Saturday, May 29, 2010

Pathanjali Pranayam - Part-3

This part highlights the mudras, their effect and different types of Pranayams with our personal experience with respect to "HOW MUCH TO DO".
We are keen to indicate how much to do for 2 reasons:
1) Gives an insight on optimising your time and still reap the benefits. Normally takes 25 to 30 min.
2) For beginners,  there would be discouraging symptoms like mild pains here and there till the body metabolism is put to positive changes and the bad actors in the body and mind are pacified.

However, if someone desires to follow few of those, the must are Bastrika, Kabalbhati, Anulom Vilom and Udgeet Pranayam. Enjoy the art of breathing. In this part we have included the first four pranayams and  the remaining will follow in Part-4.

Sit either in any of the Asanas, viz. Sukhasana, Arddha Padmasana or Sidhasana or Padmasana, whichever you find convenient. The sheet or cloth (cotton or wool etc.) on which you sit must be a non-conductor of electricity.

Types of Mudras commonly used while doing Pranayams:

The tip of the thumb touches the tip of the index finger, stimulating knowledge and ability. The index finger is symbolized by Jupiter, and the thumb represents the ego. Gyan Mudra imparts receptivity & calmness.

The first joint of the index finger is bent under the first joint of the thumb, imparting active knowledge.

Tip of middle finger (symbolized by Saturn) touches the tip of the thumb, giving patience.

Tip of the ring finger (symbolized by Uranus or the Sun) touches the tip of the thumb, giving energy, health and intuition.

Tip of little finger (Mercury) touches tip of thumb for clear and intuitive communication.

Types of Pranayams

1 Bhastrika Pranayam
Breathe in smoothly  through both nostrils as deep as possible to fill the lungs and then exhale out slowly and completely to evacuate the lungs. Breathe in and breathe out with equal force. The breadth should be filled in the lungs upto the diaphragm, and not in stomach. Do not try to over practice, stop immediately when you feel tired.
How much to do
First Six Months:  5 strokes three times      After Six Months 10 to 15 strokes three times

2 Kapalbhati Pranayam
Kapalbhati Pranayam is a wonder breathing exercise. Kapalbhati is sanjeevani (one that infuses life) on earth. Numerous patients have gained healthy and happy life by adopting it in their daily life.
Sit in a comfortable asana with normal breathing. Inhale normally and exhale forcefully (moderate force). Abdominal area also makes inward and outward movements and moderate force is applied to the Manipura, Svadhisthana and Muladhara Chakra. While forcefully exhaling,  the stomach should go inward in the same rhythm and move outwards alongwith inhale.
How much to do
First Six Months: 10 strokes three times   After Six Months  20 to 30 strokes three times

3 Bahya Pranayam
Breathe inside deeply then exhale completely to evacuate lungs as much as possible.
Now, bend you head/ neck forward and try to touch your chin to the chest (Jalandhar Bandha or Throat lock), lift upwards the muscles of diaphragm (Uddiyan Bandha or Abdominal lock). This will pull your stomach muscles inwards and also lift the muscles of the groin area.  Stay in this position for 5 to 10 counts,  then slowly return to normal position and breathe normally.
How much to do
First Six Months: 3 times   After Six Months 5 times

4 Anulom Vilom Pranayam
This does wonders in reducing your BP. Every time you come out of your boss's cabin after heated arguments, sit in your chair and do anulom vilom and release the pressure !!!
Close the right nostril with the right hand thumb. ‘Inhale’ slowly through the left nostril till the lungs are completely filled (Puraka). Then close the left nostril with the second and third finger and open the right nostril to ‘exhale’ but slowly (Rechaka). Exhale till the lungs are completely empty. The process of ‘inhale with left nostril and exhale with right’ is “one cycle”. Then ‘inhale with right nostril and exhale with left’ is the “second cycle” and so on. While doing anulom vilom,  please remember to sit straight upright and face looking straight. You may close your eyes and experience the change in your blood circulation pattern  as you do anulom vilom.
How much to do
First Six Months: 10 strokes three times   After Six Months 20 strokes three times

Courtesy:Baba Ramdev's demonstration on ZEE TV and
Reference :

"It is your birth-right to stay disease free, healthy, slim, fit, look beautiful & younger, in complete peace of mind and get back robust health." Baba Ramdev


  1. you have explained the Pranayams so well :)

  2. Very useful and informative post.

  3. Very nice.I am into yoga and my yoga teacher talks about the mudra's.

  4. Jaya,
    Informative post, like it.

  5. I haven't read it entirely but thanks a lot for doing a gud job. It will help many of us.

  6. thanks for postin dear..this is really v useful n informative...

  7. Very nice, interesting, useful and informative post. Thanks.

  8. very well explained. thanks for sharing.....a must read post. useful to all

  9. I do practice "kapalbhathi".But the other three, i am a little on the lazy side.It really helps if we are a regular. You have taken tremendous efforts to explain the finer details.

  10. Nice posting. Do you know about these pranayama books?

  11. Fantastic read about Pranayam.I followed it religiously a while back.Got to start again..thanks for such an interesting article!!

  12. Very nicely explained.I need to start doing the pranayama.

  13. Very helpful and nice article about pranayama thanks for sharing!!

  14. Nice post and I love the way you explained each mudras. Very informative post.

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