Breathing – Pranayama & Mudras

Here, we will connect, practice and go deeper into our Breath.

Since Ancient Times, various breathing techniques have been developed to achieve Spiritual, Empowering, Healing states of Being. Thanks to Modern Science, we can now see and prove the various benefits for us, whether it be physically, mentally or spiritually.


Yogic BreathNourishing our entire body with Prana and Oxygen :

A full Yogic Breath is a deep and continuous inhalation with exhalation that uses our diaphragm, thoracic and clavicle (belly, chest, shoulders) regions.

Let’s position ourselves comfortably.

First, we breathe and fully fill with oxygen lower abdomen. Then, continuously in the same breath, we fill up the mid-section of our torso, expanding the diaphragm and the ribs as the inhalation continues. Finally, for the last stage of this same breath, we fill our upper chest and shoulders until all of our torso is full of oxygen, energy. This slow yet energetic inhalation is then followed by a long, slow, gentle exhale, expelling the breath from these same three sections of the torso in reverse order, releasing firstly our shoulders, then our chest and ribs, and finally our lower abdomen, until no oxygen remains in our lungs. One cycle of Full Yogic Breath includes one complete inhalation and one complete exhalation.

Our inhalation and exhalation should feel fluid, continuous and effortless ! The key is to remain comfortable. So, go at your own pace, slow and easy. Let’s breathe in with minimum effort, yet maximum capacity. Practice and dedication will make us breathe in the most ideal ways for our body and mind.

Benefits :

  • Releases muscular tensions around our heart and digestive organs.
  • Increases lung capacity while encouraging proper nervous stimulus to our cardio-vascular system
  • Re-calibrates our Breath for optimal Life
  • Improves detoxification through increased exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen
  • Amplifies our auto immune system by increased distribution of energy to the endocrine system.
  • Reduces emotional and nervous anxiety and enhances positive mood through nourishing all cells and releasing well-being hormones.

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama(Alternate Nostril Breathing) Balancing and revitalizing, calming breaths :

Let’s form with our right hand Vishnu mudra : by folding the tips of the index and middle fingers inward until they touch our palm (ideally, you can connect those two fingertips to your third eye, inbwtween your eyebrows). Then, we align our ring and pinky fingers. The key here, is to alternately use our right thumb to close our right nostril -and- our right ring finger to close our left nostril.

So, let’s sit in a comfortable, spine erect position.

  1. By using our right thumb to close our right nostril, we Exhale through our left nostril gently, but fully.
  2. While maintaining our right nostril closed, let’s Inhale through our left nostril. With each inhale, we breathe in deeply, starting from the base of our spine, all the way up till the crown of our head. By then, our lungs should be filled with oxygen, energy.
  3. Now, let’s use our ring of our right hand to gently close the left nostril and simultaneously liberate our right nostril. Let’s Exhale through our right nostril, emptying our air and energy from the top of our head, all the way down our spine – till we reach once again, our lungs empty, at the base of our spine.
  4. Now, let’s Keep this position and breathe in through our right nostril, once again, from the bottom of our spine to the top of our head. Once completed,
  5. Let’s switch fingers and exhale through our left nostril, from the top of our head to the bottom of our spine.
  6. Repeat in the same pattern. Basically, One nostril will fulfill a cycle of one inhale, and one exhale- then, we switch nostrils.

Benefits :

  • Revitalizes and Balances both hemisphere of our brain & body with oxygen – centers our mind, improves cognitive functions
  • Rejuvenates our nervous system, thus promoting feeling of well being
  • Helps to balance hormones secretions, glands and oxygenates all organs, muscles, cells.
  • Improves, unblocks respiratory channels as well as subtle energy channels : ensures smooth flow of Prana throughout our Body.
  • Enhances our willpower, concentration and helps to have a clear mind
  • Balances Solar/Lunar, Masculine/Feminine, Logical/Creative energies within us.

