“The mind is the king of the senses, but the breath is the king of the mind.”

— B. K. S. Iyengar

The location of your body counts while performing pranayama because it causes the practice's impact to be more pronounced. Most of the activities are performed sitting, though others are done in yoga postures or also with gestures. There is always a correct stance for each technique.

1. Taking a Seat in a Chair

It can come as a surprise to learn that you don't have to sit on the ground to effectively practice pranayama. The angle of your pelvis and the orientation of your spine are the mechanics of it. Choose a chair with a flat seat (cushioned is fine), a straight back, and no self-tilting.

  1. Make sure your elbows are straight above your ankles and your feet are flat on the ground (or on yoga blocks if your legs are shorter).
  2. To prevent shutting off blood in the back of the legs, the knees should be on the same longitudinal plane as the middle of the pelvis.
  3. Turn your pelvis forward slightly and engage your lower back and front abdominal muscles. Avoid over-tilting your pelvis upward, which may cause an unnecessary curvature of your lower back. The lower back should be slightly tense, but not too so.
  4. Relax your shoulders to allow the top of your spine or the middle of your brain to float directly above the center of your pelvis.
  5. Relax your head away from your ears and place your palms on your thighs or knees softly.
  6. Finally, feel your chin draw backward into your throat and the top of your head raise toward the sky. Seated on the Floor

Though advanced postures such as Lotus pose can be used when doing pranayama on the floor, I'll focus on the most accessible seated postures for a successful pranayama practice. The purpose of posture is to ensure that we can hold the pose comfortably.


2. SIDDHASANA is a Sanskrit word that means "to (ACCOMPLISHED POSE)

  1. Sit on the floor with one leg gently crossed over the other with the top foot tucked in next to your body.
  2. Keep your spine tall, your pelvis forward, with the tip of your spine directly above the middle of your pelvis. Elevate your seat onto a meditation pad, yoga block, or folded blanket if you're having trouble drawing your pelvis forward (excessive rounding of your lower back).
  3. Encourage your hands to sit on your thighs or knees and relax your shoulders down your back.

3. SUKHASANA is a Sanskrit term (EASY POSE)

  1. This posture, also known as sitting cross-legged, involves sitting on the floor with the legs crossed.
  2. Maintain the same spinal orientation as in Siddhasana.
  3. Encourage your hands to sit on your thighs or knees and relax your shoulders down your back.


4. VIRASANA (HERO'S POSE) is a Sanskrit word that means "hero's pose."

  1. Kneel on the ground and rest with your knees wider than your shoulders.
  2. For Siddhasana, follow the spinal orientation. Sit on a yoga block or pillow between your feet whether you have pain in your knees or ankles.
  3. Encourage your hands to sit on your thighs or knees and relax your shoulders down your back.


5. Lie Down on the Floor

Some pranayama exercises can be performed while lying down (though not in a bed, since our bodies equate beds with sleeping, and you are more likely to fall asleep). Sa asana (Corpse Pose) is a perfect way to relax.

  1. Lie down on the floor with your back and legs on a yoga mat or towel.
  2. Relax your arms at your sides with palms facing inward and your feet 12 to 24 inches apart with toes pointing outward. If lying down causes you pain in your lower back, tuck a yoga bolster under your knees to alleviate pressure.
  3. You should rest your head on a cushion or a folded towel.

Blocks and yoga bolsters are too high to be used as pillows because they strain the body.