HomeYoga15 Varieties of Pranayama Respiration Methods and Advantages

15 Varieties of Pranayama Respiration Methods and Advantages [Explained]

types of pranayama
Picture Supply: Canva

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

We use the time period ‘Pranayama’ for a group of yogic respiration workouts. Nevertheless, one should know respiration workouts are completely different from Pranayama respiration strategies.

Mechanically a Pranayama observe could look much like a easy respiration train however truly, in pranayama, we don’t simply concentrate on the motion of air out and in of the lungs, as we do in a respiration train.

Pranayama observe focuses on consciously increasing the breath by numerous technique of strategies, 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 primarily based on that, you’ll know 15 several types of pranayama respiration strategies and advantages. If you’re excited by 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.

To begin with, The Eight Classical Pranayama

In keeping with Hatha Yoga Pradipika (an historical textual content of yoga), there are 8 variety of pranayama combinedly known as ‘8 Kumbhakas’, and often called ‘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 elements; Inhalation (Puraka) — Retention Holding (Kumbhaka) — Exhalation (Rechaka). Crucial side of pranayama is kumbhaka (i.e. breath retention). Nevertheless, we concentrate on Inhalation & exhalation in several pranayama varieties, however it’s ‘breath retention (kumbhaka)’ {that a} yogi goals to develop by a pranayama observe. Because of this completely different pranayama varieties are additionally known as ‘Kumbhakas’ in Sanskrit.

When pranayama is finished with acutely aware effort and never spontaneously, means once we attempt to domesticate consciousness to look at 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 observe, 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 Methods and Advantages

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

It’s suggested to observe pranayama in seated snug postures solely. Initially one can start by merely watching their pure breath after which attempt completely different strategies. It’s additionally really useful to mix completely different forms of mudras with pranayama respiration to deepen its results.

Every sort of pranayama can arouse specific areas of the mind and impacts the physique otherwise. You can provide every a attempt. Listed below are 15 forms of pranayama respiration strategies.

  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 sort of pranayama and is most practised due to its soothing results on the mind. Popularly often called 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 approach 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 big discount in each state and trait nervousness has proven after 6 weeks
  • Submit-operative ache and struggling of sufferers have diminished
  • A big discount in melancholy, stress, nervousness, and peak expiratory circulation charge has been measured within the pre and post-surgery

One other experimental research reveals the fast results of Nadi Shodhan on wholesome people’ coronary heart charge, blood stress, and problem-solving potential. It’s discovered on this research;

  • Nadi shodhan refreshes air all through the lungs and alters autonomic exercise. It considerably declines the center charge and systolic blood stress.
  • Peak expiratory circulation charge improved which reveals a wholesome lung situation.
  • As a result of higher adaptability for psychological stress-induced after practising nadi shodhan participant’s mathematical problem-solving time diminished 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 sort pranayama. Bhastrika actually means “bellows breath”

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

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

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

  • A big increment is noticed within the Compelled important capability, compelled expiratory quantity within the first second, Peak expiratory circulation charge, and most voluntary air flow.
  • The elastic recoil of the lungs and chest wall elevated thereby strengthening the respiratory muscle groups.

In 2009, one other scientific research on the results of bhastrika on coronary heart charge 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 charge. 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 charge.
  • The parasympathetic nervous system can be stimulated which purchased a way of calmness and reduces stress.

How you can Observe Bhastrika Pranayama & Its Advantages

3. Kapalbhati Pranayama

kapalbhati pranayama
Picture Supply: fitsri

Kapalbhati is a sort 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).

Moreover pranayama, kapalbhati is without doubt one of the purification strategies of shatkarma.

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

Many research finished prior to now have evaluated advantages of Kapalbhati on the physique and thoughts.

  • Kapabhati is like heat up workouts for respiratory muscle groups to enhance 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 charge 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 stage in diabetic people.
  • The pelvic ground muscle groups are strengthened after practising kalpalbhati for 4 weeks and proved to be efficient in decreasing menopausal issues.

Kapalbhati Pranayama Advantages and How you can Carry out Appropriately

4. Bhramari Pranayama (Bee Breath)

bhramari pranayama
Picture Supply: Canva

Bhramari pranayama is probably the most stress-free respiration method anybody can do simply to do away with stress and nervousness 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 concentrated on the vibratory sound of a buzzing bee in extended exhalation.

