Back to Course

200Hrs Yoga Teacher Training

0% Complete
228/228 Steps
Lesson 18 of 228
In Progress

Beginner Pranayama. Belly, Rib Cage, and Kidney


Today we will go through some of the basic breathing exercises (Pranayama).

Pranayama is the expansion of breath and the acquisition of energy. You might hear new concepts but don’t worry about them too much, we will learn everything in due time. For now, pay attention to learn about:

  • Belly breathing
    Helps increase the supply of blood and nutrients to muscle blood and bones.
    Increases supply of oxygen and nutrients to cells in the body.
    Supports muscle growth.

    Rib cage breathing
    It improves your core muscle stability.
    It improves your body’s ability to tolerate intense exercise

    Kidney breathing
    strengthening kidney energy.
    positive influence on the reproductive and renal systems.
    Increases longevity.


  1. Hello Hira! Is it possible that you were rather hard on yourself during the exercise? Lower your blocks or use a pillow under the rib cage. Take it easy, allow your body time to adjust to a new experience. It is not normal to feel pain after any of the breathing exercises. Usually pain is an indication your body gives to let you know something is wrong. If it persists please consult professionals. Take care, much love!

  2. Hi,
    I have 2 questions regarding this awesome breathing exercise :
    1/ Belly breathing
    It’s not precised about deep breath, so do we inhale till the air fills in the belly & diaphragm only? Not extending to the chest?

    2/ Rib & Kidneys breathing
    It’s precised to breath deeply, in doing so, all parts from my belly till chest area all inflated. Then, what is the difference / the point between the rib & kidneys breathing as I feel all belly to chest parts inflating when doing these exercises? Are those breathing basically to focus our mind onto certain part; rib cage and kidneys ?

    Thank you.

  3. Hey Gita!
    1/ Yes, with belly breathing you will not extend the chest. Keep the air movement in the belly and diaphragm.
    2/ Deep breath is not the same as full yogic breath ( when you breathe belly till chest fully with air). You can breathe deeply and still direct the air more specifically. So when you do rib breathing then direct your breath to that area and try to feel the expansion/movement to the outer sides of your chest. When you do kidney breathing (preferably in child’s pose), tuck your belly in a bit and try to feel the movement more in your lower back. If it is accessible to you then ask your friend to place their two hands on your kidneys to help you feel the area more 🙂

    Always stay patient and kind to yourself in new practices!

  4. I feel discomfort in my knees entering to childshood with my knees either together or open. Tried putting a pillow on the sit bones and got discomfort in thighs back or front.

    My feet also dont like this position of child’s pose. Any added cushion that might help comfort in this kidney breathing? Or poses hold to prepare the body for this type of breathing.

    I strained my low back doing a deadlift 4 years ago, not sure that is the cause but might have caused some initial mis alignment

  5. Hey Riley!
    It seems to us that you have a problem with your meniscus. It can be from either rotating the knees in or out. You need to make sure the knees and foot line up at all times. So if your knee rolls out, you need to turn your foot out. If your knee rolls in, you need to turn your foot in. Otherwise, you have to adjust the knee from the top of the thigh.
    Childs pose – put a towel underneath the ankles, if the problem is the ankles. Two towels right behind the knee, if the problem is the knee.
    Our lead teacher Peewee thinks you have some kind of meniscus inflammation in the knee and she advises you to go and have it checked out by the doctor. It is probably not from the deadlift unless you tore your meniscus during the deadlift when you rotated your foot in.

  6. Hi, after I did the three Pranayama exercises in a row, I felt dizzy in my head. Is that normal or did I do something wrong? Did I breath to deep and intensive?

  7. Hi Sarah,
    Some people experience this when they are usually new to the practice and have not given proper breather gaps between pranayama…
    Or even suddenly at once done it for an extended amount of time.

    During Pranayama, many times there is hyperventilation.
    Hyperventilation means breathing that is deeper and more rapid than normal.

    Now, this hyperventilation causes sometimes a decrease in CO2 in the blood, giving the feeling of washout or dizziness… Makes you feel light headed. Sometimes be short of breath also.

    So it is okay. Nothing to be worried about Just take it to step by step.
    1. Start with a few rounds at the beginning and then increase it every week.

    2. After every pranayama, come back to your natural breath. Or sometimes if you feel like take gaps between each set of rounds even in the same pranayama.

    3. Total amount of time taken to practise Pranayama should not exceed more than 20 – 25 mins (unless personally advised by your GURU – spiritual master) This includes few warm ups, in the beginning, gaps in between and even few mins relaxation towards the end…