Pranalogy and the Study of Prana
Yoga in State College
Doug Hayward

Doug Hayward

Pranalogy is the science of the study of the breath and the study of our individual life force or Prana.

One definition of Prana is “That force which causes us to breathe the first moment we are born.”

This article from somewhat explains the biological process but ends with a very interesting statement. “The most profound change at birth is your first breath. At this point, your lungs, which were filled with fluid during pregnancy, must suddenly fill with oxygen from the air. The fluid in the lungs is removed through the blood and lymph system, and is replaced by air. Your lungs must be able to exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide. At the same time, vigorous blood circulation in the lungs will begin. The first few breaths after birth may be the most difficult breaths you will take for the rest of your life. There are a couple of things that will stimulate you to take your first breath. Hormonal and other changes during labor slow down or stop the production of fluid in the lungs, and may initiate the reabsorption of fluid from the lungs." There are probably many other factors that stimulate your first breath, but they have not been identified yet.

Pranalogy may also be referred to as the study of Pranayama, which is the fourth limb of Yoga coming from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

Air is our most valuable asset. If you were given a choice of $10,000 or 3 more days worth of air ~ unless you were considering passing on an inheritance ~ I think the choice is pretty clear.

So, Pranalogy is the study of what best to do with this valuable resource and how to do it. Although not a new science, the name is relatively new and the science is emerging into the public consciousness as the benefits of this knowledge spread throughout the population. Mostly taught in Yoga Ashrams and Yoga Studios throughout the world; Pranalogy will start making it’s inroads into Medical Schools , Respiratory Therapist’s offices, Doctor’s offices and Hospitals as well as into general life situations. Situations being referred to here are those which call for appropriate responses to not only critical moments, but also moments of pleasure, activity areas such as sports, and creativity.

Yoga in State College
Those who study and teach Pranalogy are referred to as Pranalogists.

Some of the Pranayamas and their benefits are listed below. They are mostly gleaned from two books written by Saraswati; however this is by no means the only source of this aspect of Pranalogy. Over the centuries these methods have been passed down from instructor to student over and over again and it is only within the last 100 or so years that they have been widely available in literature and video.

Here is a list of some Pranyamas:

Natural Breathing
Diaphragmatic Breathing
Thoracic Breathing
Clavicular Breathing
Yogic Breathing
Nadi Shodhana Pranayama ( various techniques ) ~ Benefits: Increases awareness of and sensitivity to the breath in the nostrils. Minor blockages are removed and the flow of breath in both nostrils becomes balanced. Breathing through the left nostril activates the right brain hemisphere breathing thru the right nostril activates the left hemisphere. It also gives more pronounced balancing of the breath and the brain hemispheres. It has calming effects and relieves anxiety, and improves concentration.
Antar and Bahir Kumbhaka ( methods ) ~ Benefits : gives profound psychological effects, purifies and balances the pranic forces.
Sheetali Pranayama ~ Benefits: This practice cools the body and affects important brain centers associated with biological drives and temperature regulation. It cools and reduces mental and emotional excitation, and encourages the free flow of prana throughout the body.
Sheetkari Pranayama
Bhramari Pranayama ~ Benefits: Relieves stress and cerebral tension, and so helps in alleviating anger, anxiety and insomnia, increasing the healing capacity of the body. It strengthens and improves the voice. Bhramari induces a meditative state by harmonizing the mind.
Ujjayi Pranayama ~ Benefits: Ujjayi is classified as a tranquillizing pranayama and it also has a heating effect on the body. This practice soothes the nervous system and calms the mind. It has a profoundly relaxing effect at the psychic level. It helps to relieve insomnia.
Bhastrika Pranayama ~ Bhastrika reduces the level of carbon dioxide in the blood. It helps to alleviate inflammation in the throat and any accumulation of phlegm. It balances and strengthens the nervous system, inducing peace, tranquility and one pointedness of mind in preparation for meditation.
Kapalbhati Pranayama ~ Benefits: good for smokers to clean lungs, balances nervous system, removes sensory distractions, removes sleepiness. Good for spiritual aspirants as it energizes the mind before meditation. Moorchha Pranayama ~ Benefits: enable a psychic state to be experienced. Mental tranquility. Helps alleviate anger and anxiety.
Surya Bheda Pranayama ~ Benefits: Creates heat in the body. Increases extroversion and dynamism. Physical activities are performed more efficiently. Alleviates lethargy. Increases alertness and perception.

To become a certified Pranalogist you must learn the above mentioned Pranayamas to the extent that you can practice and teach them from memory along with the intricate methodologies that accompany some of the Pranayamas.

For more info contact us at
Yoga in State College 220a S. Allen Street State College, PA. 16801 610-780-9821