Kapalbati Pranayama – (To forcefully exhale) Energizing breaths :

Let’s position ourselves comfortably,
Let’s Inhale and Exhale through our nostrils.

Here, we put our attention to a forceful Exhalation : One exhale lasts less than half a second (while sharply exhaling, we pull our belly inwards our spine) – and all the air in our lungs should be out.

Our inhale should be automatic, effortless, deeply filling our lungs with oxygen.

One round of Kapalbhati is around 10-20 cycles of inhales/exhales. Once one set has been done, relax and practice deep, yogic breath cycles. Once you feel ready to go on for another set, feel free to.

Benefits :

  • Generates heat in our body, activating the fire within, thus increasing our metabolic rate and clearing toxins from our body faster.
  • Enhances digestive tract functioning, good for absorption and assimilation of nutrients.
  • Enhances our willpower, concentration while strengthening and increasing our lungs capacity.
  • Energizes our brain, nerves, abdominal muscles and digestive organs.

Sheetali Pranayama – (Cooling Breath)

Let’s position ourselves comfortably, and fold our tongue lengthwise. We then inhale slowly, deeply through our folded tongue. We then exhale slowly, through our nose.

Sheetkari Pranayama – (Hissing breath)

Similar to Sheetali Pranayama, but here, we clench and expose our teeth, while taking take a slow, deep hissing inhale through them. We then exhale slowly, deeply.

Benefits of both Pranayama :

  • Reduces pitta (fire/heat) element, thus promoting coolness within our body.
  • Removes excess heat accumulated in our system, reduces the excess of bile, and corrects the disorders of our spleen.
  • Lowers our blood pressure, while calming our mind, reduces our stress or fight – flight response
  • Stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which induces muscular relaxation and is very effective in stress management.

Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellow’s breath

How to :

Let’s position ourselves comfortably. The key here is to Breathe fully (Yogic Breath – Inhale forcefully starting by filling our diaphragm, chest then shoulders fully – then, exhale, forcefully , starting from shoulders to chest to our diaphragm ) Each inhale and exhale should be forceful, and take around 1 or 2 seconds.

Effects :

Oxygenates our brain, blood, cells, organs, tissues, glands and muscles.

Strengthens our lungs and detoxifies our body, while improving our immune system.

Heats up our body, Helpful in for cold situations

Re-calibrates our breathing pattern for optimal breaths while unblocking respiratory channels.

Feeling Energetic and Uplifted.


Bhramari Pranayama (Humming Bee Breathing )

  • Let’s position ourselves comfortably, and breathe through our nostrils. When ready, let’s place our thumbs so that they block the entry point of sound of our ears. Ideally, push the small cartilage (or ear flaps, or finger tips) between your ear holes and your cheeks so that most external noise won’t be heard.
  • Place your remaining fingers so that they lightly close your eyes and mouth. Our nose should be able to breathe.
  • Now, focus your energy and attention on your third eye chakra (area between your eyebrows.)
  • While keeping our mouth closed, we take a deep breath in, and, while exhaling, we create a humming noise (Ommmmmm). Let’s use our vocal chords to create a high pitch (the higher the better).

Effects :

  • Helps to clear our mind from external influences, helps clear migraines and agitated mind.
  • Vitalizes and energizes all cells within us
  • Re-calibrates our energy to our unique frequency, vibration

Suryabhedi Pranayama (Sun Nadis, Right Nostril Breathing)

  • Let’s sit in a comfortable posture, spine upright.
  • Let’s close our left nostril, and deeply inhale through our right nostril.
  • We then close our right nostril and Exhale deeply through our left.
  • Let’s make the duration of our exhalation twice as long as that of our inhalation.
  • That completes one round. Repeat for about 7-20 rounds (you can retain your breaths and add bandhas locks to enhance the effects.)
  • Then, rest and feel your body, Deep Yogic Breaths.
  • Repeat until balance is felt.

