Sensation of breath during pranayama

I posted the same question in the Calming with pranayama video, and I am asking here in the forum as well:

I suffer from anxiety and this is one of the many videos and meditations I turn to in DYWM. Thank you so much David and the DYWM team, a blessing indeed!!

During the holding part of the breath, I feel like my breath seem to be “rolling” around in my torso/belly. Is that unusual? I am new to yoga and pranayama, and I’m wondering if I’m doing something wrong.

Please help correct me if I’m doing it wrongly.


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Hi there.

Thanks for the kind words. :slight_smile:

During a breath retention a wide variety of sensations can come up, from bursts of energy to movement of the organs in the belly to pressure to releases of tension. It’s difficult to answer your question without being in your body, but I imagine it’s likely some movement of food or gas in the belly. Or it could be energy movement. The breath retention during pranayama is designed to get things moving and often it depends on where you are blocked.

And to be clear, it does not mean that you are doing something wrong.

All the best,

DoYogaWithMe Founder

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Thank you David. I will continue as is as it didn’t cause any pain.

Also, will my previously underworked diaphragm ache somewhat after doing the pranayama? I feel a kind of ache something like sore leg muscles the day after a run if I had not been running for a long time

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Yes, absolutely. It is a muscle too, so working it hard will make it feel fatigued and sore.

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It’s interesting you asked this and you also posted about passing gas. I’m not particularly knowledgeable on this but it sounds like yoga and pranayama are getting your system moving where perhaps it has become sluggish or there are some energy blockages. I’ve experienced this in reiki where I’ve had big bubbles and rumbles going about in my tummy - that’s while lying still! So I suppose what I’m trying to say is as Westerners not many of us have a good understanding of the subtle energetics of the body but it sounds like your yoga practice is moving whats stuck (does that make sense?!).


Nicely said. I think that could be exactly what is going on. Get the energy moving! :slight_smile:

Spot on Helen! I am South East Asian, and here in our part of the world, we believe in energy movement in our body, especially in Yoga, Tai Chi, Xi Gong, Reiki (as you mentioned), etc etc.

I didn’t realise it when I posed the question, and after David’s explanation, plus your insight, it does seem pretty obvious to me now. Pretty embarrassing that my Asian connection is not as deeply rooted as I would have thought :slight_smile:️:slight_smile:️