New to pranayama? This 3-step breathing track will give you the foundation you need to begin to work with more advanced pranayama techniques. This track begins with a short asana practice to open and move the body while developing a connection to the breath. Next, you will work to establish yourself in diaphragmatic breathing, the backbone of all pranayama. The last part of this breath track is nadi shodhanam, an integral pranayama practice designed to balance the nadis (energy currents). This step-by-step systematic approach to pranayama will give you firm footing as you continue to develop and grow your practice.
If you are new to pranayama and have any questions, please seek out an experienced teacher in person. Do not go beyond your capacity. If you begin to feel lightheaded, dizzy, short of breath, or uncomfortable then stop the practice and return to your natural breath.
Prepare the Body for Pranayama
This quick asana practice prepares your body and mind for pranayama. Use this to connect to the breath and open through the side body. The agni sara prep will work to stimulate samana vayu and deepen your relationship with the navel center.
Being established in good breathing practices is a prerequisite for a safe and effective experience with pranayama. In this video, you will explore the basics of anatomy of the breath and experience diaphragmatic breathing in crocodile pose. Here you can retrain the body to breathe optimally, giving you the proper foundation for working with different breathing techniques. This practice cultivates ease in the body and helps the mind settle as you find center and rest in the breath. Once you feel fully comfortable with diaphragmatic breathing, you may choose to advance and begin to work with nadi shodhanam.
According to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, nadi shodhanam, or “alternate nostril breathing,” activates and harmonizes ida and pingala nadis. It also helps to balance apana and prana vayus. This practice is ideal before meditation, after an asana class, or whenever you are looking to recenter and connect to the subtle movement of prana.
If you are interested in learning more about the subtle body, consider the 100-Hour Yoga Sadhana Training which explores the prana vayus, chakras, and koshas.