touching the toes and hands placed on the knees. Take a deep inhalation through the nose and simultaneously stretch your tongue outwards and exhale with a sound HAAA. make sure your eyes wide open and tip down your chin and feel the vibration of HAAA at the back of your throat. You can roar two to three times a go if you are a beginner.

Lion pose
Image source : Google

Benefits of simhasana 

  • Relieves stress from the face and relax facial muscles.
  • Strengthen eye muscles and improves blood circulation in the face region
  • Prevent respiratory ailments

6. Surya Bhedana & Chandra Bhedana ( single nostril breathing )

We have ida ( the sun side ) and Pingala ( the moon side ) of Nadis in our body. Breathing form a single nostril allows these Nadis to attain balance. The right side is associated with the sun (the heating energy ) while the left side is associated with the moon ( the cooling energy ).

Try this way: For Surya bhedana sit comfortably with your spine erect and put your right-hand thumb on your right nostril and pinky finger on your left. Open the right nostril and inhale, close the right and exhale form the left. Repeat the process up to 5 breaths if you are a beginner. For Chandra bhedana inhale form the left and exhale from the right nostril. And repeat the same up to 5 breaths minimum.

Single nostril breathing
Image source : Google

Benefits of single nostril breathing

  • It lowers the heart rate and promotes cardiac health.
  • Improves lung capacity 
  • Develop balance in the body

7. Kapalbhati ( skull shining breath )

Kapalbhati is the most effective breathing technique usually performed at the starting of the pranayama session. It warms up the body and helps to tone the muscles in the abdomen.

Try this way: Sit on the floor with a cross-legged posture and spine erect, close your eyes and place your hands on your knees facing downwards. Inhale deeply and exhale, now consciously exhale with quick moments in the abdomen area. Make sure you push the air out of your body. You can perform starting form 30 times in one go if you are a beginner

Kapalbhati Pranayam
Image source : Google

Benefits of Kapalbhati

8. Bhramri Pranayam ( humming black  bee )

This Pranayam technique helps to gain control over breath effectively and widely practiced to calms the mind. The action of light humming sound creates vibration in the front part of the head and face and promotes a sense of quietness all around.

Bhramri Pranayam
Image source : Google

Try this way: Sit comfortably and concentrate your attention on your breath place your thumbs on the ear cartilage and your index and ring finger over your eyes gently such that the tip of the fingers touches the inner corners of the eyes and nose bridge.  Inhale completely and exhale with a sound resembling the movement of a bee. Try to feel the vibration in the center of your head and face.

Benefits of Bhramri Pranayam

  • The practice greases the nervous system and relieves cerebral tension.
  • It helps the practitioner to connect with their inner self and dissipate anger in the body.
  • Lowers blood pressure and alleviate hypertension 

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. Jugaadin.com does not claim responsibility for this information.

Deepshikha Gupta

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