Pranayama= Prana + Ayama

Prana=Energy, Ayama= Regulation

Pranayama is an ancient technique highly beneficial to mankind.

Universal Cosmic energy is understood as Prana Bio energy in any embodiment.  Prana is the vital sustenance of embodiment from birth to death. In common parlance Prana is understood as Inspiration and Expiration.

Prana, when manoeuvred and regulated with various breathing techniques, is highly beneficial to mankind.

However, before interfering with the usual breathing it is necessary to be aware of one’s breathing.  It has to be done in small measures.

Breathing practices found in the ancient Yoga texts are difficult so simple preparatory Pranayamas are suggested by Shri Yogendraji.

One such practice is shown below.

The central issue here is the observation of one’s own breathing.  It is a task we rarely undertake.  So involved are we with the external world that we have lost the ability of observing the inner activities of our bodies.

In The Yoga Institute, Prabhat colony Santacruz East, Mumbai 400055 Our founder Shri Yogendraji keeping in mind the requirements of common man, simplified the Pranayamas, their benefits intact and Institutionalised them to be incorporated in the curriculum, they are as follow :-

  • Pranayama
  1. Equalisation of breath (Same ratio of Inhalation and Exhalation i.e. 2:2 or 3:3 so on)
  2. Intercostal breathing (Equal breathing using the Intercostal muscles)
  3. Clavicle breathing (Equal breathing using the Clavicle muscle)
  4. Diaphragmatic breathing (Equal breathing where the movement of the Diaphragmatic muscle is observed)
  5. Shunya / Suspension ( After exhalation suspending the activity of Inspiration and Expiration briefly as per certain count and increasing one count per week as the sadhana progress)
  6. Deerga Purak/Long inhalation (Exhalation followed by a smooth steady long Inspiration as per certain count and increasing one count per week once technique is mastered.)
  7. Anthar Kumbak/ Retention ( After Inhalation retain the breath to certain count and then exhale. Increase one count per week once at ease and familiar with the technique)
  8. Deerga Rechak/Long Exhalation (Inhalation followed by a smooth steady long Expiration as per certain count and increasing one count per week)
  9. Anulom Vilom/Alternate breathing. ( Simple Inhalation and exhalation from alternate nostrils or with counts )

Creating a time consciousness, encouraging a feeling of ease in practice of Pranayama, or augmenting a pleasant feeling throughout the whole body are attempted in Yogendra Pranayama 1 as explained bellow :-

  1. Seat upright, yet comfortable in a meditative posture like Sukhasana.
  2. Inhale slowly and continuously in a relaxed manner to a count that is comfortable.
  3. As soon as the inhalation is complete start exhalation in the same manner, keeping the same count as above i.e. equalize inhalation and exhalation.
  4. Start it by five seconds and gradually increase it by one second every week.
  5. Involve all the respiratory muscles, beginning with the diaphragm, intercostal and clavicle, without any exaggerated movements.  Do not           constrict nose to cause a sound.  Use the throat and lower muscles of respiration and attend to the sound.
  6. Concentrate on the gentle, uninterrupted prolonged flow of the breath.
  7. Do this practice for ten rounds.

 Contra Indications:

  • Highly disturbed or depressive cases
  • Without prior physiological cleansing (Shat karmas)
  • State of over exertion, fatigue.
  • On full belly
  • When sleepy, lethargic
  • Children bellow 12 years


  • Improves one’s vital capacity
  • Stops oscillation of mind and brings on a balanced state.
  • Boosts immunity increases stamina and longevity.
  • Builds flexibility and lightness of body.
  • Improves metabolic rate.
  • Helps overcome physiological and emotional imbalances.
  • Most importantly creates body awareness leading to sustained.
  • Concentration which is the ultimate objective of Pranayama, “Mind control Via breath control”


When done for the first time some can feel dizzy, so do not overdo it.  Begin with three rounds and gradually increase it to 10 rounds.

When you are emotionally excited say in an argument, observe your breathing. It is highly erratic. Start breathing easy with awareness and the breathing pattern changes into a gentle, slow manner in a matter of seconds you will feel calm and controlled.  There will be a dramatic change in your mental state.

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