Need an advise Nadi Shodhana


I used to do this pranayama all the times. recently, I noted that when I breath for a few minutes I experience urgent need for deep inhale and start to yawn… and if I keep going the tears would run from my eyes…no emotion thought…
Then I start to yawn non-stop and have to quit this pranayama…
As far as I know, these are symptoms of oxygen deficiency… yawning when not sleepy is one of them…

Any suggestions?

Thank you


Very curious CityMonk!

Not sure why the yawning and tears, but I can tell you that it is not a sign of Oxygen deficiency. Many people, including myself, thought this, but study after study showed no connection. Went to “Bodies, the exhibition” when it was here and one of the things they said it is a myth is that yawning is oxygen def.


Citymonk -

Clarify for me - are you yawning all the time when NOT doing pranayama? As in, you are going about your day and suddenly you have this overwhelming desire to yawn because yawning is the only way you feel satisfied? OR - do you mean that only when you practice pranayama, you get this very yawny feeling?


СityMonk, I think you`re just breathing too slowly.
Reach this gradually.
Did you try Bhastrika before Nadi Shodhana?
Anyway, you surely have enough experience to deal with this little problem.:wink:


[QUOTE=suryadaya;41079]Citymonk -

Clarify for me - are you yawning all the time when NOT doing pranayama? As in, you are going about your day and suddenly you have this overwhelming desire to yawn because yawning is the only way you feel satisfied? OR - do you mean that only when you practice pranayama, you get this very yawny feeling?[/QUOTE]

only during Nadi Shodhan…


Anyway, you surely have enough experience to deal with this little problem.;)[/QUOTE]

Thats what I thought:)
Everything is the same even when I do bhastrika before…


Have you tried adjusting the ratio of seconds that you inhale and exhale for?

I have not experienced your problem personally, but I felt that the recommended number of seconds that one should inhale and exhale for, just didn’t seem ‘enough’ for me, if that makes any sense.

I found that my personal ratio was 6:12.

I doubt that the yawning is due to an oxygen deficiency, as you are still getting enough oxygen and I am at a loss to explain it rationally.

I would still keep up with it, making sure that the room is cool and well ventilated and that you don’t practice this straight after meals and all that.


If you’ve been experiencing instability issues then I would start off with 1:1 but let the actual duration and relative duration extend naturally(moving to 1:2).

Again -ONLY if you feel inclined to employ kumbhaka then try a couple of secs, 2-3 to begiin with, or whatever is your comfortable duration.I don’t feel that is appropriate though in the light of wha you’ve said though.

If you want to start of accessing the breath before-hand you can do gentle belly -chest breathing in savasana though it’s really the diappraghm that is doing the work, and it’s actions together with the lungs that are causing these movements.Or gentle ujjayi- i’ve been speculating recently that ujjayii may re-circulate air in the lungs to help ensure even distirbution within the lungs(both of them) as well increase the uptake & utltization of oxygen via the aveoli( the little sacs that take in the O2)

If you’re stuggling for air with nadi shodhana, anulom viloma you may want to include an interspersion- what this means is that say every couple of breaths what ever your comfortable duration is say breath through both nostrils IN & OUT then contonue with alernation of nostrils. Or just stop and wait til breath is comfortable and has resumed normal.

Just take the baby steps and then you can continue the practice. You may and should find the breath,actual duration- i.e no. of secs, will extend naturally the more you practice.But begining with 1:1 is a good stable platform to scale back to or start off with if you’ve experienced any instability issues.

Practice wisely, make the necessary observations using a bit of common sense & making any neccessary adjustments accordingly.If the breath is short or struggling then respect that and start again or stop.

Pranayama is a delicate art and science , and very subtle , yet potentially very powerful also.Just do your baby steps and don’t fell inclined to rush ahead into something exotic or over-elaborate. The breath is your cue and will let you know if it’s not comfortable. You just respect that & back off. Never force or do pranayam in a breathless or forcing fashion.Because it has such an intimate link with the nervous system you just repsect this fact and proceed accordingly.


With respect to yawning i think the difference between activating the parasympathetic NS( the realm of meditative practices) and falling asleep can be quite thin.

That is one reason why lying down is not always ideal for more meditative practices as well as any issues of alignment etc. But in those that may find it hard to sit upright , spine neutral, for whatever reason, stress, poor posture, it’s better than nothing and although not ideal acceptable…A meditative position in a seat/chair or sittting on floor does help keep you alert and may ensure a more conducive position.Sitting in a meditative seat on chair or floor does help keep you more awake and alert etc.


I’ve noted the same thing with ujjayi breath… start to yawn after few minutes… So have to assume that it is not about shortens of inhale… but about too long exhale… :?


