5 Yog Siddha Pranayama Breathing Exercises
1. Dheerga Swasam Yog (Deep Breathing)
This exercise involves breathing in and out together through both nostrils.
- Begin by slowly exhaling from the upper chest, then the lower ribs, and then the tummy/abdomen.
- Once you have completely exhaled to your maximum ability, start slowly breathing in.
- Breathe in into the abdominal area. Your tummy should bulge out when you breathe in.
- Continue to breathe in moving up, filling up the lower ribs and then the upper chest. Once your chest area is completely filled in, breathe in a bit more all the way up to the collar bone.
- Once you have inhaled to your maximum capacity, start breathing out from the upper chest, and then move down to relax the lower ribs, and finally the tummy.
You can do this exercise for as long as you are want. Typically anywhere between 5–15 minutes is recommended for this exercise.
2. Pranava Pranayama Yog (Om Chanting)
- Begin by breathing in through your nose.
- Slowly inhale by filling the tummy, then moving upwards to fill the lower ribs and upper chest.
- Once you are completely filled, open your mouth and start saying the O, as in hOme.
- As you keep exhaling, continue with the pronunciation of O.
- When you are somewhere in the middle of the exhalation, start closing the lips to make the sound Mmmm…
This chanting can be done for any length of time. Generally, keep the chanting for a minimum of three rounds. It can be continued for 5–15 minutes.
3. Anuloma Viloma Pranayama Yog (Alternate Nostril Breathing)
- Hold your fingers as shown above.
- Close one nostril with the thumb. If using the right hand, the thumb will close your right nostril and vice versa.
- Breathe in through the other nostril.
- At the end of inhalation close the left nostril with the little finger and ring finger together and exhale by opening the right.
- Once the exhalation is complete start breathing into the right nostril to continue the next cycle.
This breathing exercise can be practiced for anywhere between 5–25 minutes,2–3 times (morning, noon, evening) a day.
4. Viloma Pranayama Yog (Stepped Alternate Nostril Breathing)
This exercise is very similar to Alternate Nostril Breathing exercise (Exercise #3). However, during this exercise one nostril is used for inhalation and exhalation in a different way.
- Close the right nostril with the thumb.
- Start breathing in through the left nostril.
- Close the left nostril, and open the right nostril.
- Now start breathing out through the right nostril as one smooth exhalation, breathing out completely.
- Begin inhalation through the right nostril as one smooth continuous flow so you could fill your lungs as much as you could.
- Close the right nostril with the thumb and open the left nostril and start breathing out of the left nostril.
You can do this exercise at least three times a day (before breakfast, before lunch, and before dinner), each time for about 5–15 minutes.
5. Chandra Nadi Pranayama Yog (Left Nostril Breathing)
Chandra nadi (also called Ida nadi or the moon nadi) is activated by breathing through the left nostril. It has a cooling effect on the emotional and physical aspect of the practitioner.
- Close the right nostril.
- Start by slowly breathing in, through the abdomen, lower ribs and upper chest moving upwards.
- Once you fill your lungs to your maximum ability, start exhaling through the same nostril (left nostril) slowly, by relaxing the upper chest, lower ribs, and the abdomen.
- Breathe in and out slowly to your maximum ability.
The timing could be as short as 5 minutes and maximum is fifteen minutes.