Last updated on November 29th, 2023.
Those dedicated to their craft may wonder how to learn more about Pranayama by taking an online course. Pranayama breathing is an ancient tradition used by many yoga or meditation instructors and those interested in overall well-being. The best online courses for Pranayama are offered by:
These courses will help you expand your knowledge of Pranayama breathing and more. Not all Pranayama courses are the same; many are catered toward different interests and objectives. Keep reading to learn more about each course’s unique features, along with a history of Pranayama and some guidelines to make the most of your daily Pranayama breathwork. This practice dates back to ancient times, and with some time and guidance, you will soon be adding clarity to your day.
What is Pranayama Training?
Pranayama training involves learning and practicing various breathing techniques to control and manipulate the breath and life force energy (prana) within the body. It is an integral part of traditional yoga practices and is often taught as a separate discipline in yoga schools and spiritual traditions. Here’s a summary of pranayama training:
- Learning the techniques. Pranayama training typically begins with instruction and guidance from an experienced teacher or practitioner. Students are taught different pranayama techniques, such as alternate nostril breathing, ujjayi breath, kapalabhati, and more. They learn the specific breathing patterns, ratios, and durations associated with each technique. The training may also involve understanding the theoretical principles behind pranayama and its effects on the body and mind.
- Practicing with awareness. Once the techniques are learned, students engage in regular practice sessions. This involves setting aside dedicated time for pranayama practice, finding a quiet and comfortable space, and focusing on the breath and the sensations within the body. Practitioners strive to cultivate deep awareness and concentration while performing the prescribed breathing patterns. With consistent practice, individuals develop greater control over their breath, experience the effects of pranayama on their physical and mental state, and deepen their understanding of the energetic aspects of the practice.
Pranayama training can be a transformative journey, helping individuals develop a more intimate connection with their breath and harness the power of conscious breathing for improved well-being. It is important to learn pranayama techniques from qualified teachers who can provide proper guidance and ensure the practices are adapted to individual needs and abilities.
Where is Pranayama Breathing Used?
Pranayama is a studied form of breath work practiced dating back thousands of years and originating in the Indian subcontinent. It is deeply rooted in Hindu and Buddhist traditions but has become increasingly popular in the Western world as many have seen its impacts on health and overall wellness.
Pranayama breathing is an exercise that is often used in yoga and meditation. Pranayama is seen as a way of regulating the body’s life force, or prana.
Those who practice yoga and meditation often view Pranayama breathing as an important part of their wellness practice that can bring the following benefits:
- Mental clarity. Those who practice Pranayama notice an improvement in their focus both while conducting their practice and also in the longer term, as they tackle daily tasks.
- Physical relaxation. Physically, practicing Pranayama breathing can release tension and result in overall physical wellness. Many have used Pranayama to target specific physical ailments, such as sleep apnea or hypertension. Although Pranayama is not curative, it can be a wonderful supplement to medical treatments and therapies.
- Improved mood. The peace and mental well-being brought about by a regular Pranayama practice can result in improved interactions with people around you and a generally positive outlook.
Though many yoga instructors encourage people to monitor their breath throughout their yoga practice, Pranayama breathing is a distinct methodology, and one that requires a learned approach. It is considered a highly complex field that requires a lot of study before someone can be considered an expert or qualified to teach others.
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What Makes the Breathing Pranayama vs. Others?
Pranayama is different from other types of breathing due to its focus on retaining and controlling the breath.
The practice of Pranayama requires that you hold your breath and release it strategically to maximize its physical and mental benefits. This distinguishes it from standard “deep breathing,” where breaths are held and released without any specific focus or timing.
Additionally, Pranayama requires a level of conscious control and technique that normal breathing does not have. In Pranayama breathing, certain bandhas, or “locks” are utilized to control how your breath is retained and released. Bandhas often require you to activate different parts of your body as you hold and release your breath.
Bandhas are a complicated part of a Pranayama practice and require study and precision to fully master. This is why many wish to enhance their knowledge of Bandhas and other foundational concepts of Pranayama through formal study.
Additionally, Pranayama practice often incorporates foundational aspects of meditation. For someone to practice Pranayama, it is likely they will also have to be implementing some sort of meditation practice to achieve the mental clarity and focus that is often associated with the breath work.
(There are plenty of benefits of pranayama breathing! Check them out in that amazing article!)
How Do You Practice Pranayama?
