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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

15 Varieties of Pranayama Respiration Strategies and Advantages [Explained]

types of pranayama
Picture Supply: Canva

There are a variety of various respiration methods in yoga that may ease stress, and make you’re feeling much less anxious and calm.

We use the time period ‘Pranayama’ for a set of yogic respiration workouts. Nonetheless, one should know respiration workouts are totally different from Pranayama respiration methods.

Mechanically a Pranayama follow might look just like a easy respiration train however really, in pranayama, we don’t simply deal with the motion of air out and in of the lungs, as we do in a respiration train.

Pranayama follow focuses on consciously increasing the breath by way of varied technique of methods, which decelerate the entire respiration cycle to a state of stillness, leading to a meditative state of calm.

On this article, you’ll perceive the classification of pranayama and based mostly on that, you’ll know 15 various kinds of pranayama respiration methods and advantages. If you’re inquisitive about figuring out about pranayama in nice depth, I might counsel studying this newbie’s information to Pranayama and the 12 science-backed advantages of pranayama.

Initially, The Eight Classical Pranayama

Based on Hatha Yoga Pradipika (an historical textual content of yoga), there are 8 variety of pranayama combinedly known as ‘8 Kumbhakas’, and referred to as ‘Eight classical pranayamas’. All of the pranayamas that we do in yoga are in some way modified variations of those 8 classical pranayamas.

types of pranayama
8 classica pranayamas. Picture: Fitsri

Kevala Kumbhaka and Sahita Pranayama

Within the yogic philosophy of pranayama, the respiration course of is split into three components; Inhalation (Puraka) — Retention Holding (Kumbhaka) — Exhalation (Rechaka). A very powerful facet of pranayama is kumbhaka (i.e. breath retention). Nonetheless, we deal with Inhalation & exhalation in numerous pranayama sorts, however it’s ‘breath retention (kumbhaka)’ {that a} yogi goals to develop by way of a pranayama follow. Because of this totally different pranayama sorts are additionally known as ‘Kumbhakas’ in Sanskrit.

When pranayama is completed with acutely aware effort and never spontaneously, means after we attempt to domesticate consciousness to watch our breath, it’s known as Sahita Pranayama. Sahita means linked; breath retention (kumbhaka) is linked with inhalation and exhalation. The 8 classical pranayamas talked about above are literally the practices of Sahita pranayama solely.

With lengthy constant follow, when kumbhaka begins occurring with none acutely aware effort or an obvious affiliation with both inhalation or exhalation, it’s known as Kevala Kumbhaka. It’s the very best stage of pranayama the place a yogi with out effort spontaneously holds their breath at will. This pranayama results in the opening of Sushumna Nadi, kundalini awakening and at last Samadhi.

Varieties of Pranayama Respiration Strategies and Advantages

Grasp yoga gurus counsel that the finest time to follow pranayama and yoga, basically, is Brahmamuhurta – early within the morning and on an empty abdomen. Ideally, pranayama needs to be practised in an open area with good air high quality.

It’s suggested to follow pranayama in seated comfy postures solely. Initially one can start by merely watching their pure breath after which strive totally different methods. It’s additionally really useful to mix totally different varieties of mudras with pranayama respiration to deepen its results.

Every kind of pranayama can arouse specific areas of the mind and impacts the physique in another way. You may give every a strive. Listed below are 15 varieties of pranayama respiration methods.

