Cleansing Breath

Is the air quality affecting your breathing? Are you getting headaches due to smoke from the California wildfires? Let’s hold off on the deep ujayi breaths until the air clears. In the meantime, try this Cleansing Breath exercise, learned from from Sri Dharma Mittra, that will help heal the respiratory system and relieve tension headaches. Watch this video for instructions.

How to do Cleansing Breath

  1. Sit up tall or stand with a tall spine.
  2. Cross your pinky and ring finger (vishnu mudra)
  3. With your thumb, plug the right nostril, ring finger plugs the left nostril
  4. Inhale through the LEFT nostril
  5. Exhale through the RIGHT nostril
  6. Repeat 5-10 rounds

Once you are comfortable breathing this way….

  1. Start to increase speed, similar to a locomotive.
  2. After a set of several repetitions, hold your breath (kumbhaka).
  3. Repeat 2-3 times

We have been practicing the breathing exercise in our bay area Office Yoga® classes due to the California wildfires. The air quality has reached a toxic level. If you are affected by air quality due to fires, or even smoke or encounter smokers on a regular basis, this is a great pranayama to incorporate into your daily practice.

If you want more on Office Yoga® or sessions at your workplace, contact us directly at

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