Pranayama is a practice of controlling and regulating the breath in order to enhance the flow of life force energy (prana) within the body. Here’s a summary of how to practice pranayama:
Find a comfortable and quiet place to sit. You can sit cross-legged on a cushion or a yoga mat, with your spine straight and your shoulders nice and relaxed. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to settle into the present moment.
Start with a basic pranayama technique called “Anulom Vilom” or alternate nostril breathing. Use your right thumb to close your right nostril, inhale deeply through your left nostril, and then use your right ring finger to close your left nostril as you release your right thumb from your right nostril and exhale. Inhale through the right nostril, close it with your thumb, and exhale through the left nostril. Repeat this cycle, focusing on smooth and steady breaths. This technique helps balance the flow of energy in your body.
Another effective pranayama technique is “Ujjayi” or victorious breath. In this practice, inhale deeply through your nose, slightly constricting the back of your throat, creating a soft hissing or ocean-like sound. Exhale through the nose with the same gentle constriction. This technique helps to calm the mind and improve concentration.
Start with shorter sessions and gradually increase the duration as you become more comfortable. It’s essential to listen to your body and never force or strain during pranayama. Regular practice can lead to a greater sense of calmness, mental clarity, and overall well-being.
The Best Pranayama Courses Online
If you are hoping to learn the intricacies of Pranayama breathing, an online course could be a good option for you. Online courses allow you to access the foundational philosophies and techniques of Pranayama without leaving your own home.
Online courses often have the following benefits:
- Flexibility. if you struggle to balance your wellness practice with work, school, or other demands, online classes often allow you to learn content when it works for you. Although some have online sessions that meet at a specific time, most are set up so that you can learn at your own pace and at any time of day.
- Access to experts. Virtual courses allow you to learn from Pranayama practitioners around the world. Instead of being limited by the area where you live, you can get firsthand insight from those who are revolutionizing the practice and sometimes have decades of experience.
- Low cost. Compared to an in-person class, online courses are generally taught at a lower cost or even at times for free. Also, you will not have to spend money commuting or on accommodations such as childcare that might be required if you have to travel to take a course.
- Revisiting materials. Materials are recorded in most online Pranayama courses. This will make it easy for you to come back and review concepts as you need to. Additionally, some courses offer unlimited access to course material, meaning you can go back and review materials for years to come.
The benefits of taking a Pranayama course online are undeniable. The following are the highest-ranking course options that will help you improve your breath work practice on your journey toward mindfulness.
1. My Vinyasa Practice: Pranayama and Breathwork Certification
My Vinyasa Practice’s Pranayama Certification program offers a comprehensive understanding of breath control, empowering you to become a catalyst for positive change. Deepen your knowledge of pranayama techniques and experience profound inner peace while cultivating increased vitality. As a certified pranayama instructor, you become a trusted guide, helping your students and clients alleviate stress, enhance mental clarity, improve respiratory health, and balance their lives.
Experience the transformative benefits of pranayama, the ancient yogic practice of breath control. By harnessing the power of your breath, you can unlock many benefits for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
What we love about the course:
- Deep and intentional breathing techniques in pranayama increase oxygen intake, improve lung capacity, and enhance overall respiratory function, promoting a more robust immune system and boosting energy levels.
- Pranayama helps calm the mind and reduce anxiety, stress, and symptoms of depression by activating the relaxation response through controlled breathing, fostering self-awareness, and emotional management.
- It serves as a gateway to explore the spiritual dimensions of yoga, awakening your spiritual essence and leading to a greater sense of connection, expanded consciousness, and understanding of yourself and the world.
Incorporating pranayama into your daily routine empowers you to cultivate mindfulness, inner harmony, focus, concentration, and mental clarity, enhancing overall productivity and performance in various aspects of life. Access their online training anytime, anywhere, to deepen your practice and improve your teaching skills, with courses approved by Yoga Alliance for continuing education requirements.
- The original price is $840, but My Vinyasa Practice often has deals on their programs.
2. Yoga Bliss: Classical Pranayama & Yogic Meditation Course
Yoga Bliss offers a 20-hour Classical Pranayama and Yogic Meditation Course to provide you with all the essential tools for cultivating daily practice. This course is perfect for beginners and those seeking to revisit traditional yogic techniques. You will learn the art of breath control and meditation as traditionally taught by experienced practitioners.
Experience the convenience of 100% online, self-paced learning. The course curriculum is structured to lead you from foundational principles to practical applications, ensuring a comprehensive understanding. You will develop a daily sadhana (spiritual practice) and acquire the knowledge and skills to share this transformative journey with others.
