Kriyas, Full Breathing and Pranayama by Rutu Panjwani



Kriyas are cleansing practices. In the sense, we practice kriyas daily, like bathing, washing, brushing, etc. are all Kriyas. But yogic Kriyas refer to special yoga techniques developed by yogis, meant to clean internal organs. Amongst the Kriyas, there are 6 major kriyas called Sat Kriyas.
Expample of breathing in Kriya is Kapalbhati.


This is preparatory breathing practice for Pranayama. It corrects wrong breathing patterns and increases the vital capacity of the lungs. It has 4 primary patters:

  1.  Abdominal breathing
  2. Thoracic breathing
  3. Upper Lobar Breathing
  4. Full yogic breathing (Main)


“Pranayama is control of Breath”. “Prana” is Breath or vital energy in the body. On subtle levels prana represents the pranic energy responsible for life or life force, and “ayama” means control. So Pranayama is “Control of Breath”. One can control the rhythms of pranic energy with pranayama and achieve healthy body and mind.
Example: Nadi Shonana, Shitli & Shithkari, etc…

Difference between Kriya, Full yogic breathing and Pranayama.

Effect Kriya Yogic Full Breathing Pranayama
1. Breathing Rate About 120/mt. Washing away CO. and increased oxygen concentration About 15/mt. Full utilization of all muscles. Normal breathing Less than 5 breathes/mt
2. Respiratory Muscles Exercised Briskly Complete movement of all groups of muscles Complete movement of all groups of muscles Controlled slow movement
3. Circulation Greatly increased,
greater concentration of oxygen in blood
Slightly increased, more oxygen can be supplied to tissues Less demand than normal
4. Nervous system Quick, repetitive nerve impulses, stimulating effect. Normalized nerve impulse. Reduced excitability of nerve impulses.
5. Brain cells Activated, greater alertness Harmonious functioning. Deep rest to brain cells.
6. Metabolic rate  Increased greatly, energy expenditure is more. Normalized. Proper utilization of energy. Decreased considerably. Energy conserved and dormant energies are evoked.
7. Overall Personality Shatter (Tamas). Creates more activeness Channelises the Rajas. Unnecessary wastage of energy is cut. Becomes more healthier Potential capabalities are evoked. Mind becomes calmer. One feels fresh, relaxed and dynamic.
8. Limitations Should be avoided by people with High BP, Heart disease, Vertigo, Epilepsy, Hernia, Gastric ulcer, Slip disc, Spondylosis, Women during menses and advanced stage of Pregnancy. No Limitations No limitations except those with cold and cough should avoid Shithali and Sthithkari Pranayams.

Rutu Trivedi Panjwaniby Rutu Trivedi Panjwani