Yoga Breathing Exercises: The Ultimate Key to Nirvana

By Emily Turner March 25, 2021 in Yoga

When you first take up a yoga exercise, you will be fascinated by the poses and asana. However, the key to getting the best out of any yoga exercise to breathe correctly during the whole session. It is an essential part of entire yoga, and it is a full spectrum of spiritual practice to achieve ultimate health and mental peace.

Although asana will help you make your body accessible, pranayama will free up your soul and give you the definitive peace you strive for in this stressful life. One can practice as many asanas they like, but without pranayama, it is all in vain.

These yoga breathing exercises will help the movement of energy and also help your body to relax. We can relax our stiff body with the help of asana, but when we do these yoga breathing exercises, we open ourselves to feel more emotion and be more in tune with what’s happening in our bodies.

When you take up the breathing exercises, you allow yourself to experience the true essence within your body. These yoga breathing exercises will deeply enable us to access our transformative power and unlock yoga’s ability to rejuvenate and refine our minds and bodies.

Table of Contents

  • Yoga Breathing Exercise for Beginners
  • Yoga Breathing Exercise for Anxiety
  • Yoga Breathing Exercise for Stress-relief

Yoga Breathing Exercise for Beginners

Alternate Nostril Breathing

One of the more complicated pranayama exercises, this alternate nostril breathing, provides relief from stress and helps you kick start your yoga journey. Once you try it yourself, you will find that it is one of the most beneficial anxiety relief forms.

Yoga Breathing Exercises

With the help of this yoga pranayama, you will be able to fuel both sides of your brain and increase your focusing ability. Alternate nostril breathing will help you steady your mind, and you will feel calming effects even after the exercise.

How to do it?

  • Make yourself comfortable and be seated relaxed; make sure you are sitting up tall
  • Put your left hand on your left knee
  • Put your peace sign fingers on your third eye
  • With the help of your right thumb, block your right nostril and inhale through the left nostril
  • Now, unblock your right nostril; block the left one with the use of your right ring finger
  • Then inhale through the right nostril and then block it off; repeat this motion with the left nostril
  • Do it for ten full round and then end it by breathing through both nostrils

Breath of Fire

This breathing technique has its roots in Kundalini yoga. In this exercise, you have to bring your navel towards your spine while exhaling sharply and releasing it as you inhale. This is one of the quite challenging breathing exercises for a beginner. However, once you have put your complete faith in yoga and master this breath of fire, then you will see the benefits.

You may feel a bit dizzy and light-headed while doing this breathing exercise but you need not worry as it is a widespread occurrence while performing this exercise. When feeling this, slow down your breathing pace and ensure you inhale and exhale regularly during the whole process.

If you are pregnant, in between menstruation, have vertigo, or have high blood pressure, you should avoid doing this particular exercise.

Ujjayi Breathing

Pronounced as oo-Jai in Sanskrit, which translates to “victorious breath.” When you are looking to relax your body and energize your mind simultaneously, you can opt for this ancient and empowering Hath Yoga breathing exercise.

This breathing exercise’s main aim is to synchronize the sound of your breath with the movements you perform during your yoga practice. With the help of this breathing exercise, you will be connecting your body, breath, and mind in one place.

How to do it?

  • First of all, be seated in a comfortable position
  • Then tighten the back of your throat
  • Maintain this tighten throat and breathe in through your nose
  • Exhale air out of your mouth like you are fogging up a mirror
  • Repeat this process again
  • However, this time, close your lips tightly and exhale through the nose same as before
  • Do ten rounds of this breathing exercise regularly for better results

Read More: 15 Minute Morning Yoga Routine To Start Your Day Fresh

Yoga Breathing Exercises for Anxiety

Box Breathing

It is the most straightforward breathing exercise in yoga. It is also known as Sama Vritti Pranayama that translates to “same breath” in English and is widely known as Box Breathing. If you want to get rid of anxiety, this is one of the simplest and easiest yoga breathing exercises.

