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Pratice Pranayama in Sivananda Yoga

Many people who begin studying yoga may not realize that asanas, or postures, are only branch of disciplines of yoga. Another important practice of yoga is pranayama or breathing exercises. Breathing exercises help calm mind and balance body’s energy, and many yogis enjoy playing at beginning of each session of yoga for these reasons.

According to Sivananda yoga, there are two pranayama exercises should be practiced daily, called kapalabhati and anuloma viloma. Sit in comfortable position cross-legged with your back straight and shoulders relaxed legs. Lotus or half lotus is ideal for practice of pranayama, but simpler position is fine if that’s more comfortable for you.

Pratice Pranayama in Sivananda Yoga

Practice kapalabhati, which means shining skull in Sanskrit, first. Start by inhaling and exhaling deeply. Inhale again, then exhale quickly and forcefully by contracting your abdomen.

As soon as you perform this exhalation, you will probably inhale again automatically. In this exercise, focus on exhalation. Exhale sharply in this way at least 20 times in row, allowing your abdomen to relax and inhale between each repetition.

After performing 20 or more repetitions, inhale and exhale deeply one more time. Inhale deeply again and perform another set of 20 or more quick exhalations. Repeat this entire step again, for total of 3 sets. Allow your breathing to return to normal.

Now, practice exercise called anuloma viloma, also known as alternate nostril breathing. Fold down 3 middle fingers of your right hand and close your nostrils with your thumb and pinky. Open your left nostril and inhale while counting to 2.

Hold your breath to count of 8, then close your left nostril, open your right nostril and exhale to count of 4. Immediately inhale through right nostril while counting to 2 and again hold your breath to count of 8. Close your right nostril, open your left nostril and exhale to count of 4.

This is 1 round of anuloma viloma. Without stopping in between, practice at least 4 more rounds in same way.

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How to Pratice Pranayama in Sivananda Yoga

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