  1. Nadi Shodhan Pranayama (Alternate nostril respiration)
  2. Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellows respiration)
  3. Kapalbhati Pranayama (Cranium shining breath)
  4. Bhramari Pranayama (Bee respiration)
  5. Anulom Vilom Pranayama
  6. Sheetali Pranayama (Cooling breath)
  7. Surya Bhedna Pranayama (Proper nostril respiration)
  8. Chandra Bhedna Pranayama (Left nostril respiration)
  9. Sheetkari Pranayama (Hissing breath)
  10. Ujjayi Pranayama (Victorious breath)
  11. Plavini Pranayama (Floating breath)
  12. Murcha Pranayama (Swooning breath)
  13. Sama Vritti Pranayama (Equal/sq. respiration)
  14. Dirgha Pranayama (Three-Half respiration)
  15. Udgeeth Pranayama (Chanting breath)

1. Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Respiration)

nadi shodhan pranayama
Picture Supply: Canva

That is the primary kind of pranayama and is most practised due to its soothing results on the mind. Popularly referred to as a type of alternate nostril respiration, it’s a sluggish and deep yoga respiration train.

On this pranayama, we shut our nostrils alternatively in a manner that balances the left and proper mind hemispheres.

To evaluate the results of Nadi Shodhan Pranayama on coronary coronary heart illness sufferers, an experimental research was carried out in 2019. In people who endure Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgical procedure, it’s discovered on this research on practising Nadi shodhan pranayama;

  • A major discount in each state and trait anxiousness has proven after 6 weeks
  • Publish-operative ache and struggling of sufferers have lowered
  • A major discount in despair, stress, anxiousness, and peak expiratory circulate price has been measured within the pre and post-surgery

One other experimental research exhibits the rapid results of Nadi Shodhan on wholesome people’ coronary heart price, blood stress, and problem-solving capacity. It’s discovered on this research;

  • Nadi shodhan refreshes air all through the lungs and alters autonomic exercise. It considerably declines the guts price and systolic blood stress.
  • Peak expiratory circulate price improved which exhibits a wholesome lung situation.
  • Resulting from higher adaptability for psychological stress-induced after practising nadi shodhan participant’s mathematical problem-solving time lowered considerably.

Nadi Shodhan Pranayama steps and advantages

2. Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellows Breath)

Picture Supply: Canva

In distinction to sluggish and deep respiration, bhastrika pranayama is available in quick and brief respiration kind pranayama. Bhastrika actually means “bellows breath”

On this pranayama, exaggerated and forceful respiration is carried out partaking the diaphragm and belly muscle tissues.

Fast enlargement and contraction of belly muscle tissues create a bellows motion to ignite the physique’s warmth, therefore often known as breath of fireplace.

Bhatrika pranayama could be very efficient in revitalizing the working of the lungs. In a 2019 research, bhastrika pranayama impact on lung perform is examined amongst 30 wholesome people and it has discovered;

  • A major increment is noticed within the Pressured important capability, compelled expiratory quantity within the first second, Peak expiratory circulate price, and most voluntary air flow.
  • The elastic recoil of the lungs and chest wall elevated thereby strengthening the respiratory muscle tissues.

In 2009, one other scientific research on the results of bhastrika on coronary heart price and blood stress performed. This time sluggish tempo bhastrika pranayama is carried out for five minutes adopted by the measurement of blood stress and coronary heart price. The comparative research between the readings of given parameters earlier than and after bhastrika concluded that:

  • There’s a important discount in systolic and diastolic blood stress.
  • A slight decrement within the coronary heart price.
  • The parasympathetic nervous system can be stimulated which purchased a way of calmness and reduces stress.

The way to Follow Bhastrika Pranayama & Its Advantages

3. Kapalbhati Pranayama

kapalbhati pranayama
Picture Supply: fitsri

Kapalbhati is a kind of pranayama that may be categorized underneath quick, asymmetrical, and diaphragmatic respiration. In kapalbhati Pranayama, forceful exhalation is attributed to the entire detox of the physique by cleaning the Kapal (cranium).

In addition to pranayama, kapalbhati is likely one of the purification methods of shatkarma.

Forceful exhalation in kapalbhati decompresses the cerebrospinal fluid within the mind. It massages the mind cells and you are feeling lighter after performing it.

Many research completed up to now have evaluated advantages of Kapalbhati on the physique and thoughts.