- Breath mastery. Begin your journey by understanding breathing waves and cultivating breath awareness. Explore the anatomy of breath and master diaphragmatic breathing techniques, setting a solid foundation for your practice.
- Asana integration. Learn how to seamlessly integrate asanas with pranayama and meditation, enhancing the depth of your practice and experiencing the union of body and breath.
- Purification techniques. Explore kriyas, yogic purification techniques that cleanse the body and prepare you for advanced breath control and meditation practices.
- Meditation exploration. Various meditation practices, including chakra meditation, guide you toward a profound inner calm and self-awareness.
- Advanced techniques. Unlock the power of bandhas (energy locks) and understand ratios in pranayama, enabling you to refine your practice for optimal results.
- Daily practice development. Gain insights on developing a consistent daily practice, anchoring the transformative effects of pranayama and meditation into your routine.
Upon completing this entry-level course, you’ll have earned a strong foundation in pranayama and meditation – a prerequisite for your Level 2 course. With lifetime access to lectures, videos, and documents, you can revisit and reinforce your learning whenever possible. Moreover, this Yoga Alliance-accredited course holds particular value for individuals with a 200-Hour Yoga Alliance Certification.
This course will nurture your growth and the potential to guide others towards well-being. Join Yoga Bliss in the 20-Hour Pranayama & Meditation Course and unlock the path to inner harmony and self-discovery.
3. Akasha Yoga Academy: 80-Hour Online Hatha and Pranayama Training
Discover a heart-centered journey of self-discovery with the Akasha Yoga Academy‘s 80-hour Online Hatha and Pranayama Training. This transformative program combines the ancient practices of Hatha Yoga and Pranayama, offering a profound exploration of breath and the energetic aspects of yoga. As a Yoga Alliance-certified training, this program goes beyond physical postures, embracing a holistic approach to nurture inner harmony and connection.
In the 80-hour online hatha and pranayama training, you will
- Cultivate self-awareness, compassion, and a deep connection with others and the world through a heart-centered yoga approach.
- Dive into the teachings of Hatha Yoga and Pranayama, exploring traditional postures, breath control, and techniques to expand your energy.
- Study at your own pace and convenience, accessing course materials from anywhere with an internet connection.
- Learn from experienced and dedicated yoga teachers who provide personalized guidance and support throughout the training.
Explore breath and its significance in the yoga practice
- Develop mindfulness and understanding of the breath as the foundation of your yoga practice.
- Discover the art of breath control and its role in balancing the mind, body, and spirit.
Experience the transformative power of Pranayama techniques
- Learn various Pranayama techniques, including Ujjayi, Nadi Shodhana, and Kapalabhati, to harmonize the breath and vital life force.
- Explore the energetic locks or bandhas, enhancing energy flow and deepening your practice.
Enroll in the Akasha Yoga Academy’s 80-hour Online Hatha and Pranayama Training and embrace the essence of yoga. This Yoga Alliance-certified program offers a profound journey of self-discovery and learning, preparing you to share the practice of yoga with authenticity and compassion. Embrace the Akasha Advantage and embark on a life-changing adventure to nurture inner peace and holistic well-being.
4. Siddhi Yoga: Breathwork and Pranayama Teacher Training
Presenting the Breathwork and Pranayama Teacher Training Course from Siddhi Yoga. This course offers a comprehensive curriculum to deepen your understanding of breathwork and pranayama, combining ancient wisdom with modern teaching methodologies. With a meticulously crafted training manual, over 100 video lessons, and 50 hours of self-paced training, this course provides a flexible and engaging learning experience suitable for all schedules and levels of expertise.
You will gain lifetime access to the course material and become part of the vibrant Siddhi Yoga Online Community. Not only does the training enable you to become a certified Breathwork and Pranayama Teacher with Yoga Alliance, but it also rewards you with 50 CE hours. You will explore personal growth and self-improvement, learning to harness the power of breath to navigate emotions, reduce stress, and cultivate mindfulness.
The course consists of 10 modules.
- Traditional Pranayama
- Aligning Body, Mind, and Breath
- The Scientific Aspect of Breath
- Breath and Emotions
- Preparing for Pranayama and Breathwork
- Foundational Breathwork
- Classical Pranayama
- Secondary Breathworks
- Pranayama and Breathwork Teaching Applications & Concepts
- Disorders, Conditions, and Breathwork Application
Siddhi Yoga is one of the top schools providing globally recognized Yoga, Ayurveda, and Meditation courses. This $309 online Breathwork and Pranayama Teacher Training program is for anyone. Beyond the practical and professional aspects, the training touches the core of your being and the lives of others through the profound wisdom of pranayama.
