Prāṇāyāma Unlocked: Understanding and Practice 3-Week Course

Prāṇāyāma Unlocked: Understanding and Practice 3-Week Course with Gary Kraftsow

Thursday, February 25–11 • 6:00–9:00 p.m.

Prāṇāyāma is considered one of the most powerful practices of yoga. Studies from Harvard, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), and many others have shown amazing benefits for conditions ranging from hypertension, stress, depression, and anxiety, as well as connections to core cardiac and respiratory function.
In this course, we will explore the ancient art and science of prāṇāyāma, understand its practical relevance for our own lives, and learn the fundamental methods of practice. The course will include three 3-hour sessions; each session will include a presentation, time for discussion and Q&A, and a full practice.
Week 1
  • understanding prāṇāyāma
    • Vedic ‘paradigms of human energy’
    • prāṇāyāma and autonomic nervous system
  • understanding inhalation and exhalation
    • how and why to vary the ‘directional flow’ of the breath
    • learn effective techniques for developing and refining inhalation and exhalation
      • anuloma and viloma krama
Week 2
  • understanding the art and science of ratio in prāṇāyāma
    • how and why to modify the proportional relationship between the four parts of the breath: inhalation, retention after inhalation, exhalation, suspension after exhalation
      • bṛṁhaṇa (nourish, build), laṅghana (reduce, eliminate), and samāna (balance)
  • understanding the relationship between āsana and prāṇāyāma
    • how to use breath adaptation in āsana to prepare for specific prāṇāyāma
Week 3
  • understanding the different techniques of prāṇāyāma
    • how to ‘valve’ the flow of breath
    • the ‘energetics’ of the different methods of practice
      • sūrya (heating) and candra (cooling)

Breath-centered asana practice and pranayama are among the greatest gifts from the yoga tradition to help us maintain our physiological and metabolic health and well-being, balance our emotions, and clarify our minds.
Gary Kraftsow

Participants will receive links to recordings of the sessions. Session recordings will be available to participants for streamable viewing for two weeks following each session.
This is an online workshop. You’ll need to download Zoom to attend. The Zoom link to access the program will be emailed to you within 24 hours of the program start time.



Gary Kraftsow, the founder and director of the American Viniyoga Institute, has been a pioneer in the transmission of Yoga for health, healing, and personal transformation for more than 40 years. He began his study of Yoga in India with T.K.V. Desikachar in 1974 and received a Viniyoga Special Diploma from Viniyoga International in Paris, France, in 1988.
Gary graduated with a B.A. from Colgate University in 1976 and received his master’s degree in psychology and religion from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1983. Around that time, he opened the Maui School of Yoga Therapy, and in 1999 he founded the American Viniyoga Institute™, LLC. Since then, he has become a renowned speaker and teacher of the Viniyoga methodology at many conferences and schools nationally and internationally.
Gary has successfully developed the protocol for two National Institutes of Health studies: “Evaluating Yoga for Chronic Low Back Pain” and “Yoga Therapy for Generalized Anxiety,” as well as for the “Mind-Body Stress Reduction in the Workplace” clinical trial for the Aetna insurance company.