Pranayama Breathing in the Bikram Hot Yoga Series

December 21, 2021 5 min read

Pranayama Breathing in the Bikram Hot Yoga Series

Yoga Pose

Pranayama Breathing in the Bikram Hot Yoga Series. What is it?

The opening breathing exercise of the Bikram Hot Yoga series is the Pranayama breathing exercise or Life Force Control; it teaches you how to control your breathing better and helps unify your mind and the physical body. The breath is the only bodily process we have any conscious control over, making it a unique and vital function. In the world of yoga, the breath is what connects the mind, body, and spirit. The rest of our bodily functions operate from the subconscious and work on autopilot without putting too much thought into them.

The meaning of the Pranayama breathing exercise translated from Sanskrit to English breaks down into two separate parts. The first part is Prana which means Life Force, and the second part of the definition isYama which has the definition of Control. Pranayama has the pronunciation of Pran - A-Yama for those of you who are just beginning the hot yoga series.

Breathing Exercise

Why do we do Pranayama Breathing?

The purpose of doing the Pranayama breathing exercise is to change and slow your breathing patterns while doing your Bikram Hot Yoga practice for the remainder of the series. Another reason for doing this exercise is that it warms your body from the inside out. The most important thing to remember in yoga is putting your breathing and breath ahead of everything else, including the postures. No matter what kind of yoga series you are practicing, having this mindset will help carry you through your practice and make it much more enjoyable.

When you start a regular practice, the Pranayama breathing will begin helping your breathing outside of yoga class. You will start noticing you breathe in and out of your nose slowly and calmly in your everyday essential breath. Changing and altering your vital ordinary breath helps calm and settle your mind and your overall mood.

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Description of the Breath

The hardest part of the Pranayama breathing in the Bikram Hot Yoga Practice is figuring out how we inhale and exhale in the breathing practice. The first thing to remember is that Pranayama breathing is a form of ujjayi breathing done by constricting the back of the throat. You are breathing through the nose slowly and calmly. The focus is on the back of the throat while doing your breathing exercise.

You need to focus on breathing into the back of the throat and the snoring sound that you should be making while doing this form of breathing. When you inhale, it should sound like the ocean waves calmly rolling in towards the beach. When you exhale, you need to focus again on the back of the throat and keep your mouth open. On the exhale, it should be making the sound of the ocean rolling back out to the sea.

The Physical Manifestation of Pranayama Breathing in the Bikram Hot Yoga Series

Now that we understand how we breathe in the pose, we will take the next step and describe the physical manifestation of the posture. Start by fixing your gaze into the front mirror. Interlace your fingers under your chin as if you are making a fist. Your legs are straight with the weight in the heels. You should have your stomach pulled in throughout the pose. Begin to inhale through the nose and lift elbows up towards the ceiling.

Keep the spine straight and press the shoulders down. When the elbows are lifted at the end of the count of six is when you exhale. When you do your exhale, you need to drop the head back. Keep your spine straight and bring the elbows and wrists together. The chest is lifted for the whole exhale. The length of the exhale is six seconds as well. In Bikram, you do two sets of Pranayama with ten breaths each.

What is the Conclusion?

In summary, Pranayama Breathing is the opening breathing exercise in the Bikram Hot Yoga Series. As in all yoga series, the most important thing to learn is breathing correctly, which Pranayama Breathing will do for in-class and out-of-class results. This breathing exercise helps develop the slow and calm breathing we need to get through our yoga class and everyday life. We do Pranayama Breathing to change our breathing pattern and warm the body from the inside out. Pranayama breathing is a form of ujjayi breathing. In ujjayi breath, you are working on the constriction of the back of the throat. I have written further instructions below on how to do this breathing exercise and some of the health benefits. I hope this article helps improve your Pranayama Breathing Practice and makes this breathing technique a little easier for you.

easier for you.

Instructions for New Students, Beginners, and New Teachers

  • Let us start with your toes and heels touching
  • The ankle bones are touching one another
  • The feet are parallel to one another
  • You need to suck in your stomach and the spine is kept perfectly straight
  • Do not do any back bending during the posture. You just move the head and arms with the breath
  • Squeeze your buttocks nice and strong
  • Tighten up everything below the waist
  • Keep your weight in the heels
  • Interlace the fingers underneath the chin
  • Knuckles always stay with chin to the end
  • Bring the eyes forward towards the front wall or mirror
  • You need to inhale through the nose to the count of six
  • When you are inhaling you need to do it with the back of the throat
  • At the same time lift the elbows and keep the wrists straight
  • Make sure you are pressing your shoulders down
  • At the end of the count of six exhale through the mouth
  • Exhale through the mouth using back of throat and mouth open
  • While exhaling keep chest lifted, drop the head back, bring elbows together and wrist together
  • On exhale keep the spine straight
  • The sound of your inhales and exhales should sound like the ocean coming in and out
  • In the Hot Yoga Series, this is done ten times in two separate sets
  • Enjoy the benefits

The Benefits of Pranayama in Hot Yoga

  • Improve focus and concentration which will carry over to your everyday functionality
  • Pranayama Breathing will massage and detoxify all of your inner organs
  • Helps regulate emotions while increasing responses that are more easy to understand
  • Helps improve and regulate your blood pressure
  • Improves the quality of sleep and helps prevent insomnia for a good night's sleep
  • Improved Cholesterol and Triglyceride level
  • Improved cardio and pulmonary activity
  • Helps improve blood sugar levels
  • Improved outcomes for COPD and asthma
  • Pranayama Breathing helps in the process of relaxing the mind
  • The breathing exercise assists in healing respiratory issues
  • Helps in the process of bringing blood circulation to every cell in the body
  • This breathing practice increases your heart rate
  • It will improve your lung elasticity and help open the alveoli of the lungs
  • The breath can keep you in the present moment
  • Will help improve the body's relaxation response
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