5. Online Yoga School: Pranayama Teacher Training and Breathwork Certification
Introducing the 50-Hour Breathwork Certification and YACEP Continuing Education Yoga Course, offered by the Online Yoga School. This comprehensive program equips you with the knowledge and skills to teach breathwork safely and effectively. Dive into the depths of pranayama and explore ancient wisdom while integrating the latest scientific research on breathwork. Gain a deep understanding of how pranayama practices influence your esoteric body through the exploration of nadis and bandhas. Join them on this transformative journey to become a certified breathwork practitioner.
What we like about this Pranayama Teacher Training:
- This training is registered with Yoga Alliance. As a Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider (YACEP), upon completing the Pranayama Teacher Training and Breathwork Certification, you will be eligible to earn 50 hours of continuing education credit with Yoga Alliance.
- This training is open to individuals from all backgrounds; you don’t need to be a yoga teacher to participate. Whether you have a yoga background, anyone can enroll in this program and become certified to teach breathwork.
- There are over 30 pranayama practices included in the training. Some of the pranayama practices you will learn incorporate Kapalabhati, otherwise known as Skull Shining Breath or Breath of Fire, Bhastrika or Bellows Breath, Sama Vritti or Box Breathing, sometimes known as Even Wave, Viloma I and Viloma II, Interrupted Inhales and Interrupted Exhales, and Nadi Shodhana, Alternate Nostril Breathing.
- You can teach breathwork anywhere with this internationally recognized breathwork certification.
- Pay a one-time fee of $199 or two payments of $105 each.
6. Samata Living: The Power of Breath
If you hope to gain an in-depth understanding of Pranayama techniques, the Power of Breath from Samata Living is a strong option.
This course focuses on ten specific Pranayama techniques. It includes a combination of written text and videos, all created by a knowledgeable yoga and meditation instructor with a wealth of prior experience.
It costs $30 for the entire pranayama course online, so it is economical for those looking to get the most for their money. Interested participants can also participate in a free course preview before committing to paying for the whole experience.
7. Sounds True: Pranayama
Pranayama, the practice of consciously releasing life energy from its bounds, stands as the central gateway to the true promise of yoga – the experience of ultimate freedom. Led by the esteemed Richard Freeman, a renowned spiritual teacher and yogic scholar, this six-month online video training course from Sounds True unravels the intricacies of pranayama, offering advanced meditation techniques that form a strong foundation for a lasting practice.
By delving into this transformative art of conscious breathwork, you will gain insight into the profound interplay between thoughts, physiology, and energetic patterns, empowering you to quiet the mind, heighten receptivity, and embrace the intrinsic radiance of being. Prior experience in yoga is highly recommended before enrolling in this course.
- Dive into pranayama’s history and essential principles to understand its profound significance.
- Learn to quiet the mind, heighten receptivity, and access the intrinsic radiance of being through conscious breathwork.
- Discover how pranayama bridges yoga’s active, outward practices with its internal meditative and philosophical facets.
- Benefit from Richard Freeman’s four-plus decades of expertise, guiding you into a deeper exploration of this essential skill.
Richard Freeman, a revered Ashtanga yoga instructor, invites you to explore the mysterious power of pranayama, opening the internal channels of flow and awareness to revitalize your body, mind, and spirit. As you progress through the six 75-minute sessions, you’ll uncover the transformative potential of each breath, weaving yoga’s freedom and immediate awareness into every aspect of your life.
Fee and course length
- $137 one-time payment
- Six 75-minute sessions
Can Pranayama Be Done at Any Time?
Since you’re learning about the practice of Pranayama breathing, you might be wondering if you can achieve this at any time.
While Pranayama can be done at any time when one is looking to bring relaxation and focus into one’s day, traditionally, Pranayama exercises are done in the mornings and the evenings.
The benefits of doing Pranayama practice are different at various times:
- Mornings are considered the ideal time for Pranayama breathing because of the clarity of mind one has after waking up and renewed energy.
- Evenings can also be suitable for Pranayama breathing if you can relax after the demands of your day. Sunset is a good time for your Pranayama practice because of the natural atmosphere of peace.