Effects :

  • Activates our Inner Sun, balances masculine aspects & heats our body up.
  • Activates and stimulates our pranic energy by energizing the Pingala Nadi – effects are energizing.
  • Good to Heal any symptoms linked to low body temperature.
  • Promotes removal of blood impurities.
  • Helps alleviate dullness, lethargy, depression.
  • Makes our mind more alert and perceptive.
  • Useful in treating low blood pressure and infertility in women.
  • Over-activating one aspect of our Energy (Solar/Lunar, Masculine/Feminine, Heat/Cold, ..) can lead to imbalances. Make sure to stay balanced !

Chandrabhedi Pranayama (Moon Nadis, Left Nostril Breathing)

  • Let’s sit in a comfortable posture, spine upright.
  • Let’s close our right nostril, and deeply inhale through our left nostril.
  • We then close our left nostril and Exhale deeply through our right.
  • Let’s make the duration of our exhalation twice as long as that of our inhalation.
  • That completes one round. Repeat for about 7-20 rounds (you can retain your breaths and add bandhas locks to enhance the effects.)
  • Then, rest and feel your body, Deep Yogic Breaths.
  • Repeat until balance is felt within.

Effects :

  • Activates our Inner Moon – balances Feminine aspects and refreshes us.
  • Activates and stimulates our pranic energy by energizing the Ida Nadi – effects are calming, soothing.
  • Good to Heal any symptoms linked to a high body temperature
  • Regulates our hormonal secretions, thus invites well-being hormones to be secreted.
  • Mind becomes steady, calm – thus benefiting those with mental agitation.
  • Over-activating one aspect of our Energy (Solar/Lunar, Masculine/Feminine, Heat/Cold, ..) can lead to imbalances. Make sure to stay balanced !

Khumbaka Pranayama – (Breath Retention)

As this pranayama is more complex and involves more focus and energy, it is wise to practice it in presence of a guide.

In this breathing practice, there are two types of Breath retention: after inhale (antara / interior)- and – after exhale (bahya / outer).

Let’s be on an empty stomach, and let’s sit comfortably

  • First step : Antara (Interior) Retention with full breath
  • Let’s Inhale fully through both nostrils filling up our lungs with oxygen. (Let’s imagine and inhale as if our nostrils are in our back, so that we can get more oxygen into our lungs – expanded chest and belly).
  • Once full of oxygen, let’s retain our breath (ideally double the amount of time to inhale, but we can go futher).
  • Then, let’s exhale with no force – letting the natural flow let the air out. As we get to the maximum of our exhalation, let’s breathe in fully again, so that a continuous connected rhythmical breathing pattern is happening. Retain breath. Naturally Exhale. Let’s Repeat until we feel tingly or light headed (this will mean that our entire body is full of oxygen (97-100%).
  • Second Step : Bahya (External) Retention with empty air.
  • After the final exhalation, let’s hold our breath with absolutely no air in our lungs for as long as we possibly can. The intention here is to release our body of most oxygen. To trigger the positive stress response in our body, we should be around 80% of oxygen. Below 80%, that is when great healing can occur.
  • When we feel to inhale (usually 45seconds-3mins after retaining breath), let’s take a quick inhale, then a quick exhale again and repeat by emptying all the air from our lungs. This will further bring our oxygen levels down.
  • We can repeat this a few times for as long as we feel comfortable.
  • Once completed, go back to normal, optimal breath until we Feel ideal.
  • ——— Note : During the breath retention phase, we will go into a deeply relaxed meditative state. Let’s visualize energy, stem cells moving around our body to Heal all aspects of Self and Energy. If there is a specific place we need healing to occur, let’s focus our awareness on that area.

Effects :

  • Strengthening, balancing our lungs, calibrating our breath for optimal flow and utilization of oxygen.
  • Balances, and enhances our Heart, Lungs and Brain functions, thus balancing all physical aspects of Self.
  • Creates time and space for healing to occur (through promoting positive stress responses, stem cells, visualization techniques,..)
  • These techniques help us be one with Now – present moment.
  • Prepares us for meditation as they provide a form of pratyahara (sense withdrawal) and dharana (concentration).

