What is Pranayama? Different Types of Pranayama

What is Pranayama and its various Types ?

The power that provides strength to the mind and body, and keeps us alive is Prana. So our ‘life’ refers to our life force and regularization with ‘dimension’. Therefore Pranayama means regularizing one’s own life force. Thus, Pranayama secures a special place in the eight limbs of Yoga. Pranayama is obtained from two words Pran and Dimension. Moreover, Pranayama simply implies the prolonging of Prana. It is the amplitude or expansion of the breath done as a major part of Ashtanga Yoga Practices. There are various types of Pranayama Practices. 

Health Benefits of Pranayama

  • Beneficial for Lungs
  • Helpful in Weight Loss
  • Improvement in heart health
  • Improve mental concentration
  • Detoxification
  • Treat depression
  • Ease of digestion
  • Cleaning of Nostrils
  • Strengthen the immune system

Various Types of Pranayama

Bhastrika Pranayama

In the Bhastrika pranayama, breathing is done rapidly followed by stopping the breath and releasing it forcefully.

Benefits of Bhastrika Pranayama: Reduce belly fat, Weight Loss, Asthma, and inflammation of the throat.


Nadisodhan Pranayama is also called Anulom-Antonym. In this pranayama, you breathe through the left nasal cavity, hold the breath, and then slowly exhale through the right nostril and vice versa.

Benefits of Nadisodhan Pranayama: Reducing anxiety and stress, Increase Concentration and peace, peace, impart a free flow of energy in the body, Strengthen the immune system.

Kapalbhati pranayama

‘Kapal’ means skull and Bhati means to shine. Thus, Kapalabhati is such pranayama whose practice revives the actions of the head and brain. It also helps in awakening the Kundalini Shakti.

Benefits of Kapalbhati: Useful in weight loss, improving skin, preventing hair from whitening, reducing asthma, reducing mucus, treating sinusitis, improving digestion, enhancing lung capacity,  removing the complaints of constipation, etc.

Ujjayi pranayama

This pranayama involves inhaling slowly from both nostrils, stopping the breath and exhaling the right nostril, and exhaling slowly from the left nostril. During inhalation, the neck is vibrated to produce a sound that is very important in this type of Pranayama.

Benefits of Ujjayi Pranayama: It slows down the aging process and is suitable for thyroids patients. Also, it helps in the flow of energy, body cooling, removing mucus, and is good for heart patients.

Sheetkari pranayama

The practice of this pranayama gives a feeling of coolness. The practice of this pranayama should be done more vigorously in the summer.

Benefits of Sheetkari Pranayama:  Effective for reducing stress & anxiety, effective for depression, reducing anger, controlling hunger and thirst, lowering blood pressure, secreting hormones in genitals, calming the mind, etc.

Sheetli Pranayama

Sheetli Pranayama helps in cooling down the body, so it must be done during summer. Shitali Pranayama Benefits: It reduces stress, anxiety, depression, anger, and thirst. It lowers blood pressure and relieves indigestion.

Surya bhedana pranayama

In Surya Bhedana Pranayama, the breath is taken from the right nostril, the breath is stopped and the left nostril is released.

Benefits of Surya Bhedan Pranayama: avoid old age, eliminates stomach worms, removes air-borne disorders, reduces headaches, kundalinishakti awakening, low blood pressure, and lowering down respiratory problems.

Bhramri pranayama

During its practice, the nasal sound produces a humming sound, hence its name Bhramari.

Benefits of Bhramari Pranayama: It helps in calming the brain and reducing stress, anger, anxiety, and depression.

Plavini pranayama

By the practice of this pranayama, any person can swim in water like lotus leaves, hence the name Plavini.

Benefits of Plavini Pranayama: Useful to increase the digestion, lifespan, peace of mind and reduce stress.

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