- Pranayama can be done at any time if established in an asana routine. Asana refers to posture, and when one goes through an Asana routine, they complete poses that prepare their mind and body for Pranayama breathing. If you are unfamiliar with an Asana routine, consider learning one to maximize the effectiveness of your Pranayama practice.
Your eating schedule is something to keep in mind when you are about to do Pranayama exercises. Doing Pranayama on an empty stomach is advisable because then you will not lose energy to digestion that could otherwise go toward your breathing practice. Wait approximately 3-4 hours after a meal to ensure your stomach is empty.
Most importantly, you are energized and peaceful going into your Pranayama practice. If you are distracted or extremely tired, it might be difficult to fully commit to your breathing and limit the benefits you can gain from your practice.
It may take some trial and error before you find a time of day that works best for your Pranayama practice. Consider following the guidelines for Pranayama routines and adjusting as best suits your scheduling needs and preferences.
How Long Should You Do Pranayama?
There are various opinions on how long you should dedicate to Pranayama breathing and how often it should be a part of your day.
A Pranayama practice can range anywhere from a few minutes of your time to up to two hours of breath work, although most yoga instructors recommend anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours.
Pranayama breathing is often beneficial by including meditation periods on both sides of your practice. For instance, a recommended sequence could be 10 minutes of meditation, 30-45 minutes of Pranayama breathing, and an additional 20 minutes of meditation.
However, you should not be overwhelmed if this time commitment seems too much. Dedicating 10 or 20 minutes of your day to practicing a specific Pranayama technique is possible.
The following are some things to consider when deciding how long to do Pranayama breathing:
- Your experience level. Less experienced yogis will have fewer Pranayama techniques. As you add more knowledge to your repertoire, you might find that you can dedicate more time to your practice and experiment with different Pranayama techniques.
- The importance of meditation. Meditation is an essential part of a Pranayama practice. It is necessary to clear your mind and see the effects of Pranayama on your overall well-being. Regardless of how long you can spend on your practice, this includes time for meditation. Without it, you will likely not be able to consider your Pranayama practice complete.
- Use repetition if needed. If you cannot practice Pranayama techniques for an extended time, repeating sequences at various points throughout the day can be helpful. If it is easier to dedicate 20 minutes three times per day instead of an hour in the morning, this can be an excellent way to continue to work on your wellness while still meeting the demands of your schedule.
The average person will probably not have time to dedicate hours toward a Pranayama practice. Fortunately, there are ways to break it up and still honor the meditative requirements that make it possible for most schedules.
Does Pranayama Really Work?
Pranayama is a centuries-old practice widely believed to have numerous benefits for physical and mental well-being. While individual experiences may vary, scientific evidence supports the positive effects of pranayama. Here are a few reasons why pranayama is considered adequate:
- Breath regulation. Pranayama techniques involve conscious control and regulation of the breath. Deep, slow, and rhythmic breathing has been shown to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes relaxation and reduces stress. It can help lower heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels.
- Oxygenation. Pranayama practices encourage more profound and efficient breathing, increasing oxygen intake. This oxygenates the blood and tissues, improving overall health and vitality. Oxygen-rich blood circulation benefits various bodily functions, including digestion, immune system function, and cognitive performance.
- Mental well-being. Pranayama has a calming effect on the mind. By focusing on the breath and practicing mindful awareness, pranayama helps to quiet the mind, reduce anxiety, and enhance mental clarity. It can also be a valuable tool for managing emotions and cultivating inner peace.
- Energy flow. Pranayama aims to balance the flow of prana or life force energy within the body. According to yogic philosophy, blockages or imbalances in prana can lead to physical and mental ailments. By practicing pranayama, individuals may experience improved energy levels, increased vitality, and a sense of overall well-being.
While pranayama has its benefits, it is essential to approach the practice with proper guidance and respect for your own body’s limitations. If you have any underlying health conditions, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional before starting pranayama or any other form of breathwork.
Final Thoughts on the Best Pranayama Yoga Courses Online
Whether you are new to the study of Pranayama methods or an instructor looking to expand your teaching knowledge, there is an online Pranayama course that can be a good fit for you. Before committing to a class, research these courses and consider your needs and budget.
After some time and study, you can integrate Pranayama breathing into your wellness practice in a way that works for you, bringing mental and physical benefits to your day. Suppose you are interested in working as an educator. In that case, these courses will allow you to grow your teaching expertise and educate others on Pranayama’s power.