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15 Varieties of Pranayama Respiratory Strategies and Advantages [Explained]

types of pranayama
Picture Supply: Canva

There are a variety of various respiratory 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 set of yogic respiratory workout routines. Nevertheless, one should know respiratory workout routines are completely different from Pranayama respiratory strategies.

Mechanically a Pranayama observe could look much like a easy respiratory 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 respiratory train.

Pranayama observe focuses on consciously increasing the breath via numerous technique of strategies, which decelerate the entire respiratory 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 several types of pranayama respiratory strategies and advantages. In case you are all in favour of understanding about pranayama in nice depth, I might counsel studying this newbie’s information to Pranayama and the 12 science-backed advantages of pranayama.

To start with, The Eight Classical Pranayama

In line with Hatha Yoga Pradipika (an historic textual content of yoga), there are 8 variety of pranayama combinedly known as ‘8 Kumbhakas’, and generally known 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 respiratory course of is split into three components; Inhalation (Puraka) — Retention Holding (Kumbhaka) — Exhalation (Rechaka). A very powerful side of pranayama is kumbhaka (i.e. breath retention). Nevertheless, we deal with Inhalation & exhalation in several pranayama varieties, however it’s ‘breath retention (kumbhaka)’ {that a} yogi goals to develop via a pranayama observe. For this reason completely different pranayama varieties are additionally known as ‘Kumbhakas’ in Sanskrit.

When pranayama is finished 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 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 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 Respiratory Strategies and Advantages

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

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

Every kind of pranayama can arouse specific areas of the mind and impacts the physique in another way. You can provide every a strive. Listed below are 15 forms of pranayama respiratory strategies.

  1. Nadi Shodhan Pranayama (Alternate nostril respiratory)
  2. Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellows respiratory)
  3. Kapalbhati Pranayama (Cranium shining breath)
  4. Bhramari Pranayama (Bee respiratory)
  5. Anulom Vilom Pranayama
  6. Sheetali Pranayama (Cooling breath)
  7. Surya Bhedna Pranayama (Proper nostril respiratory)
  8. Chandra Bhedna Pranayama (Left nostril respiratory)
  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. respiratory)
  14. Dirgha Pranayama (Three-Half respiratory)
  15. Udgeeth Pranayama (Chanting breath)

1. Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Respiratory)

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 generally known as a type of alternate nostril respiratory, it’s a sluggish and deep yoga respiratory train.

On this pranayama, we shut our nostrils alternatively in a method 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 bear 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
  • Put up-operative ache and struggling of sufferers have lowered
  • A big discount in melancholy, stress, nervousness, and peak expiratory circulate price has been measured within the pre and post-surgery

One other experimental research exhibits the quick results of Nadi Shodhan on wholesome people’ coronary heart price, 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 price and systolic blood stress.
  • Peak expiratory circulate price improved which exhibits a wholesome lung situation.
  • As a result of higher adaptability for psychological stress-induced after training 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 respiratory, bhastrika pranayama is available in quick and brief respiratory kind pranayama. Bhastrika actually means “bellows breath”

On this pranayama, exaggerated and forceful respiratory is carried out participating the diaphragm and stomach muscle mass.

Fast enlargement and contraction of stomach muscle mass create a bellows motion to ignite the physique’s warmth, therefore also referred to as breath of fireplace.

Bhatrika pranayama may 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 big increment is noticed within the Compelled 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 mass.

In 2009, one other scientific research on the results of bhastrika on coronary heart price and blood stress carried out. 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.

Find out how to Follow Bhastrika Pranayama & Its Advantages

3. Kapalbhati Pranayama

kapalbhati pranayama
Picture Supply: fitsri

Kapalbhati is a sort of pranayama that may be categorized below quick, asymmetrical, and diaphragmatic respiratory. In kapalbhati Pranayama, forceful exhalation is attributed to the whole detox of the physique by cleaning the Kapal (cranium).

In addition to pranayama, kapalbhati is among 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 accomplished prior to now have evaluated advantages of Kapalbhati on the physique and thoughts.