Tips for nadi shodhana, anulom viloma & other breath-work/pranayam :- -keep the eyes closed- i believe it’s more effective this way indeed many more meditative practice makes it more powerful.relax, introvert one’s attentions, the mind is free, from distractions and so on incl. external and sensorial.

[B]-[/B]try to relax the pressure at the temples- think eye-balls, what effect this haas on the brow, both brain hemispheres and 3rd-Eye activity, this what i have been learning about more i.e exploring more recently, even Iyengar talks about it and makes reference to it quite a few times in during asana & pranayama

-feel the prana, the effects of prana- the currents moving as friction , obstructions clear & awareness opens, watch the motions of the prana as they are led by the motions of the mind. so the implication is control the mind-make it more one-pointed, clear it of any liingering pre-occupations,impressions, thought waves<------>-(regain,establish,facilitate) control the breath

and it can & does work the other way. but that’s why a simple meditation practice/technique is good- e.g just being still, or watching breath, watching and/or saying
mantra/mental object , wave(s) of conscious/unconscious vibrations.

  • if you are so inclined tip the neck forward slighty, this supposedly aids in introspection

-learn and gain betteer grips with the principle and uses of digitally controlled pranayam where yu can fine-tune the relative flow of pran or breath at the nostrils through the combination of partial and complete obstruction of flow at either nostrils. again practice. this helps towards equalisation. if any doubts, instablility or non-predicted come into play the fall back to standard mode without partial obstruction- this digital control & fine-tuning/refinement of pranayam,i.e using the fingers is taken from the pranayam laid out in Iyengar’ s Light on Yoga supposedly.It supposedly brings greater equilibirum and balance but i would introduce it cautiously ,see how you repsond to it at first.Observe effects, then make any apporpriate adjustments. Simply stop if you’re out of breath , condtions are not ideal. I personally lie down in savasana, practice bretahing through both nostrils nice and deep and full, nice & easy first of all, get relaaaxed.make sure you feel so. tune in.
can’t think of any other tips right now.

Regarding ujjayi breath,

you can do that in a relaxed fashion focusing on the resonance as much as the quality and controleled relaxed restiction of breath. think of bhramari or om chanting for that matter.

if the exhale is too long, then well it’s too long and you’re goone gasp for in hair on the next cycle. sometimes after an exhale a little is left in the lungs and also.

check this out. i think it’s a great resource. this is what it has to say and advise about pranayama and it’s use.

You’ve probably seen this site but it’s worth putting out again.

I think it’s worth taking techniques you know and are longer-term familiar with and falling back on them if in any doubt. follow your instincts

as i say i have read in the literature and have experienced a connection between yawning like physiological occcurence/ phenomena and activation of the parasympathietic- that conducive to healing and deeper meditative states & psycho-somatic events.It’s almost lie or akin to the nervous system talking to itself, opening up in dialogue, mind , body. ,going within, allowing,letting etc



as i say i have read in the literature and have experienced a connection between yawning like physiological occcurence/ phenomena and activation of the parasympathietic- that conducive to healing and deeper meditative states & psycho-somatic events.It’s almost lie or akin to the nervous system talking to itself, opening up in dialogue, mind , body. ,going within, allowing,letting etc[/QUOTE]

Thank you for the link.

so… you think that yawning is a good sing of PNS activation? this is the one aim of pranyama, right?


Hi CityMonk,

You’re welcome.

When we are in the parasympathetic ,everything generally slows down- heart rate, breathing and so on.

We are generally moving away from the sympathetic,what’s often referred to as the domain of the fight and/or flight response, where we are primed for engagement with externality or ‘worldly affairs’. Some folk of course remain permanently stuck in the parasympathetic.They go from one activity to the next and never truly relax, deep sleep in the yogic sense or chill-out. It is good to have a balance between the two.

Yawning is not necessarily one of the physiolgical markers i would identify as significant for the parasymapthetic mainly because what i have said the line between falling asleep, yawning being a precursor and corollorary to drifiting , and being well into parasymapathetc could be a thin one.

Yes i would say yawning is a symptom but you do raise an itneresting question on this topic.I will say that some folk report sleepiness,drowsiness and yawning during and after practices. And i have heard the explanation given for this as purification which eventually passes.On timescales of weeks ,that’s alright however if it persisted for several months then a review of the practice routine would be called for and a question would be raised over whether that practice was A)appropriate for that individual and/or B) effective for them too.If the practitioner consistently felt like sleeping after practices for timescales over a month or 2 then imo&e a review would probably be sensible.If practices are not deliverinig even with a religiously devoted routine a sensible reivew of the whole apporach is probably in order. Review.

