5 pranayamas that you should make a part of your daily fitness schedule

The world is turning to yoga for the umpteen benefits this way of life offers. But there’s a lot more that yoga can do apart from boosting your metabolism, improving your digestion and helping banish symptoms of PMS. As the World Yoga Day celebrations peter off, we leave you with five pranayamas that you must include in your daily life. Done regularly, they will help you beat stress, relax, calm your mind and work as preventive measures.


Also known as Nadi Shdodhana (alternate nostril breathing)

What it does

This pranayama helps normalise blood pressure, aids in blood purification, reduced risk of heart disease and can also improve sight.ANULOM-VILOM pranayam

Do it 

Close your eyes and sit in Padmasana. Use the right thumb to close the right nostril. Inhale slowly through the left nostril, taking in as much air as you can to fill your lungs. Remove the thumb from your right nostril and exhale. While exhaling, use the middle finger to close your left nostril and inhale with our right nostril. Remove the thumb from the right nostril and exhale.

Reps Perform for 2-5 minutes


BHRAMARI pranayam
image source: banyanbotanicals.com

This pranayama derives its name from the Bhramari, the black Indian bee. The exhalation resembles the typical humming sound of a bee!

What it does

It can calm your mind down instantly and is one of the best breathing exercises to distress as it rids the mind of frustration, anxiety, anger or agitation.

Do it

Close your ears with your thumbs and place your index fingers on the temple. Close eyes with the other three fingers. Gently inhale through the nose and hold for a few seconds. Keeping the mouth closed, exhale by making a humming sound.

Reps 5 times


Also known as victorious breath or ocean breath, this breathing technique involves a soft hissing sound during inhalation. UJJAYI PRANAYAMA

What it does

The sound vibrations that are a part of this pranayama sharpen the focus of your mind can help cure thyroid and reduce snoring.

Do it

Begin by inhaling and exhaling naturally. Bend down your head, blocking the free flow of air and inhale as long as you can, making a sound from your throat. Hold for 2-5 seconds. Close your right nostril with your right thumb while exhaling and breathe out through the left nostril.

Reps 10-12 times in as much time you need


Known as the skull shining breathing technique, this strong deep breathing exercise is synonymous with Baba Ramdev for most of us!


What it does

This pranayama can improve the functioning of all abdominal organs, reduces belly fat, lead to quick weight loss and balances sugar levels in your body.

Do it

This breathing technique involves passive inhalation and active exhalation. So inhale normally, breathing in as much air as you can, and exhale forcefully. Try and pull your stomach muscles as closely as you can towards the backbone during exhalation.

Reps Perform for 2-5 minutes


The forceful breathing exercise clears up your respiratory system and is characterised by sounds like a flame burning below a furnace.BHASTRIKA pranayama

What it does

Perform this breathing technique to strengthen your lungs, burn excess fat, improve physical and mental ability and clear the windpipe.

Do it

Take a deep breath in, inhaling as much air as you can, and expand your stomach. Exhale the air out with force and try and pull your navel in towards the backbone.

Reps Repeat for 1-2 minutes and rest for a while afterwards

Do your pranayamas sitting in Sukhasana, the cross-legged position. Keep your back straight and eyes closed. Think positive thoughts and focus on your breathing. Increase the number of cycles as you perform these breathing exercises regularly.

Always check with your doctor before performing any deep breathing exercises. S/he may advise against doing some if you suffer from any health issues.

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