With the help of this exercise, you will have calmness flowing through your body.

Yoga Breathing Exercises

How to Do it?

  • The first step is to place yourself in a comfortable seated position
  • Now, inhale air through your nose slowly while counting four
  • The main part is to hold your air at the top breath, count to 1 or 2 while holding your breath
  • Now, exhale the stored air through your nose while slowly counting to four
  • Now, the second important aspect is to hold the air at the bottom of your breath, count to 1 or 2
  • Do at least 10 round to see the results

Lion’s Breath

Now, you will be intimidated by the name of this breathing exercise!

To do this breathing exercise, you need to be in simhasana and perform forceful exhalations. You will need total dedication while doing this exercise as you cannot giggle while doing lion’s breath. This is a challenging task at first, but this yoga breathing exercise for anxiety will help you reduce stress and anger.


Sitali is a Sanskrit word that translates to soothing or cooling. Most of these yoga breathing exercises tend to warm your body, while on the other side, Sitali will help you cool and soothe your body. Hence, make you free from anxiety problems. In this pranayama exercise, you have to roll your tongue as straw and breath through it.

Yoga Breathing Exercise for Stress-relief

Abdominal Breathing Technique

If you are under exam stress or worried about giving a big presentation, this abdominal breathing technique will help you relax and get you through that big event without any hiccups. The rush of blood and pounding heart will be calmed with the help of this yoga breathing exercise.

However, if you suffer from too much stress, you will experience difficulty controlling your breath during the exercise. Just don’t give up, as you will catch your breath with some practice.

Yoga Breathing Exercises

How to do it?

  • Keep one hand on your chest area and another on your abdominal
  • Then take a deep breath through your nose and allow your diaphragm to store enough air
  • Then slowly exhale the stored air
  • Repeat this process and take around 6 to 10 deep and slow breaths per minute for approximately 10 minutes every day
  • Keep doing this exercise for 6 to 8 weeks, and you will see the rewards reaping
  • With the help of this yoga breathing technique, you can reduce your heart rate and blood pressure.

Read More: 10 Yoga Poses To Reduce Belly Fat

Relaxing breathing

If you have insomnia and sleepless nights, then this breathing exercise is made for you! With the help of relaxing breathing, you will be able to sleep faster. The roots of this exercise can be found in the ancient pranayama books. If you want to gain control over your breath, then relaxing breathing will help your cause in a significant way.

How to do it?

  • You can either sit down, or you can begin by lying in a comfortable position
  • You can keep your eyes close or open during this breathing exercise for beginners
  • Now, you need to press the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth, then slightly open your mouth, and exhale until you reach the last of your breath.
  • Then you need to close your mouth and inhale through your nose and count to 4
  • Now, hold your breath until you finish counting seven, and then exhale slowly until you reach the bottom of your breath.
  • Do it for four full breaths, and then work your way up to 8 breaths with practice.


It is one of the most famous and loved yoga breathing exercises worldwide. When you want to put your abdominal at work, warm up your body, and shake the laziness out, then this is the breathing exercise you should look forward to.

Yoga Breathing Exercises

How to do it?

  • To start the exercise, sit in an upright position while maintaining a good posture
  • Keep your hands on your knees
  • Now, it is time for breathing as you will be taking a long and slowly inhale through your nose
  • Then contract your lower body and exhale robustly
  • This will make your body inhale naturally, so you have to put your focus on fiery exhales only
  • With daily practice, you will be comfortable with the abdominal contraction component
  • Now, up your pace to 1 inhale-exhale every 2 seconds and do it for ten breaths for better results

Final Words

Yoga is a combination of both asanas and pranayamas. If done with keeping both in mind, yoga can change your life for the better. With the perfect blend of asana and pranayama, you can find agility in your body and obtain inner peace!


Emily Turner

16 articles by Emily Turner | View Author Profile

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