Aim of pranayama? - well to support the other limbs,practice methods, approach(es).For what over-all aim? well maybe for whatever you are seeking- wanting to feel better,self-realisation and enlightenement.I remember something Nisaragadatta said something like- the seearch for the self(our true one,real nature) ends when we give up seeking, the search for the (false) self being a kind of illusion. i.e the self does’nt exist.

Pranayam helps awaken kundalini but i think one needs a meditation technique or approach in order to cultivate witness consciousness and let the divine flow within & thus also outisde of us.

One boon is having ended suffering through liberation.It’s oftent said that it’s the ceasing of ideintification with any suffering that’s said to be significant.What does this mean? Weel it’s just a play on conscioussness, a projection, it appears real but it’s not really.

BTW You need hatha yoga & raja yoga and pranayam is like a bridge between the two.Also karma yoga,helping & inspiring others too is useful too as it provides out outlet for letting the divine flow out of us…A valve perhaps.Thoough it will flow out anyway, as it knows where to go.

You know that much if not all speculations end when we practice religiously.

Find those practices,methods approaches, philosophies that work for you and discard the rest at least for the moment. If you need any in the future they’ll still be there.So one’s practices are an ongoing evolution and they can and may benefit from tinkering and experiementation from time to time.Everything often & usualy does sort itself out once we practice.

The dynamic duo of simple but effective and releatively easy-to-do pranayams and a tested meditation apporach is a good alchemy.Keep it subtle. Less is more.Remember that.


When i first read your post i thought you might have a mild relatively low sleep apnoea index (connected with mechanical obstruction of the wind-pipe or epiglottis but also often having neurological causes too)However it think it’d be hard to reach any hard conclusions based on the evidence what you’ve said, ,and the fact that the diagnosis ‘sleep apnoea’ is still quite mainstream medicine means within a holistic yogic perspective it might be misleading .Labels like that never really give a complete picture anyway.The mains tream medical establishement barely even understand what this condition might be, primary causes, symptoms etc.Indeed in mild case it may be somewhat not completely relevant.

And i do think you’re maybe onto somethiing when you suggest it might be parasymapthetic arousal as i have read a number of things in the literature about the physilology of yawning and in this connetion although the explanations for yawning could be so numerous and because there is also that sometimes finer dividing line between drifting into unconscious sleep of course then any conclusions wil be based on incomplete eivdence from this side at least.Not to mention the confusion connected with the fact that practices that are simply not working and maybe confusing or even disorientating the nervous system could lead to fatigue, mugginess and therefore eventual yawning before & afterwards.It clouds things, the subject for me in light of some of my own experiences.Although i do think you’re onto something and yawning may indicate parasymapthetic arousal but it could also mean other things and ivnersely speaking symptooms of parsymapthetic arousal may manifest in many other ways or have other more noticeable markers- slowing down of physiological mechanisms,processes…

You might want to look at this, out of interest.:-

P.S I only thought mild sleep apnoea index because you mentioned in a personal level that you had used drugs in the past and research has shown that those that have had drug history( or prescribed medication conceivably) use or abuse have ben shown to have a higher than average sleep apnoea index, opiate users i know for sure because i used to be one.I don’t myself read b however too much into labels of these kinds however.I just felt like mentioniing it.

And by the way, that instructional website link is second to none that i’m aware of when it come to online pranayama instruction.Those pranayama teachings are based on a book called ‘Light on Pranayama’ by BKS Iyengar.The web-link is much easier to follow than the book though. It provides a condensation of main principles & practices and a pretty good laid out one at that.Quite clear and so on.I’ve begun incorporatiing stuff within my own practice some of the techniques and suggestions found there.


I have got the book though i’d expect any practitioner unless they had studied with an iyengar teacher traiined in their methods might find the book quite technical and detailed.

I’d point you to:-
Perhpas Brahmari if you felt like it too,were so inclined.
The first 2 above can be incorporated into nadi shodhana aka alternate nostril breath.

The main practice i have been practciing or experimented with recently is the use of digitally controlled pranayama employing mixture of partial & complete obstruction of nostrils, with interesting results.I believe the whole idea here is you fine-tune the balance, the lungs exit in a balanced fashion, the prana moves as a result of balance, as you ensure equalisation of breath throough each nostril and so on.You do want to be able to feel the prana,sense it and that is where a meditation practice, even basic one can come inn quite useful indeed.Especially when kundalini stirs and wakes up you have witness consciousness cultivated and in place.


Dear all,

Hari om.

I get yawning for all breathing exercises , bramari, nadi suddhi, bastrika.

Please advise


I get yawning for all breathing exercises , bramari, nadi suddhi, bastrika.

There is no issues. Your body is getting relaxed and it is perfectly fine. if you feel sleepy after pranayama then sleep too.

With practice and changes in diet and lifestyle , these symptoms will reduce and you will be alert.

yawning is actually a good sign to start with. With practice you get more awareness.