Breathing Exercises

5 Yogic Breathing Exercises Anyone Can Do! And a Bonus Technique Too!

By Denise Everheart | Posted : November 24, 2020

Not sure you can do yogic breathing exercises? Here are 5 yogic breathing exercises anyone can do! And a bonus technique too!

Be honest, when you think of yogic breathing exercises do you think of someone in a robe and sandals?! Or at least someone sitting in full lotus totally blissed out with an angelic glow!? It’s easy to think, ‘That’s not me, I am just a regular Joe (or Jane)’.

But what if I could show you how adding a few simple yogic-breathing exercises could transform your day-to-day life?! And you don’t have to wear a robe or sit in full lotus!

Yogic breathing exercises are part of the world of pranayama (breathing technique) and are originally from India. Pranayama is really two Sanskrit words combined. Prana refers to subtle life energy. And yama means to control. So to practice pranayama is to practice controlling subtle life energy. Any pranayama or breathing exercise has a specific method for specific results, nothing is left to chance! 

Here are 5 yogic breathing exercises (plus a bonus one!) according to their primary benefit. Sample them to find your favorites!


Alternate nostril breathing -  a.k.a. Nadi Shodhan in the yoga world - is precisely what it sounds like- alternating your breath from one nostril to another. And believe it or not, there’s a lot to know about breathing out of one nostril or the other! 

Your left nostril is connected to the right side of your brain! The right side of your brain is associated with creativity. Breathing through the left nostril is calming and cooling. This nostril is also associated with feminine energy.

And naturally, your right nostril is connected to the left side of your brain! The left side of your brain is responsible for logical thinking. Breathing through the right nostril is stimulating and energizing. This nostril is also associated with masculine energy.

Did you know that your breath flows out of one nostril more than the other at any given time? Throughout the day, every couple of hours, your breath will be more dominant in one nostril! 

Don’t know which nostril is dominant? Place your pointer finger under your nose, take a deep breath in and exhale! If your left nostril is dominant you are ready to be creative. Right side dominating- time to tackle ‘thinking stuff’. Both nostrils flowing the same? Perfect! You can choose creative or logical activities.

Alternate nostril breathing, ANB, is used to balance your breath, mind, and emotions. It is a great tool for when you are feeling discombobulated or need to shift from a dominating nostril to a more balanced perspective. It is also wonderful before sitting for meditation!

Check out this video for guided instructions.


Bhastrika means bellows breath and has a bit of a reputation as being ‘yogic cappuccino’. Like old-fashioned bellows to fan the flames of a fire, bhastrika uses a vigorous inhalation and a forceful exhalation. 

What makes bhastrika soooo good is it is both invigorating and calming at the same time! Being a popular pranayama of college students and anyone on a late-night road trip,  bellows breath is better than caffeine in keeping you alert and focused! Like ANB, it also is a great tool to use before meditating.

To learn how to properly do bhastrika, you can attend a free online breath and meditation intro, Beyond Breath (see below).


If you have ever seen someone doing Bhramari, or bee breath, it probably made you laugh! After all, it looks like someone sticking their fingers into their ears like a child who doesn’t want to hear a word of what you are saying! But there’s more to it than that, and it’s super effective in calming before meditation, before bed, or before giving a presentation!

Other benefits include improved concentration, builds confidence, reduces blood pressure (not a substitute for medication!), and can be helpful with headaches and migraines. 

To learn the correct way to do Bhramari watch the video below.


Diaphragmatic breathing, also known as full yogic breath, works the lower lobes of the lungs. This deep breathing technique is known for its relaxing qualities and it too is easy to learn! 

  • Bring one hand to the belly and place the other hand on the chest.

  • Take a deep breath in through the nose and allow the belly to rise as you breathe in. The hand on your chest should not move.

  • Exhale slowly letting the belly return back to normal.

  • Continue this belly breathing for a few minutes.


Kapalbhati translates to shining skull breath! Visions of pirates doing abdominal breathing?! Aye! Actually, kapalbhati gets its name due to bringing out your natural glow. Imagine the inside of your skull being filled with light! 

This pranayama tones internal organs and helps to expel toxins, leaving you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated!

Kapalbhati can be learned by watching this video. Please read the precautions here as well.


Looking for an all-in-one yogic breathing exercise that gives all of these benefits? SKY Breath Meditation goes above and beyond an ordinary pranayama technique. SKY uses a specific breathing pattern. This breathing pattern unlocks deep stresses giving a wide variety of benefits. Here are just a few:

  • Increased joy

  • Greater mental focus

  • 56% reduction in stress hormones

  • Enhanced deep sleep

  • 21% increase in life satisfaction

  • Enhanced optimism

  • Improved respiratory function

  • 33% increase in immune cell count

  • Improved blood pressure

Beginner and advanced ‘yogis’ love SKY!

Want to learn more about SKY Breath Meditation? Lucky you! It is as easy as attending a free online introductory session called, Beyond Breath! During this live interactive session, a trained meditation instructor will teach you how to do Bhastrika and lead a guided meditation leaving you feeling invigorated, relaxed, and refreshed! Select a date today! 

Now you too can do yogic breathing exercises and transform your life- no robe and sandals required!

Denise Everheart is a freelance writer, breath meditation coach, and recipe designer. Follow her @everheartstudio4meditation and @celeplateyourlife on Instagram. 

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