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

Bhramari Pranayama (Bee Breath) steps and advantages

5. Anulom Vilom Pranayama

anulom vilom
Picture Supply: Canva

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

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

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

Though there’s a fairly distinction between each; Anulom vilom is a balancing sort of pranayama that maintains the circulation of Prana in Ida and Pingala Nadi equally. Whereas Nadi shodhana is a cleaning pranayama sort 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 operate 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, pondering, reasoning, remembering, and problem-solving expertise compared to Vinyasa circulation sort yoga poses.

6. Sheetali Pranayama (Cooling Breath)

sitali pranayama
Picture Supply: fitsri

Sheetali pranayama is a cooling respiration method. Historic yogis derived it to cut 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 rolled tongue and exhaled out by the nostrils. Salvia on the tongue moisturizes the air on its approach by the mouth and we really feel on the spot coolness.

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

  • In some yogic texts, Sheetali pranayama is described to have starvation and thirst management potential. It has a chilled impact on your complete nervous system which supplies the practitioner a way of management.
  • It reduces the manufacturing of bile waste that causes heartburn.
  • It has the flexibility to cut back blood stress in hypertensive sufferers. It has been present in a research, Sheetali decrease excessive bp by 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 sort of uninostril yogic respiration by which inhalation and exhalation are restricted to the fitting nostril and left nostril respectively.

As the fitting nostril is claimed 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 the fitting nostril will increase oxygen consumption and thereby the general metabolic standing of the yogi.
  • Surya bhedana has proven a constructive impact on the left hemisphere of the mind. It enhances an individual’s logical and reasoning potential.
  • Nevertheless, It’s proof from a differential research, Surya Bhedna pranayama has sympathomimetic results – means it may well increase blood stress to alarming heights, notably in hypertensive sufferers.
  • The warmth produced by this pranayama observe burns up impurities and may help get rid of pathogens from the physique.

Surya Bhedana: How you can do it Appropriately and Advantages

8. Chandra Bhedna Pranayama

chandra bhedna
Picture Supply: Canva

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

Chandra Bhedna pranayama is a cooling respiration method 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 supplies its cooling motion. It’s additionally known as the hissing breath.

This pranayama is solely 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 the uncovered tooth. Shut the mouth to carry your breath for 2 seconds after which exhale by nostrils.

Though sheetkari produces comparable results as sheetali pranayama, as well as, Sheetkari pranayama is particularly useful in;

  • Reducing blood stress and decreasing signs of hysteria.
  • Releasing emotional and psychological knots current within the physique.
  • Inducing stress-free 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 varieties, Ujjayi is probably the most satisfying deep respiration pranayama method. It’s stated, 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 included with Bandhas, Mantra Japa, and yoga poses;

  • Incorporating Ujjayi pranayama in makarasana can launch rigidity from the decrease again and enhance the provision of oxygen-rich blood all the way 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 a better metabolic charge within the physique.
  • In a randomized management trial research, completely different physiological variables have been measured after practising ujjayi pranayama. A big distinction is noticed within the resting coronary heart charge and resting pulse charge after 8 weeks of coaching of Ujjayi.

How you can Carry out Ujjayi Pranayama

11. Plavini Pranayama

plavini pranayama
Picture Supply: Canva

Plavini is a complicated sort of pranayama that calls for experience in breath-holding for a protracted interval.

In Plavini Pranayama, the air is gulped into the abdomen both via easy nostril respiration or by 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 approach of pure fasting.
  • It’s stated 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 method that emphasizes breath retention.

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

It provides a sense of fainting to the practitioner, nonetheless, in line with Hatha Yoga Pradipika – By way 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, ends in 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 often called field respiration, Sama vritti is an easy pranayama method. It’s a sluggish and deep pranayama sort that focuses on all 3 elements 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, in the end will increase lung capability.
  • Sama vritti pranayama has a stress-busting impact as respiration evenly straight impacts the autonomic nervous system.
  • By decreasing stress response, this pranayama additionally enables you to sleep effectively with full effectivity in little or no time.

Nevertheless, 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 method by which inhalation and exhalation are finished in 3 elements.

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

Like some 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 stomach organs additionally make the motion. It provides them inner therapeutic massage and enhances the digestive system operate.
  • 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 frequent 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 nervousness, guilt, concern, and disappointment. It cures acidity and issues associated to sleep (Insomnia) and dangerous 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 strategies one can select from.

Totally different pranayamas include quite a few advantages and selecting one completely depends upon whenever you’re doing it or what you’re anticipating.

For instance, after a vigorous yoga session, you need your physique to chill out and thoughts to relax. On this situation, pranayama like left nostril respiration or sitali which have cooling results will probably be useful as a substitute of doing kapalbhati or proper nostril respiration.

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