  • Kapabhati is like heat up workouts for respiratory muscle tissues to improve lung capability.
  • It additionally will increase the circulation of oxygen-rich blood within the physique which in flip will increase melanin proportion to glow pores and skin.
  • Kapalbhati will increase the metabolic price of the physique. Sooner metabolism results in elevated calorie consumption and additional, helps in weight reduction.
  • It has been proven in a research, only one month of kapalbhati has decreased the blood sugar degree in diabetic people.
  • The pelvic ground muscle tissues are strengthened after practising kalpalbhati for 4 weeks and proved to be efficient in decreasing menopausal problems.

Kapalbhati Pranayama Advantages and The way to Carry out Appropriately

4. Bhramari Pranayama (Bee Breath)

bhramari pranayama
Picture Supply: Canva

Bhramari pranayama is probably the most enjoyable respiration approach anybody can do simply to do away with stress and anxiousness immediately. Bhramari means buzzing bee.

In Bhramari pranayama, as you exhale, the ear canal is closed with index fingers and a buzzing sound is produced from the again of the throat. The thoughts is targeted on the vibratory sound of a buzzing bee in extended exhalation.

Whenever you follow it lengthy sufficient, little impulses of soothing buzzing sound proceed vibrating in your head. It retains stress and anxiousness away from you.

Bhramari Pranayama (Bee Breath) steps and advantages

5. Anulom Vilom Pranayama

anulom vilom
Picture Supply: Canva

Anulom Vilom pranayama is a kind of alternate nostril respiration carried out with the correct hand in Vishnu Mudra.

To carry out Anulom Vilom, shut the correct nostril with the correct thumb inhale from the left nostril. Then shut the left nostril with the ring and little finger, exhale from the correct nostril. Repeat on this method alternatively.

To some extent, anulom vilom related pranayama to Nadi Shodhan pranayama.

Though there’s a fairly distinction between each; Anulom vilom is a balancing kind of pranayama that maintains the circulate of Prana in Ida and Pingala Nadi equally. Whereas Nadi shodhana is a cleaning pranayama kind that serves the aim of Nadis purification.

Some scientific research have confirmed advantages of anulom vilom;

  • In a research, It has proven anulom vilom considerably improves the lung perform of swimmers. It will increase lung capability and interval of breath retention.
  • Anulom Vilom Pranayama for half-hour a day (for 40 days) can resolve sinus irritation (rhinosinusitis), an RCT concluded.
  • It additionally impacts the cognitive features of the mind together with studying, considering, reasoning, remembering, and problem-solving expertise compared to Vinyasa circulate kind yoga poses.

6. Sheetali Pranayama (Cooling Breath)

sitali pranayama
Picture Supply: fitsri

Sheetali pranayama is a cooling respiration approach. Historic yogis derived it to scale back physique temperature.

In Sheetali Pranayama, the tongue is rolled in a ‘U’ or ‘O’ form and extends out of the mouth. That is adopted by lengthy inhalation – the air is sucked in by way of rolled tongue and exhaled out by way of the nostrils. Salvia on the tongue moisturizes the air on its manner by way of the mouth and we really feel prompt coolness.

Inhaling by way of rolled tongue in Sheetali pranayama moisturizes the dry mouth which in flip relieves from unhealthy breath.

  • In some yogic texts, Sheetali pranayama is described to have starvation and thirst management capacity. It has a relaxing impact on the whole nervous system which provides the practitioner a way of management.
  • It reduces the manufacturing of bile waste that causes heartburn.
  • It has the power to scale back blood stress in hypertensive sufferers. It has been present in a research, Sheetali decrease excessive bp by way of a mixture of stress discount and modification of the physiology of the autonomic nervous system.

7. Surya Bhedna Pranayama (Proper Nostril Respiration)

surya bhedna pranayama
Picture Supply: fitsri

In distinction to alternate nostril respiration, Surya Bhedna pranayam is a kind of uninostril yogic respiration during which inhalation and exhalation are restricted to the correct nostril and left nostril respectively.

