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Pranayama Breathe Practices for Women

Yoga and Spiritual Practices offered as part of the Nest Community. As we grow, so do you!

As we grow, so do you. Find out more about the Yoga and Spiritual Practices available in Sundara Yoga’s Membership Community called the Nest. There are 8 types of Pranayama wisdom, especially designed for women offered as part of the Membership.

Where Does Pranayama Breathing Come From?

Pranayama is two Sanskrit words that loosely translate to ‘to control life force’. The first Sanskrit word is ‘prana’, meaning life force and the second is ‘yama’, meaning to restraint or control. So pranayama is typically defined as a set of practices used to control prana in the body by means of your breathing patterns, such as to hold your breath or to practice deep breathing.

Pranayama techniques date back to the origins of yoga that were introduced in ancient texts.

In fact, pranayama is one of the eight limbs of yoga, along with asanas (postures). Modern yoga tends to focus more on the postures, but the early texts rarely mention the asanas at all. Instead, ancient yoga focused on freeing the mind through the use of meditation and pranayama.

It’s only when yoga was brought to the west did it become a narrow focus on the physical asanas. A truly yogic practice includes pranayama breathing techniques.

Stages of Pranayama

No matter how you practice breath control, there are essentially three stages of pranayama breathing. The three components to the breath are

Purak (inhalation)

Kumbhak (retention)

Rechak (exhalation)

One yogic breathing technique, for example, might instruct that the inhaling and exhaling is done slowly with a pause in between (Nadhi Shodhana for example). Another might instruct that the inhaling and exhaling are done rapidly without any pause in between (Bhastriska Pranayama).


No matter how long you hold your breath or how many seconds you take for each inhalation and exhalation, though, all types of pranayama will move through these three stages.

Types of Pranayama for Women

Contained within this wisdom are various practices, which are either to shift cleanse and raise vitality, or for balance and calm.  Especially for women, we can use Pranayama to support us to tune into what we need at a particular moment. Included in the Nest, Sundara’s Community, there are instructions, some with video’s guiding these practices:-

  1. Nadi Shodhana, Alternative Nostril Breathing, for balance and calm
  2. Ujjayi Pranayama (Ocean Breathe), for balance and calm
  3. Kapalabhati Pranayama (breathe of Fire), for cleansing and raising vitality
  4. Bhramari Pranayama (bee humming breathe), for balance and calm
  5. Bhastrika Pranayama (bellows breathe), for cleansing and vitality
  6. Surya Bedha (right nostril breathing), cleansing and raising vitality
  7. Chandra Bedha (left nostril breathing), for balance and calm
  8. Royal Maharaja Pranayama (Royal Yogic/Chamber Breathe), for balance and calm
  9. Golden Thread Breathe for balance and calm

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