Simhasana Pranayama – (Lion’s Breath)




MUDRAS MEDITATION

The word Mudra is Sanskrit, and means “gestures,” “seal.” They affect the flow of energy in our body – balancing, redirecting, amplifying energy, as well as unblocking energy centers.

Many traditions and cultures believe that an imbalance or blockage of any of our 5 elements are the roots of diseases – thus, the balance of 5 of our innate elements are also our cure and key to optimal well being.

As we are electro-magnetic beings, when we connect different parts of our body (in this case, fingers) in specific ways, it allows our body to unblock and balance the flow of energy within us.


Prana Mudra : Let’s position our index and middle fingers in a straight way, and fold our ring and pinky fingers, with our thumb either : maintaining them in a folded position -or- simply pressing their fingertips. Now, we bend both of our elbows, parallel to each other, and point our index and middle fingers towards the sky. Let’s Feel the rush of Energy flowing through our fingers, and let’s allow it to flow within all our body.

Effects :

Increases vitality and grounds us with Earth Energies

Energy generated in index and middle fingertips is highly Healing and Grounding – for others as well as our self.


Gyan mudra: Also known as chin mudra (Consciousness, Knowledge Gesture), this is one of the most popular mudras.

Let’s be comfortable, and connect the tip of our thumb to our index finger. The three remaining fingers should be straight, but relaxed, and palm facing the sky.

Effects :

Stimulates our Brain, Pituitary gland, system of endocrine glands, as well as all our nervous system.

Facilitates and promotes the flow of electrical impulses along our nerves.

Element-wise, it balances the Air and Earth within us.


Linga Mudra : Generates/Amplifies our Fire Within

Let’s clasp both our hands, interlocking all our fingers, – while keeping our left thumb erect, pointing upwards.

Effects: The thumb represents the element Fire. This Fire is amplified by performing the Linga Mudra. 

  • Generates Heat that can help during cold times, and treats ailments caused by an overproduction/ accumulation of phlegm (mucous) in the body.
  • As the Fire Element is attributed to action, power, transformation – it can help in all these areas for our Life.

Anjali/Namaskara/Namaste mudra :

This energetic gesture is felt and shared by connecting both our palms in front of our chest in a prayer-like position. This Mudra has various meanings, such as respect, gratitude, compassion, peace, love.

Effects :
Our heart emits an electrical field 60 times greater in amplitude than the activity in our brain and an electromagnetic field 5,000 times stronger that of our brain. By focusing intently on our Heart, we harmonize it’s electromagnetism (Yes, literally !) and by doing so, the people, things, world around us too.

Re-harmonizes, energizes/relaxes our Heart Center, which is linked to relationships, Self-Love, Empathy, … We also can develop and enhance positive feelings and awareness.


Uttarabodhi Mudra : known as the Mudra of Supreme Enlightnement.

Let’s connect both our hands, at the heart level, in front of our chest. Both index fingers are straight and touch each other – our thumbs touch at tips (or crossed) and all remaining fingers interlaced and folded down.

Effects :

Specific energetic flow makes it easier for us to Realize the unity within Oneself and all that Is.

Helps deepen our Connection to Divinity and Akashic Records.

Allows insights from Higher Energies to be Understood and Realized.


Vajrapradama Mudra : Mudra of Unshakable Trust.

Let’s Interlace our fingers in front of our chest, with our palms towards our Heart. While our thumbs are pointing towards the sky, our index and middle fingers should similarly be -slightly- pointed towards up above. We then gently stretch all our fingers and widen our elbows.

Effects :

Feeling of inter-connectedness with all that exists.

Enhances our innate Compassion -and- strengthens our Trust for Life.

Amplifies confidence and trust by bringing energy to our heart center, reminding us of our innate, inner powers. 


Hridaya Mudra :

Let’s connect our index fingers to the base of our thumbs. Then, we join the tips of our middle and ring fingers to the tips of our thumbs while straightening our pinky fingers.

