Pranayama is More than the Breath

Join Doug Keller to learn why Pranayama is so much more than breathing! This practice stimulates and regulates the autonomic nervous system, supports emotional wellness, and offers body-mind tools for deepening the spiritual experience of meditation.


There are many contemporary practices and approaches to the breath that resemble yogic pranayamas — so much so that in many cases they are treated as a more modern update or even a replacement for pranayama practices!

But if we treat pranayama as having to do simply with breath regulation, we are missing out on the deeper power and significance of the practice as a yoga.

This webinar will be a straightforward experience of the fundamental pranayama practices and MORE.

What will be covered in this workshop?

We will set the larger context of pranayama as a system of yoga practice that stimulates and regulates the autonomic nervous system, supports emotional wellness, and offers body-mind tools for deepening the spiritual experience of meditation.

The context of the course will be set by the ‘Vayus,’ which were first introduced in the Upanishads, and taken up later by tantric philosophies of practice that informed hatha yoga.

This approach has clear connections to our evolving understanding of the Autonomic Nervous System as key to our health, mental states, and immune system. In short, we’ll be exploring a ‘big picture’ perspective that will make it clear that pranayama not just breath practice, but a full body-mind experience that goes far beyond just practicing feats of breath control.

The approach will be practical and accessible, and at the same time will add new dimensions to how the practices can be understood and experienced. Some background and foundations will be included from the yogic texts, and relationships will be drawn between the ‘yoga language’ of the texts and modern frontiers in our understanding of wellness.

In the end, we’ll experience how pranayama is so much more than breathing!

Friday Session: Stimulation, Grounding, and Equilibrium: Prana, Apana, and Samana

In this first session, we’ll lay out the basics, and then explore the practices that balance stimulation with grounding qualities aimed at bringing equilibrium, and all that that entails in self-regulating the nervous system. This will include introduction to the bandhas — especially a ‘soft’ practice of the bandhas that support the breath — and an exploration of the experiential meaning of Prana, Apana, and Samana in the fundamental practices.

Saturday Session: Space and Intention: Vyana and Udana

The deeper realms of pranayama practice as dharana and meditation, or key to meditative states, lie in the perception of ‘space’ (both inner and outer) in the experience of the breath, and the role of intention that has always been at the heart of the treatment of Prana in yoga. This session will refine the practices, with these qualities in mind, making the pranayamas not just ‘accessories’ to meditation, but themselves powerful meditations.

What format will the workshop take?

This workshop is structured to include both lecture and practice.


This workshop will be recorded and replay access offered to all students for 21 days after the event. If you cannot make the time but would like to attend, please register to receive the video link.


You will receive a Yogacampus e-certificate of attendance which details 5.5 CPD hours. The workshop hours are eligible for Yoga Alliance Continuing Education credits.

Meet the Teacher

Doug Keller has been teaching workshops and trainings in the therapeutic applications of yoga for a decade, and is known not only for his effectiveness in communicating this ever-evolving approach in these trainings, but also for his extensive writing on the topic in magazines, journals and his two-volume work on Yoga As Therapy. He is also, in addition to his travelling and teaching, a Distinguished Professor at the Maryland University of Integrative Health in their Master’s Degree programme in Yoga Therapy. This programme is state-approved and accredited for granting a Master’s degree in this field, and is fully accredited by the International Association of Yoga Therapists.

Doug has degrees in philosophy from Georgetown and Fordham Universities in the United States, and taught philosophy at college level for several years. He also spent a total of 14 years in Siddha meditation ashrams worldwide. He has produced three highly-respected books on asana, pranayama and yoga philosophy. Doug’s teaching is focused on the yoga of ‘Swatantrya,’ the yoga of one’s own inner expansion and awakening, and is rooted in a vast and inclusive perspective of study and practice that honours the insights of the many streams of wisdom that flow into the river of yoga.

Doug Keller

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