Dirgha Pranayama or the three-part breathing exercise is also known as yogic breathing or the full breath. In Sanskrit, Dirgha means long. In Dirgha pranayama, complete breathing is done with expansion of the abdomen, chest and the neck region. It is described in three steps, but the actual breathing process is done as a single continuous process.. Dirgha Pranayama or yogic breathing is about finding your natural breath.
Yoga and breath are deeply connected. When performing asana, pranayama and meditation, the correct breathing is essential to get the full benefits of the practice. Yogic breathing is finding your natural breath.
Pranayama is the yogic science of breath control. Yoga teaches that breathing can be regulated and controlled for various health and spiritual benefits.
Sheetkari Pranayama or the Hissing Breath is ususally done after practicing other asanas and pranayamas. Sheetkari Pranayama cools the body. Sheetkari pranayama is mentioned in the yoga text Hatha Yoga Pradeepika.
Sheetali Pranayama or the cooling breath is usually done after practicing other asanas and pranayamas. Sheetali Pranayama cools the body. Sheetali in sanskrit means ‘cooling’. Sheetali pranayama is mentioned in the yoga texts Hatha Yoga Pradeepika and Gheranda Samhita.
Bhramari Pranayama or the humming Bee Breath produces a sound similar to the humming of a bee. Bhramari comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Bramar’ which means a kind of black Indian bee. Bhramari pranayama has a soothing effect on the brain and calms the mind.
Ujjayi Prananaya or the psychic breath soothes the mind and induces a meditative state. Ujjayi means to ‘lift up’. In Ujjayi pranayama, the chest is slightly lifted up as if the inhalation is done from the throat.
Surya Bheda Pranayama or Surya Bhedana Pranayama is one of the main pranayamas practiced with Kumbhaka. Surya means the sun. In Surya Bheda Pranayama the Surya Nadi or the right nostril channel is activated. Surya Bheda Pranayama is mentioned in the yoga texts Hatha Yoga Pradeepika and the Gheranda Samhita.
Anulom Vilom Pranayama or alternate nostril breathing exercise is one of the main practices of Pranayama. Anulom Vilom Pranayama is mentioned in the yogic texts Hatha Yoga Pradeepika, Gheranda Samhita, Tirumandiram, Siva Samhita, Puranas and in the Upanishads.
Bhastrika Pranayama or the Bellow’s Breath is one of the main forms of Pranayama. In Sanskrit, Bhastrika means the ‘bellows ’. Just as the blacksmith blows his bellows to create heat and purify iron, Bhastrika is said to purify the mind and clear pranic blocks.