Effects: 

The middle and ring fingers are directly related to the nadis (subtle channels), that are connected to Our Heart. By connecting them with our thumbs, our energy flow is directed toward our Heart. This harmonizes, energizes our Heart, unblocking blockages and thus helping to prevent/heal Heart problems, whether they be physical, emotional, spiritual.

On top of that, as our Heart emanates strong electro-magnetism, it affects our Inner and Outer World for the greatest.


Yoni Mudra – Mudra of the Womb/Uterus

We start by joining our palms together, Anjali mudra. Then, while maintaining the connection of our thumbs as well as our index fingers, we open space between both of these connections. Now, let’s interlace our remaining fingers together.

Effects :

Connection to our Earth and before our birth – energetically, it gives us a sense to where we started – Womb. Birth. Earth. Innocence. Purity.

Harmonizes, enhances, connects us with our innate Shakti, Earth, Female Energy.


Shanmukhi mudra –  In Sanskrit, shad means six and mukha opening. In this practice, our intention is to close our six facial openings (two ears, two eyes, our nose and mouth) in order to free ourselves from external attachment and senses – this makes us go deeper within.

  1. Let’s sit in a comfortable position
  2. We place our thumbs in our ears to close the holes
  3. We close our eyelids by placing our index fingers on them.
  4. We Place our middle fingers so that they partially close both our nostrils ( there should be a small opening on each for us to breathe )
  5. We finally press our lips together with our ring and pinky fingers.
  6. Optionnal : Create and express buzzing vibrations by using our vocal chords : ”Hmmmmmm ”.

Effects :

Withdrawal from the senses, from our outside World.

Deeper connection with our Inner World.

Harmonizes, enhances, connects us with our innate Shakti, Female, Earth Energy.

Gives us a sense on where we started – Womb. Birth. Earth. Innocence. Purity.


Apana Mudra – Downward moving Force / Mudra of Purification

Let’s position ourselves comfortably, and join the tips of our middle and ring fingers to the tip of our thumb. The two remaining (index and pinky) fingers are stretched out, straight.

Effects :

Promotes a harmonious downward moving force in the digestive and reproductive organs of our body ; to flush out our toxins/chemicals downwards.

It also increases detoxification through sweating and urination.

It can relieve constipation and circulate energy to our bowels.

Also, it helps to regulate the menstrual cycles for women.


Ganesha mudra – Hindu deity who removes obstacles

This Mudra represents Strength, Protection, Liberation and Power. It can Connect us to our Powerful Innate Energy. Ganesha Mudra is said to enhance self-confidence and the courage to overcome anything that is holding us back.

Let’s position ourselves comfortably, and clasp/grip all fingers of both our hands (one palm should be facing outward with thumb down, the other hand palms inward with thumb up) in front of our chest ; and widen our elbows.

Effects :

  • Lifts spirits
  • Boosts confidence and Realization that we can achieve all we set ourselves to
  • Aids in unblocking Heart and Mind blockages

Lotus – Padma Mudra – Mudra of Abundance, Openness and Transformation

The lotus flower is the symbol of transformation, abundance, openness (to give as well as to receive) and of course, to thrive Light through and among the Dark.

How to :

Let’s position ourselves comfortably, then bring the base of our palms together at our Heart center.We then connect both thumbs and pinky fingers together. Then, we spread the rest of the fingers out like an awakened lotus flower.

Effects :

  • Grounding
  • Opens our Heart to Infinite Energy, Beauty and Transformation
  • Releases tension throughout body.

Akini mudra –
In Sanskrit, hakini means “power”. This Mudra enhances the power of our mind.

How To :

Let’s bring both our palms in front of our body, with each palm facing the other and lightly press each finger tips with it’s corresponding one on other hand. If possible, gaze upwards while focusing on our third eye chakra. With each inhale, let’s push our tip of tongue on the roof of our mouth, and for the exhale, we allow our tongue to rest.

