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4 Power Breathing Exercises to Increase Energy

January 04, 2018

Using breathing exercises for energy may be the last thing you’re thinking about right now, but it works!

Ancient and modern healers have used therapeutic breathwork for everything from meditation, to increasing resistance to stress, to even connecting with higher consciousness.

With a little knowledge and practice, you can learn to use your breathing to harness more energy.

If you’re feeling sluggish or run down, applying the right breathing techniques can give you the boost you need to stay focused, active, and productive.

The Practice of Pranayama

Pranayama is the Ayurvedic practice of breath control. It’s usually done in conjunction with Yoga. Pranayama is used to balance and enhance “prana” (meaning life force in Ayurveda).

Pranayama delivers revitalizing oxygen to all the body’s cells. Research finds it can help people with asthma to breathe more easily.

Pranayama is also great way to enhance a detox program, increasing the elimination of toxins that cause fatigue through the circulatory system.

4 Power Breathing Exercises to Try

Try the following breathing exercises for an energy lift when you have a few minutes. Go at your own pace. Some people need to build up to the full exercise over time.

Note: Do not try power breathing exercises if you’re feeling faint or while driving.

Ujjayi Pranayama (victorious or ocean breath):

This pranayama technique works based on your unique needs. It’s relaxing if you’re feeling over stimulated, and energizing if you’re feeling burned out.

It’s a long, smooth breath. When done correctly, Ujjayi mimics the sound of the ocean.

  • Sit comfortably. With your lips closed, breathe in deeply through your nose.
  • Then, exhale with an open mouth, constricting your breath slightly, and make a “hah” sound. This should similar to hissing.
  • Repeat 5-10 times.

Many practitioners say Ujjayi sounds like the Science Fiction villain, Darth Vadar. Once you learn the technique, you can practice it quietly, too.

Modified Wim Hif Technique:

Wim Hif is a Dutch adventurer who uses breath work to help withstand harsh climates and situations. His technique is similar to Tummor (inner heat) meditation and Pranayama.

  • Sit comfortably. Then, take 30 power breaths. Use short, but strong breaths like you’re blowing up a balloon.
  • Afterwards, draw in your breath once more fully, but without effort. Then, let the breath out. Hold until you feel moderate discomfort.
  • Take a deep breath to close the exercise.

This technique can really boost your energy and mental clarity, but remember to take it slow when you’re first learning it.

Sitali Pranayama (cooling breath):

This technique is excellent for people who feel overheated or who live in a hot, dry climate, If heat is burning you out literally, try this exercise to cool down.

Sitali Pranayama is also a great choice to regain focus if you’re feeling irritable or angry (signs of heat in the body).

  • Sit comfortably with your chin slightly lowered.
  • Open your mouth, extend your tongue out slightly. Curl the sides of your tongue so it looks like straw. (Note: Some people are unable to do this. If so, try a different exercise.)
  • Breathe in slowly through the mouth and over the tongue. You should feel the coolness of your breath as you do this. Hold your breath for a moment.
  • Then, exhale slowly through the nostrils.
  • Repeat 5-10 times.
Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (alternate nostril breathing):

This exercise is my favorite choice on days when I’m feeling off physically or mentally.

Nadi Shodhama is a harmonizing breathing exercise, designed to energize, improve focus, and calm stress. It also promotes lung and respiratory health, and helps speed up toxin release for cleansing.

  • Sit comfortably and rest your left arm on your lap.
  • Make a peace sign with your right hand. Place your two extended fingers on the bridge of your nose.
  • Then, place your thumb on the right nostril. Your ring and little finger will be used to cover your left nostril.
  • Close your right nostril with your thumb and breath in through the left nostril for about 4 seconds.
  • Then, close your left nostril with your ring and little finger, and breathe out for about 4 seconds. Alternate nostrils and repeat 5-10 times.

Breath for Your Energy and Life

Your entire life from beginning to end is based on your breath. Use pranayama and the exercises in this article to help promote good health, vibrant energy, and a calm mind.

For more techniques to try, check out: Pranayama for More Energy or work with an experienced Pranayama practitioner.

Breathing forms the fabric of our existence and is an extremely valuable tool for improved energy.


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Holcombe, K. (2012, June). Breathe easy: Relax with Pranayama. Retrieved from Yoga Journal,
Miller, T. (2007, Aug.). What is Ujjayi? Retrieved from Yoga Journal,
Watkins, P. (2014, March). 3 Reasons why everyone should try alternate nostril breathing. Retrieved from Mind Body Green,
Wim Hof method revealed. (2017). Retrieved from InnerFire,