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Pranayama Breathing Time - How Long To Hold Breath In Yoga Practice – Pranayama

Pranayama breathing time is described in Hatha Yoga Pradipika (II 11 – 12). Here is a look at how long to hold breath in yoga practice pranayama. It is recommended by Swatmarama that a sincere student who wants to drive the full benefits of pranayama should practice if four times each day.

And at each sitting one should practice eighty kumbhakas, that is, holding the breath inside the lungs.

The duration of each kumbhaka is measured according to three standards.
  1. The lowest standard means holding the breath approximately twelve seconds in each kumbhaka.
  2. The middle standard is of kumbhaka for twenty four seconds, and
  3. the highest standard includes each kumbhaka for forty seconds or more.
Practicing three and twenty kumbhakas of the lowest measure every day leads to profuse sweating of the body. The middle standard gives rise to kampana, ie a tingling sensation along the spine. This is an indication of good progress.

The highest standard is practiced by highly adept students and yogis.

  • The Patanjala Yogasutra (1941) by Bengali Baba – published by N R Bhargava Pune
  • Hathayogapradipika (1949) by Srinivasa Iyengar – Theosophical Publishing House, Chennai
  • Encyclopedia Of Hinduism Volume V page 439 IHRF