Effects :

Enhances all cognitive skills – memory power, concentration; while energizing our brain.

Coordinates both right and left hemispheres of our brain, bringing us balance and harmony with our logical/creative – masculine/feminine side.

Promotes calmness and psychic abilities.

 Dhyani mudra – Gesture of Meditation

Practicing this gesture and feeling the energy of it can help promote within us a spiritual way of Life, making us realize that there is much more than the ”illusion” of the material world.

How to :

Let’s sit comfortably, and place both our hands on our lap, facing upwards, our right hand on top of the left one, with both thumbs tips connected.

Effects :

  • Aids in concentration and divine realizations
  • Balances right and left, masculine feminine aspects of our self.
  • Promotes a calm mind and may aid in Energy Healing.

Mudras to harmonize our chakras :

Muladhara Mudra –
Let’s connect our palms together in a prayer at our heart, then interlace our pinky and ring fingers so they fold inside of the palms. We remain our middle fingers extended so the tips touch. Then, we interlace our thumbs and index fingers so they form rings around each other, with the fingertips touching.

Optional : Join Mudra close to our Root Chakra (between anus and sexual organ)

Effects : Balances our Root Chakra – Grounds, connects us deeper with Earth Element.

Svadhisthana – Shakti Mudra –

After joining our palms, we remain our pinky and ring fingertips together. We fold our thumbs into our palms,and wrap our thumbs with our index and middle fingers. We then press our knuckles of these two fingers together.

Optionnal : Join Mudra close to our Sacral Chakra (navel center).

Effects : Balances our Sacral Chakra – Emancipates creativity and sensuality. Connects us deeper with our Water Element.

Manipura – Rudra Mudra –

Let’s connect the tips of our thumbs, index and ring fingers together, while straightening our pinky and middle fingers.

Optional : Join Mudra close to Solar Plexus Chakra (right above belly-button)

Effects : Balances our Solar Plexus – Aids in digestion, enhances our sense of personal power and connects us deeper with our Fire Element.

Anahata – Lotus/Padma Mudra –

Let’s join both our palms together at our Heart center, then -while remaining our thumbs and pinky fingers together – we separate and create space between all other remaining fingers ,as if a lotus flowers/blossoms

Optional : To Feel at our Chest, Heart center 🙂

Effects : Balances our Heart Chakra – Opens our Energy for relations, as well as Inner, Self-Love. Develops Compassion, Empathy, and amplifies electro-magnetism of our Heart. Connects us with our Air Element.

Vishuddha – Granthita Mudra –

Let’s interlace our middle, ring and pinky fingers together, inside of our hands. We then interlock our index fingertips and thumbs to form two rings.

Optional : Place Mudra close to our Throat Chakra.

Effects : Balances Throat Chakra – Opens up Energy for us to express creativity, our inner wisdom and truths. Connects us deeper with Spirit.

Ajna – Mudra of the Great Head –

Let’s curl our ring finger into our palm and remain our pinky finger extended long . We then join the tips of our thumb, index and middle fingers together and place them at our third eye focal point.

Effects : Balances Third Eye Chakra – Connects us deeper with our wisdom and intuition so that we may enhance our psychic abilities. Connects us deeper with Spirit.

Sahasrara Mudra of A Thousand Petals

Let’s connect the tips of our index and thumb fingers together, to form a pyramid shape. We then extend and straighten our remaining fingers upwards. Ideally, this Mudra should be placed 6-7 inches above the crown of our head.


Effects : Balances our Crown Chakra – Opens our innate connection to Universal Consciousness, Divinity, Self-Realization and Enlightenment. Connects us with Spirit, and All That Is.


There are many more Practices that make us Feel Life deeper, and connect us with our Self, Spirit, Existence. I try my best to share them here with the time and energy I have ! Hugs hugs ❤

One Comment on “Breathing – Pranayama & Mudras

  1. Pingback: Raising Our Vibration – Simple Guides to Heal, Empower, Feel our self with small but effective Acts – – Eneraum

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