Pranayam (also spelled Pranayama) is an ancient practice concerned with breath control. Research has shown that practicing Pranayama can relieve symptoms of asthma.[1] It is also beneficial in treating stress related disorders, such as anxiety and depression.[2] There are a total of six types of Pranayam practice, all of which are detailed here.
Bhastrika Pranayam: Bellows Breath
Breathe in deeply through your nostrils. First, feel the diaphragm move down, allowing the lungs to expand and forcing the abdomen out; then feel your chest expand with your collar bones rising last.
Breath out quickly through your nostrils. Feel the collar bones dropping, chest deflating, and abdomen shrinking as the lungs collapse. This process of exhaling should be much faster than the process of inhaling — almost like a rapid deflation.
Repeat the process. When correctly done, your chest will expand when you breathe in and deflate when you breathe out. Continue doing this for 5 minutes.
With practice, speed up your breathing. Beginners should always start slowly to avoid hyperventilating, but over time, it will be possible to turn this into a rapid breathing technique.
Kapalbhati Pranayam: Shining Forehead Breath Inhale through your nostrils normally until your lungs are full. Keep your inhalation slow but unforced. First, feel the diaphragm move down, allowing the lungs to expand and forcing the abdomen out; then feel your chest expand with your collar bones rising last.
Exhale through both nostrils forcefully. This places the emphasis of the breath on the exhale rather than the (natural) inhale. Assist your exhalation by pulling in your stomach muscles to expel air. Exhaling should take much less time than it took to inhale.
“Forced” exhalation means that the contraction of your stomach muscles helps push the air out of your body. It does not mean that the exhalation should be uncomfortable for you in any way.

Repeat breaths for 15 minutes. You may take a minute’s rest after every five minutes. Close your eyes. Focus your attention on your breathing.
Close the right nostril with the right thumb. Simply press the thumb against your nostril to block it.
Inhale slowly through the left nostril. Fill your lungs with air. First, feel the diaphragm move down, allowing the lungs to expand and forcing the abdomen out; then feel your chest expand with your collar bones rising last.
Remove your thumb from your right nostril. Keep your right hand by your nose and your lungs full of air.

Use your ring and middle finger to close your left nostril. Most people find it easier to continue using the same hand to block either nostril, but you’re welcome to switch hands depending on which nostril you’re blocking.
You can also switch if your arm gets tired.
Exhale slowly and completely with the right nostril. Feel the collar bones dropping, chest deflating, and abdomen shrinking as the lungs collapse. When you’ve finished exhaling, keep your left nostril closed.
Inhale through the right nostril. Fill your lungs.
Close the right nostril and open the left.

Breathe out slowly through the left nostril. This process is one round of Anulom Vilom Pranayam.
Continue for 15 minutes. You may take a minute’s rest after every five minutes of exercise.

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