  • Kapabhati is like heat up workout routines for respiratory muscle mass 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 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 mass are strengthened after practising kalpalbhati for 4 weeks and proved to be efficient in decreasing menopausal problems.

Kapalbhati Pranayama Advantages and Find out how to Carry out Appropriately

4. Bhramari Pranayama (Bee Breath)

bhramari pranayama
Picture Supply: Canva

Bhramari pranayama is probably the most enjoyable respiratory 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 targeted 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 respiratory 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 comparable 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;

6. Sheetali Pranayama (Cooling Breath)

sitali pranayama
Picture Supply: fitsri

Sheetali pranayama is a cooling respiratory method. 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 via rolled tongue and exhaled out via the nostrils. Salvia on the tongue moisturizes the air on its method via the mouth and we really feel prompt coolness.

Inhaling via 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 relaxing 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 scale back blood stress in hypertensive sufferers. It has been present in a research, Sheetali decrease excessive bp via a mix of stress discount and modification of the physiology of the autonomic nervous system.

7. Surya Bhedna Pranayama (Proper Nostril Respiratory)

surya bhedna pranayama
Picture Supply: fitsri

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

As the correct nostril is claimed to be the gate of ‘The Solar’, Surya Bhedna pranayama will increase physique temperature and offers vitality to the yogi. It may be referred as ‘scorching pranayama’ or ‘proper nostril respiratory’.

  • Inhaling via the correct 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 could possibly increase blood stress to alarming heights, significantly in hypertensive sufferers.
  • The warmth produced via this pranayama observe burns up impurities and might help remove pathogens from the physique.

Surya Bhedana: Find out how to do it Appropriately and Advantages

8. Chandra Bhedna Pranayama

chandra bhedna
Picture Supply: Canva

On this pranayama kind, respiratory 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 respiratory 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 respiratory 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 just carried out by closing the mouth and bringing the higher and decrease enamel collectively. Expose them by parting the lips. Then carry out Khechari mudra by folding the tongue to the touch the taste bud. Inhale via the uncovered enamel. Shut the mouth to carry your breath for 2 seconds after which exhale via nostrils.

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

  • Reducing blood stress and decreasing signs of tension.
  • 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 varieties, Ujjayi is probably the most satisfying deep respiratory 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 integrated 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 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, completely different physiological variables have been measured after training ujjayi pranayama. A big distinction is noticed within the resting coronary heart price and resting pulse price after 8 weeks of coaching of Ujjayi.

Find out how to Carry out Ujjayi Pranayama

11. Plavini Pranayama

plavini pranayama
Picture Supply: Canva

Plavini is a complicated kind 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 respiratory or via 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 method of pure fasting.
  • It’s stated in conventional texts, training 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 via 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 offers a sense of fainting to the practitioner, nevertheless, based on 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. Finally, it clears practitioner’s connection to the exterior world, therefore helps in pratyahara (sense withdrawal).
  • Additionally, it offers psychological readability and induces rest and interior consciousness.

13. Sama Vritti Pranayama (Field Respiratory)

Popularly generally known as field respiratory, Sama vritti is a very simple pranayama method. It’s a sluggish and deep pranayama kind that focuses on all 3 components of respiratory – 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 permits 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 respiratory evenly immediately 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 Respiratory)

dirgha pranayama
Picture Supply: Canva

Dirgha pranayama is a full yogic respiratory method during which inhalation and exhalation are accomplished in 3 components.

  • 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 another deep respiratory, 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 respiratory, inside stomach organs additionally make the motion. It offers them inside 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 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 unhappiness. It cures acidity and issues associated to sleep (Insomnia) and dangerous desires.


Whether or not you want to scale back stress or hypertension, enhance focus or discover stillness in your religious journey, there are differentf pranayama respiratory strategies one can select from.

Completely different pranayamas include quite a few advantages and selecting one completely is dependent upon once you’re doing it or what you’re anticipating.

For instance, after a vigorous yoga session, you need your physique to loosen up and thoughts to settle down. On this situation, pranayama like left nostril respiratory or sitali which have cooling results might be helpful as an alternative of doing kapalbhati or proper nostril respiratory.

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