Easy Yoga Breathing Techniques

yogaNot only does Yoga have to do with holding poses for several seconds, but it also deals with deep breathing techniques.  Yogic breathing uses controlled inhalation, exhalation, and the retention of vital energy.  This brings in more oxygen to the blood and brain, as well as control vitality.  Here are some of the easier breathing techniques applied in yoga.

Alternate nostril breathing

Also known as Anuloma Viloma, this technique manipulates the flow of energy through the channels in body, bringing balance that is both stimulating and relaxing. 

First, close your right nostril with the right thumb and the left nostril with the right ring and little fingers.  Breathe in through the left nostril while closing the right, and then close both nostrils as you hold your breath, and breathe out through the right nostril while keeping the left nostril shut.  Reverse the procedure, breathing into the right, and then exhaling through the left nostril.

Bhramari breathing

This breathing technique simulates the soft humming bee sound produced during relaxation.  Sit in a comfortable position, while keeping the head, back, and spine erect. 

Then, place the right thumb against the right nostril, but do not close it.  Inhale slowly through both nostrils, then hold the breath as you press the right nostril.  Exhale through the left nostril, while forcing your breath to touch the throat area.  This creates a buzzing sound. 

Moorchha pranayama

"Fainting" or "swooning breath" technique lets you inhale slowly and retained for an extended period.  While sitting in a comfortable position with your back and back straight, inhale deeply through the mouth and slowly touch the chin lightly to the throat.  Slowly exhale as you raise your head up into an erect position.

Sheetkari pranayama

This breathing technique lets out a hissing sound that cools the whole body.  Sit upright in a comfortable position, while keeping the head and back straight.  Place each of your thumbs and index fingers into a circle, extend your other fingers and place them on each knee. 

Open the lips and keep the teeth together, and then lightly press the tip of your tongue against the lower front teeth.  Inhale through the teeth and over the tongue, creating a hissing sound.  Once your lungs are filled with air, close the mouth and exhale through the nostrils.

Ujjayi pranayama

This breathing technique produces a light sonorous sound.  Sit comfortably while keeping your head and back straight, and then begin to whisper the word "ahh" as you inhale and exhale.  Then, close your mouth as you inhale and exhale while retaining that throat contraction.