Pranayama – order of practice

A guide for teachers leading pranayama practice.
A good order for building up pranayama practice is as follows…

Lying down
In building your practice viloma begins with an in breathm and ujjayi with extended out.

  1. Rechka and puraka in and out practice
  2. Rechaka and Puraka in Ujjayi
  3. Ujjayi deep in/ ext out
  4. Ext in/deep out
  5. Ext in and out
  6. Viloma (ujjayi base)
  7. Viloma in deep out
  8. Deep in/ viloma out
  9. Viloma in and out


  1. Ujjayi, as above
  2. Then with retention (after in breath sahita antara kumbhaka/ deliberate internal retention, then after the out breath sahita bahya kumhaka, deliberate external retention)
  3. Then retention with bandhas after just in then just out then after both together (mula/root on the sahita antara kumbhaka and ujjayi/flying up on the sahita bahya kumbhaka)
  4. Viloma then with retention, as above
  5. Anuloma all stages, including those practised with Viloma in order
  6. Pratiloma as above
  7. Bhramari is suitable at most places and for most levels. It is particularly good at the end of a session and particularly seated in Sanmukhi mudra.

Check points if headaches or irritability are occurring…

  1. Forceful?
  2. Posture?
  3. Too long?
  4. Running before walking, too advanced too soon?
  5. Eyes open?
  6. Lying down retention?

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On Svadyaya…
‘Svadayaya means self study. My understanding is that this Niyama means develop objectivity. Study your mind and your body, observe yourself deeply, understand yourself thoroughly. Become self aware. Practice the four foundations of mindfulness. Also study the truth through texts and seek out good teachers to help you.’

— Karunajala