Pranayama breathing is the first breathing exercise in the Bikram Yoga sequence. The correct technique activates the body organs, systems and awakens the brain for practice


4/24/20231 min read

In a Bikram yoga session the very basic dynamics of breathing is often challenged, especially early on in your practice. The normal response from every person under pressure is panic. Choose the best alternative. Breathe. Breathe to keep a cool mind so you can face the struggle.

A few observations on the first breathing exercise in class. The 1st and 2nd examples above are over-extensions on the exhale, arching the back. In effect doing a backbend - dialogue says "no backward bending" as it puts a kink in your neck, restricting the exhale. The 3rd example is of someone lifting their shoulders up, tight neck and shoulders. Her back is probably also not very flexible. Gently work on lifting the elbows higher, parallel to the floor, and to relax the shoulders down, as in example 4. In this way the airway is totally unrestricted.

At count number 3 of 6, if you find yourself running out of breath to give or to take, don't panic, stay calm. Sometimes less is more. Use less force, slow right down. You will get to number 6 with a calmer approach.