Prolonged exhalation-Rechaka Pranayama

Prolonged exhalation-Rechaka Pranayama

Rechaka Pranayama or Yogendra Pranayama-VIII- In this Pranayama practice a long continuous exhalation is done.

Starting position: Do preliminary conditioning in Sukhasana or any other meditative posture. If not possible to sit on the floor, sit on a firm chair with an erect backrest. Keep the body above the waist straight and the spine erect. Eyes closed.

Sequence of steps:

  1. Inhale – slowly and rhythmically in one long and unbroken inspiration, for 3 seconds.
  2. Retain the inhaled air for a period of 6 seconds.
  3. Now exhale gradually, as naturally as possible, avoiding jerky or hasty movements for 12 seconds. The objective is to lengthen the duration of exhalation. This can be achieved only by allowing the breath to escape in a very slow and small measure much in advance of time, i.e. before a forceful and hasty exhalation becomes necessary. When exhalation starts focus on the clavicle region and as exhalation progresses, let the focus move gently from the clavicle to the inter-costal and then progressively to the abdominal area (sinking in).
  4. Try to adjust the time of both the inhalation and retention in such a way as to leave enough margin of time for a complete and prolonged exhalation.
  5. Ensure: Keep your spine, head and neck in an erect posture. You keep your facial muscles relaxed and nose should be unconstricted. Exhalation is slow and rhythmic – long, unbroken and without jerks. Drawn in your abdomen.
  6. After complete exhalation, take a few normal breaths and relax.

Meditation camp

                                                   Rechaka   Pranayama

Recommended practice:

  • Practise daily, 5 rounds/session with pause in-between rounds.
  • Begin with 3 seconds of inhalation, 6 seconds of retention and 12 seconds of exhalation.
  • Gradually increase it by 1 sec/every week, when practised daily.

Limitations /Contraindications:

  1. Children under 12 years should not practice.
  2. Not recommended in serious cardiac and hypertension cases.


  • Favourable pressure changes in lungs for better oxygenation.
  • Better ventilation due to prolonged exhalation.
  • A Large volume of carbon dioxide is expelled from alveoli.
  • Improves the functioning of the diaphragm.
  • The internal organs of the abdomen get massaged and activated.
  • Reduces thoughts and improves concentration.

The Yoga Institute has been conducting Respiratory Camps since 1987 where preventive measures for respiratory problems are covered. The 1-day camp held every month covers yogic techniques (asanas, pranayamas, kriyas, relaxation) talks by Smt. Hansaji and medical experts. Click here for details. 

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  • Neeta Ganatra
    Posted at 16:49h, 07 October Reply

    Thanks for guidance of Rechak Pranayam,but there is no bahya kunbhak for 3 seconds after exhalation? And what is the highest limit of exhalation? Means how many seconds we can exhale? Please guide

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