As the correct nostril is alleged to be the gate of ‘The Solar’, Surya Bhedna pranayama will increase physique temperature and provides vitality to the yogi. It may be referred as ‘sizzling pranayama’ or ‘proper nostril respiration’.

  • Inhaling by way of the correct nostril will increase oxygen consumption and thereby the general metabolic standing of the yogi.
  • Surya bhedana has proven a optimistic impact on the left hemisphere of the mind. It enhances an individual’s logical and reasoning capacity.
  • Nonetheless, It’s proof from a differential research, Surya Bhedna pranayama has sympathomimetic results – means it may possibly elevate blood stress to alarming heights, notably in hypertensive sufferers.
  • The warmth produced by way of this pranayama follow burns up impurities and can assist eradicate pathogens from the physique.

Surya Bhedana: The way to do it Appropriately and Advantages

8. Chandra Bhedna Pranayama

chandra bhedna
Picture Supply: Canva

On this pranayama kind, respiration is completed within the reverse method to Surya Bhedna pranayama i.e. Inhale – left nostril and exhale – proper nostril.

Chandra Bhedna pranayama is a cooling respiration approach that prompts the parasympathetic nervous system. Activation of the parasympathetic nervous system results in;

9. Sheetkari Pranayama (Hissing Breath)

sitkari pranayama
Picture Supply: fitsri

Sheetkari is one other classical pranayama respiration which is cooling in nature. On this pranayama, throughout inhalation, a ‘seeehh’ like hissing sound is produced from mouth which provides its cooling motion. It’s additionally known as the hissing breath.

This pranayama is just carried out by closing the mouth and bringing the higher and decrease tooth collectively. Expose them by parting the lips. Then carry out Khechari mudra by folding the tongue to the touch the taste bud. Inhale by way of the uncovered tooth. Shut the mouth to carry your breath for 2 seconds after which exhale by way of nostrils.

Though sheetkari produces related results as sheetali pranayama, as well as, Sheetkari pranayama is very useful in;

  • Reducing blood stress and decreasing signs of hysteria.
  • Releasing emotional and psychological knots current within the physique.
  • Inducing enjoyable mind waves like delta and alpha band energy within the frontal and occipital areas.

10. Ujjayi Pranayama (Victorious Breath)

ujjayi pranayama
Picture Supply: Canva

Amongst 8 classical pranayama sorts, Ujjayi is probably the most satisfying deep respiration pranayama approach. It’s mentioned, Ujjayi spontaneously happens in deep and intense focus, and therefore, primarily carried out throughout a meditation, Yoga Nidra and yoga mudra session.

Ujjayi pranayama is carried out by inhaling from the nostril, constricting the throat internally, and releasing the breath opening the mouth. The exhalation should produce an “HAA” sound as you open the mouth.

Many research have proven the therapeutic advantages of Ujjayi when integrated with Bandhas, Mantra Japa, and yoga poses;

  • Incorporating Ujjayi pranayama in makarasana can launch rigidity from the decrease again and improve the availability of oxygen-rich blood right down to the backbone. It relieves from sciatica or spinal spondylitis.
  • Ujjayi pranayama with brief and extended breath retention has confirmed positively impacts oxygen consumption, results in the next metabolic price within the physique.
  • In a randomized management trial research, totally different physiological variables had been measured after practising ujjayi pranayama. A major distinction is noticed within the resting coronary heart price and resting pulse price after 8 weeks of coaching of Ujjayi.

The way to Carry out Ujjayi Pranayama

11. Plavini Pranayama

plavini pranayama
Picture Supply: Canva

Plavini is a sophisticated kind of pranayama that calls for experience in breath-holding for a chronic interval.

In Plavini Pranayama, the air is gulped into the abdomen both by way of easy nostril respiration or by way of the mouth in kaki mudra. Then with none bodily motion or expelling the air out, the air is retained contained in the physique for 30 to 90 minutes.

