“Pranayama” means much more than “breath control.” The breath is an indirect way to control prana, life force, but in Ananda Yoga, we learn to bring prana under our direct control. This vital skill will improve your health, vitality, and effectiveness in daily activities, as well as quicken your spiritual growth.
Paramhansa Yogananda’s system of Energization Exercises is a powerful tool for learning to vitalize the body and bring the life force under your control. We use a variety of breath-control practices to control prana in additional ways; you will find many of them below.
The Energization Exercises of Paramhansa Yogananda
Guided practice (slower pace)
Guided practice (medium pace)
Guided practice (faster pace)
Basic Pranayama Breathing Techniques
Breath of Joy
Chandra Bheda Pranayama I—Lunar Breath
Dirgha Pranayama I—Full Yogic Breath Flow
Dirgha Pranayama II—Full Yogic Breath Flow
Nadi Shodhanam I—Alternate Nostril Breathing
Sitali Pranayama—Cooling Breath
Sitkari Pranayama—Hissing Breath
Surya Bheda Pranayama—Solar Breath
Ujjayi Pranayama—Victorious Breath
Special Uses of Pranayama
Traditionally, most pranayama breathing techniques are used primarily to quiet the breath, and calm, focus, and internalize the mind, as a prelude to meditation. However, these techniques also have additional, specialized uses, as indicated below.
Better Breathing in Meditation & Pranayama
Breathing Technique Basics
Increase Energy & Decrease Tension
Reduce Stress, Nervousness & Anxiety
Relieve Minor Depression
Calm the Turmoil of Emotions
Increase Spiritual Perception
Warm-Ups for Pranayama and Meditation Practice
For Pranayama Practice
To energize and relax the body, and open up your breathing.