Problems with Pranayama


Whenever I do pranayama, I feel sleepy, dull, inactive for few days. Without giving up, I tried for months, but nothing changed. Finally I gave up pranayama for a few months. Today I wanted to start pranayama, and again I am getting the same symptoms. What’s wrong? Please help me.

—Mahesh, India


Dear Mahesh,

Thank you for contacting us. The goal of pranayama, as I imagine you know, is energy control (this being the literal English translation of the word). We can gain control of our energy through breathing exercises and other techniques. As we gain this control, we usually feel an increase in the energy’s flow, and also a focusing and calming of that flow.

If you are not feeling benefited in that way (as you describe), then perhaps you might wish to try a different pranayama? For example, Yoganandaji’s energization exercises are marvelously effective at raising and centering one’s energy. If you’re interested, you could read more about them here. You might also try the hong-sau technique of meditation: it is another excellent technique for focusing one’s energy.

Joy to you,