Complete Pranayama Sequence with Yoga Poses, Light Exercises and Hand Mudras

Although various procedures of pranayama, yoga poses / asnaa, hand mudras and meditation are described in scriptures and each one has its special significance, yet everything cannot be practised daily. This compact package of Yoga Poses (Asanas), Breathing Exercise (Pranayama), Light Exercise (Sukshma Vyayayam) and Specific Hand Gestures (Hand Mudras) for daily practice takes about 45 minutes and benefits people of all age groups. The benefits ranges from mental peace, fitness, health, improved physiological functioning of the body and spiritual evolution.

Yoga Poses (Asana) for Sitting wile doing Pranayama:

Select a calm and quiet and clean place to do pranayama. The asana used for sitting should be a bad conductor of electricity, e.g. a blanket or kusa- mat. Those who are unable to sit on ground can practise Pranayama while sitting in chair. Choose any one of the asana given below to start the pranayama practice.
Easy Pose (Sukhasana):

  • Sit on the floor on a cushion or yoga mat with legs stretched out.
  • Fold the left leg and tug it inside the right thigh.
  • Then fold the right leg and tug in inside the left thigh.
  • Keep the hands on the knees.
  • Sit erect with spine straight.
  • Relax your whole body and breathe normally.
Accomplished Pose (Siddhasana) :

  • Begin in a seated posture.
  • Bend the left knee and grasp the left foot with both hands and place the heel against the perineum and the sole of the foot against the inside of the right thigh.
  • Exhale and reach down and loop the forefinger of the right hand around the big toe of the right foot and grasp the left foot with the left hand.
  • Bend the right knee, grasp the right foot with both hands and place the outside edge of the right foot where the calf and thigh of the left leg meet, right ankle over left ankle. The heel of the right foot should line up approximately with the navel and be as close to the pubic area as possible.
  • With palms up, place the hands on the knees, form a circle with the thumb and forefinger and extend the remaining fingers straight ahead. Read more about Sidhashana ...
Lotus Pose (Padamasana):

  • Sit on the floor in the Easy Posture.
  • Take your right foot in your hands, and slowly place it on your left thigh as close to the crease of your hip as you can.
  • Take your left foot in your hands, and slowly place it on your right thigh as close to the crease of your hip as you can.
  • Be aware of correct posture as you open your chest, lengthen your spine, and gently pull your shoulders back; feel yourself relax as you sit proud, with your chin held high.
  • Extend your arms over your thighs, and rest your hands and wrists on your knees, with palms facing upward. Read more about Padamasana ...

Specific Hand Gesture (Hand Mudra) while doing Pranayama :

Hand Mudras (consisting of hand gestures and finger- postures) start electromagnetic currents within the body which balance various constituting elements and restore health. The joining of fingers creates an effect on the human body. Rest your hands on the knees and select any one of the mudra given below.

Gyan Mudra:
Touch the tip of the thumb to the tip of the index finger, with the other three fingers stretched out. The tip of thumb has centers of pituitary and endocrine glands. When we press these centers by index finger the two glands work actively. As it is a mudra of knowledge, it enhances the knowledge. Read more about Gyan Mudra ...

Varun Mudra :
When the tips of the little finger and the thumb are joined and the rest of the fingers are kept straight. Varun Mudra is formed. This Mudra increases the jal (water) element within the body. Also called as Jal-vardhak Mudra. Read more about Varun Mudra ..

Apana Mudra :
The tips of middle finger and ring finger touch the tip of thumb while the other two fingers are stretched out. Apan Mudra also known as Energy Mudra, supports the removal of waste materials and toxins from the body, as well as eliminates any urinary problems. Read more about Apana Mudra ..

Apan-Vayu Mudra :
Bend the index fingre an dkeep it at the base of the thumb. Now touch the thumb with the middle and ring fingre. Keep the index finger straight. This finger position works like an injection in cases of a heart attack. Regular practice is an insurance in preventing heart attacks, tacho-cardia, palpitations, depressions, sinking feeling of the heart. Also known as the Mritsanjivani Mudra for arresting heart attack.

Prithvi Mudra :
Tip of the ring finger touches the tip of the thumb, with the other three fingers stretched out. Prithvi mudrā is very useful to increase earth element and decrease fire element in the body. It can be used to treat the following disorders: removes fatigue, general weakness, lack of stamina, weight loss, osteoporosis, inflammatory diseases, ulcers in the stomach, Fever, Hyper thyrodoism. Read more about Prithvi Mudra ..

Shunya Mudra :
Bend the middle finger until it touches the ball of your thumb. Lightly press down your thumb on the middle finger. The other fingers are extended straight upward. This Shunya Mudra or Sky Mudra is supposed to work on the basic element of ether that permeates all space. Read more about Shunya Mudra ..

Pranayama alongwith Light Exercises (Sukshma Vayaama):

After settling down with the asana and the mudra of your choice start the paranyama. The sequence of Sukshama Vayaama can be changed to your liking but the pranayama sequence should be followed as given

1. Bhastrika Pranayama :

Sit in a comfortable Asana . Breathe in through both the nostrils, till the lungs are full and diaphragm is stretched. Then breathe out gently. Take deep breaths and then completely breathe out. There should be inhalation of 2½ seconds and exhalation of 2½ seconds in a rhythmic flow. Doing it non-stop, one can do bhastrika pranayama 12 times in one minute. Practice this pranyama for 2 minutes atleast and 5 minutes maximum. Read more about Bhastrika Pranayama ...
Take a break and do the following two light/Subtle Exercises (Sukshma Vyayayama) before doing next pranayama :
Stretching and Rotating Feet:
Sit on the floor with legs straight on front side. Keep your hands on the floor little behind your body. Relax on your hands . Stretch your feet towards your body and away from body. Do this 4 – 5 times. Make a circle with your foot clockwise and then anticlockwise. Do this 4 – 5 times.
Butterfly Exercise:
Sit with both legs folded in such a way so that both foot face and touch each other. Now lift and release your knees like a butterfly wings. This can be done for 2 to 3 minutes.

