3 Best Pranayama for Anxiety According to Dr. Nisha Manikantan

Dr. Nisha Manikantan is an Ayurvedic Doctor expert, wellness and lifestyle advisor. She is the Chief Consultant for the Cancer and Diabetes Care Program at the Sri Sri College of Ayurvedic Science and Research. In the video below, she explains the 3 best pranayama (yogic breathing exercises) for dealing with anxiety.

Source: The Art of Living Institute

How it works


“ Pranayama helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps regulate states of fight or flight that induce anxiety.”

By bringing awareness and controlling the breath, Pranayama helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps regulate states of fight or flight that induce anxiety.


A team of Brazilian researches have explored the effects of Bhastrika Pranayama (minute 17:42 of video) and found significant positive effects on the group that practiced this breathing technique. They found decreased levels of anxiety amongst participants, and activation in the areas of the brain related to emotional regulation.


Best Pranayama for Anxiety

Dr. Manikantan suggests these 3 breathing techniques to control anxiety (note that belly breathing is done in 2 positions):


5:32 Belly breathing in sitting pose

9:40 Belly breathing lying down on the back

13:17 Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhan Pranayama)

17:42 Bhastrika Pranayama


Hope you give these a try! Please, let me know in the comments if they helped you in any way.



Yoga Knowledge Disclaimer

I am currently studying yoga through the Bhodi Yoga Center. Bodhi Yoga™ is a therapeutic style of yoga that benefits beginners and challenges advanced students of any age or ability. It utilizes the power of the "slow approach," where the journey is as important as the destination.

Consult your physician before starting any new intense workout regimen.

Yoga is a ancient tradition linked to Indian cultures. I am not of Indian cultural descent and try to practice yoga from a place of learning and deep respect for cultures that made this practice available for all of us. Any yogic knowledge you see on this page was not created or invented by me, rather established and practiced for thousands of years. For more information on the history of Yoga, click here and visit the Indian Yoga Association webpage.


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I'm Emilie and I am passionate about helping people heal their lives with diet, mindfulness, and lifestyle. My focus is to help those with anxiety and depression heal naturally.

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