  • By stopping the air contained in the abdomen, the yogis don’t really feel hungry so plavini pranayama is a manner of pure fasting.
  • It’s mentioned in conventional texts, practising plavini makes the physique lighter sufficient so one can float simply on the water floor. It’s additionally known as ‘floating breath’.

12. Murcha Pranayama (Swooning Breath)

murcha pranayama
Picture Supply: fitsri

After Plavini, Murcha is one other conventional pranayama approach that emphasizes breath retention.

In Murcha Pranayama, the air is inhaled by way of nostrils at fullest capability. Then utilizing Jalandhar Bandha (throat lock) breath is held and the air is retained inside for even longer than is comfy.

It provides a sense of fainting to the practitioner, nevertheless, in keeping with Hatha Yoga Pradipika – By means of this pranayama, the expertise of acutely aware unconsciousness is supposed to come up.

  • Murcha pranayama lowers the oxygen focus in blood reaching the mind, leads to fainting sensation. Ultimately, it clears practitioner’s connection to the exterior world, therefore helps in pratyahara (sense withdrawal).
  • Additionally, it provides psychological readability and induces leisure and interior consciousness.

13. Sama Vritti Pranayama (Field Respiration)

Popularly referred to as field respiration, Sama vritti is a very simple pranayama approach. It’s a sluggish and deep pranayama kind that focuses on all 3 components of respiration – inhale, exhale, and retention.

In Sama Vritti Pranayama, a practitioner has to make sure an equal interval of their breath together with inhale, holding the breath in, exhale, and holding the breath out.

  • It allows the lung to work evenly and equally throughout inhalation, retention, and exhalation, finally will increase lung capability.
  • Sama vritti pranayama has a stress-busting impact as respiration evenly instantly impacts the autonomic nervous system.
  • By decreasing stress response, this pranayama additionally helps you to sleep nicely with full effectivity in little or no time.

Nonetheless, in superior yogis, a variation of Sama Vritti known as Visma Vritti pranayama or uneven breath is extra practiced.

14. Dirgha Pranayama (Three-Half Respiration)

dirgha pranayama
Picture Supply: Canva

Dirgha pranayama is a full yogic respiration approach during which inhalation and exhalation are completed in 3 components.

  • First, full filling of the decrease stomach
  • Second, full filling of the thoracic area by the extension of facet ribs
  • Lastly extension of higher chest space by lengthening of collarbone and shoulders

Like every other deep respiration, Dirgha pranayama relaxes the blood vessels and widen them, which reduces the hypertension. Its results on the physique come by its motion on stomach motion

  • When stomach strikes with respiration, inner belly organs additionally make the motion. It provides them inner therapeutic massage and enhances the digestive system perform.
  • Dirgha pranayama results the oxygen focus in blood to the mind.

15. Udgeeth Pranayama (Chanting breath)

udgeeth pranayama practice
Picture Supply: Shutterstock

There are numerous widespread names of Udgeeth Pranayama like Omkari jap, Om chanting, Omkara chanting. Whereas performing this pranayama, Omkara sound connects you with silence inside you. On this silence, our mind will get vibrations to tune in a pure frequency.

Udgeeth pranayama lets you take care of anxiousness, guilt, worry, and unhappiness. It cures acidity and issues associated to sleep (Insomnia) and unhealthy goals.


Whether or not you need to cut back stress or hypertension, enhance focus or discover stillness in your religious journey, there are differentf pranayama respiration methods one can select from.

Totally different pranayamas include quite a few advantages and selecting one completely relies on while you’re doing it or what you’re anticipating.

For instance, after a vigorous yoga session, you need your physique to calm down and thoughts to relax. On this situation, pranayama like left nostril respiration or sitali which have cooling results shall be useful as an alternative of doing kapalbhati or proper nostril respiration.

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