In Sanskrit, Sama means same or equal and Vritti can mean waves or breath, so this pranayama is about equalizing breaths. This technique is great for reducing stress. It has a nice visualization and is also great for kids. The ultimate goal of this practice is to have equal amounts of inhaling, holding, exhaling, holding. The counting combined with visualizing the breath in the path of a square helps to keep the mind focused. This is best done from an upright position to facilitate a free and energizing flow of prana. A few things to note though, it might not feel good or natural to hold your breath and that’s okay. You can always work up to longer holding times, or allow the holds to be shorter as you match the times of your inhale and exhale. Always remember to choose your own pace, use your own breath capacity, trust your body, and do what feels right for you.
Bring awareness to your natural breath.
Begin to invite the Dirgha or 3 part Yogic Breath.
Begin to inhale and count to 4.
Hold your breath in for 4 (or as long as it feels comfortable)
Exhale and count to 4.
Hold your breath out for 4 (or as long as it feels comfortable).
Repeat for 4-5 rounds.
As you practice this for the first time you might decrease the count lower than 4. Once you get comfortable, you might begin to increase the count to lengthen the breaths. You might also invite the Ujjayi (ocean sounding) breath in as you follow this breathing pattern.