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  • Writer's pictureLaura Moser


Updated: Aug 20, 2022

Pranayama is control of the breath. In Sanskrit, “prana” means life energy and “yama” means control. Pranayama can be performed utilizing various patterns and techniques. It is considered to be the fourth limb of yoga and a vital part of our practice teaching us to link the breath to movement. The breath becomes our guide as it tames sensation and wandering thoughts.


  • Relaxation

  • Self Awareness

  • Reduces Anxiety

  • Calms the mind

  • Lowers stress

  • Improves lung function

  • Lowers heart rate

  • Promotes well-being


Also Known As


How To Do It


Oceanic Breath Victorious Breath


Inhale deeply through the nose. Pause at the top and gently exhale constricting the throat to create a resistance.


Cooling Breath


Roll your tongue until the sides touch forming a straw. If you can't curl your tongue, smile with the teeth exposed keeping the tongue flat. Draw a long sip of air on the inhale. Closing the mouth and exhaling through the nose.

Ratio Breathing

Box Breath 4-7-8 Breath Square Breathing

Heightens performance and concentration

Slowly exhale. Inhale, counting to 4, hold for 7, exhale for 8. Pattern of breathing times can be adjusted.

Nadi Shodhana

Alternate Nostril

Quiet and stills the mind

Exhale. Pinching off the right nostril with your thumb, inhale deeply through the left nostril. Pause. Using the ring finger, seal off the left nostril to exhale through the right. Continue in this pattern of alternating nostrils.


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