2. Kapal Bhati Pranayama

Sit comfortably with your spine erect. Place your hands on the knees and fold your fingers in any one mudra. Take a deep breath in. Expel the air as forcefully as you are comfortable with through the nose. This should cause the abdominal muscles to contract sharply and should draw the abdomen inwards towards the spine.  Let the inhalation be on its own, focus on exhalation. Right after the passive inhalation, exhale again forcefully and continue at a steady rhythm. As you exhale, pull your stomach. Pull your navel in back towards the spine. Do as much as you comfortably can. Read more about Kapalbhati Pranayama ...
After this pranayama take rest for some time and do the following Light Exercise (Sukshma Vayaama) during break:
Rotating Fists:
Sit comfortably and bring your hands straight in front. Hold your thumb in fist and touch both fists together. Rotate clockwise then anticlockwise. This can be done 10 times each.

Rotating Hand Round Shoulders:
Sit comfortably and touch your fingers on shoulders Inhale and form a big circle by rotating your hands around shoulders clockwise and anticlockwise. Can be done 5-10 times.

3. Bahaya Pranayama

While sitting in siddhasana, Sukhasana or padmasana and throw the breath out, as much as you can, in one go. After throwing the breath out, touch chin to chest (jalandhara bandha), squeeze stomach completely and hold for a while (uddayana bandha), then release chin, breathe in slowly. When you feel like breathing in, take the breath while relaxing the bandhas slowly. After taking in the breath, throw it out again as before, without holding it up.
While sitting in any of the three asana and mudra of your choice, breathe air out, touch chin to chest, squeeze stomach completely and hold for a while. then release chin, breathe in slowly. Repeat the process. Practice it 5 times. Advanced practitioners can do 11 repetitions. Read more about Bahaya Pranayama ...
You may need to take a rest after this pranayama, do the following Light Exercise (Sukshma Vayaama) before Anulom Vilom Pranyama:
Pulling Hand Behind Head:
Hold both your hands with each other behind your head. Alternatively pull one hand with the other towards one side of body. Do this for 1-2 minutes.

Pushing Hands And Head Against Each Other:
Interlock your fingers of both hands. Bring them back of your head with front of palms touching head at backside. Push hands and head against each other. Push gently first then try increasing the pressure. Do this 3-5 times.

4. Anulom Vilom Pranayama

Raise your right hand and with its thumb close the right nostril (pingla nadiand while closing the left nostril use the ring finger and middle finger of the right hand. The palm of the hand should not be in front of the nose; it should instead be held away to the right side. Since ida nadi(left nostril) represents moon, lunar power, coolness and calmness, anuloma- viloma Pranayama is started from the left nostril for cleansing the nadi(energy channel). Closing the right nostril with the right hand thumb, we should gently fill the breath inside through the left nostril. When the inhalation is complete, we should close the left nostril with the ring finger and middle finger of the right hand and exhale completely through the right nostril. do this procedure non-stop, i.e. inhaling through the left nostril and exhaling through the right nostril, and then inhaling through the right nostril and exhaling through the left nostril. Do it for 5-10 minutes. Read more about Anulom Vilom Pranayama ...
After this pranayama do the following Light Exercise (Sukshma Vayaama)
Rotating Shoulders:
Sit straight in Sukhasana. Keep both hands on knees. Rotate shoulders clockwise and opposite. Repeat this exercise 5-10 times.

5. Bharamari Pranayama

Close ears with thumb, index finger on forehead, and rest three on base of nose touching eyes, keep the mind centred on the medullary plexus (ajna- cakra). Now, humming like a bee and resonating 'OM', breathe out. Repeat this procedure for atleast 5 times. Read more about Bharamari Pranayama ...

6. Udgeeth Pranayama

Inhale for 3-5 seconds in a rhythmic flow, and breathe it out in about 15-20 seconds while chanting the sacred word 'OM' methodically. After one chanting is complete one should again breathe deep inside for 3-5 seconds in a rhythmic flow and breathe it out in 15-20 seconds chanting 'OM'. Visualize the breath entering and moving inside the body. Do udgeeth pranayama about 7 times in about 3 minutes. Read more about Udgeeth Pranayama ...

7. Pranav Pranayama / Meditaton

After doing all the Pranayamas, concentrate your mind on inhalation and exhalation, and meditate upon udgitha(OM) with your prana. God has made poles in the shape of ‘omkara’. This pinda (body) and this bramanda (universe) n both are in the form of‘omkara’. ‘omkara’ is not a particular person or figure; it is a divinepower which is controlling and regulating the whole universe. Turn yourself into a spectator (=Soul) and while inhaling deeply and exhaling subtly your respiration rate should be so subtle that you do not feel like hearing the sound of your breath.
Try to look at the breath inside. In the beginning the friction of breath will be felt on the tip of nose. Gradually you shall be able to feel the touch of breath deep inside you. Thus, by chanting ‘omkara’ with every breath as a spectator (=Soul), one starts going into meditation automatically. Your mind will become highly one-pointed, absorbed in and identified with ‘omkara’. Read more about Pranav Pranayama ...

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Thanks! This is very helpful.