15 Best Pranayama Apps: Guided Breathing Apps for Everyone

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February 1, 2022
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As one of the earliest forms of breathwork, Pranayama continues to be incorporated into the self-care routines of many people. However, those who are new to the techniques might be unsure where to start. Luckily, help is just a smartphone app away.

If you’re interested in using a Pranayama app, this guide will cover everything you need to know in the following sections:

  • An introduction to the Pranayama techniques
  • 15 best Pranayama breathing apps

Before we explore some of the Pranayama apps available, let’s start with the basics of the Pranayama techniques.

Or, if you’re interested in a more modern breathwork technique, check out our guide to Wim Hof breathing.

An introduction to the Pranayama techniques

A woman lying on a yoga mat in a living room

There’s lots to learn about Pranayama, as it’s one of the most popular and varied classes of breathing techniques. This section will cover everything you need to know before you download a Pranayama app.

What is the Pranayama breathing technique?

Pranayama breathwork refers to a wide variety of breathing techniques commonly practiced in yoga. The word comes from the Sanskrit "prana", meaning "life force", and "yama", meaning "to gain control". Pranayama has been practiced for thousands of years, and continues to be practiced today for its physical and mental benefits.

Top 8 Pranayama breathing benefits 

Pranayama breathing benefits the physical and mental health of those who regularly use it, as has been discovered over many years of studying the practice. These are some of the top Pranayama benefits:

  1. Relieves stress and anxiety: Pranayama breathwork activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which allows the body to complete stress cycles and return to normal functioning.

  2. Reduces inflammation and boosts immunity: Practicing these breathing techniques allows people to limit their inflammation response and better filter the air they breathe, which benefits their respiratory health.

  3. Improves sleep: Those who struggle to fall asleep can practice Pranayama techniques before bed to help them fall into a restful state and stay asleep.

  4. Promotes relaxation: Deep breathing exercises can be used to feel calm and mindful in the moment, due to their effect on the parasympathetic nervous system.

  5. Lowers blood pressure: Pranayama can also help lower blood pressure (BP), given its effect on the body’s stress cycle. This is especially true for those prone to having their BP spike when in stressful situations.

  6. Strengthens lungs: These exercises make use of the respiratory muscles, which strengthens the lungs and increases breath capacity.

  7. Improves cognitive functions: By eliminating anxious thoughts and energy with Pranayama breathing, the mind is better able to focus and retain information.

  8. Helps manage addiction: Using Pranayama can help those struggling with addictions build better awareness and control over their cravings, while helping them feel calm.

How to do Pranayama

So how exactly should you do Pranayama? Follow the steps below to get started:

  1. Research Pranayama techniques for beginners to determine which specific exercises you’d like to try practicing.
  2. Schedule time during the week to commit to practicing Pranayama.
  3. Leave visual reminders around your home – or set reminders on your phone – so you remember to practice.
  4. Find a quiet, safe space to do your exercises.
  5. Get into a comfortable position either sitting or lying down, unless the exercises specify otherwise.
  6. Follow the steps as instructed, whether you’re using a written resource, guided audio, guided video, or Pranayama yoga app.
  7. As a general rule, breathe in and out of your nose unless otherwise instructed.
  8. If you’d like to learn from others, research online and in-person classes, workshops, and 1-on-1 sessions you can attend.
  9. If you forget to practice, doing a short session of diaphragmatic breathing (wherever you are) can help keep you on track towards your goals.

15 best Pranayama breathing apps to find balance in your life

Using a Pranayama breathing app is a great way to learn and practice Pranayama breathing techniques from anywhere at any time. Here are our recommendations for the best Pranayama apps.

1. Othership

Othership home screen

Download it Now: Android | iOS

Cost: $17.99/month or $129.99/year with 7-day and 14-day free trials, respectively.

Features: 500+ classes, inspiring soundscapes, streak & progress tracking, and a global community.

Othership is a breathwork app that allows users to improve their breathing and their lives. The app contains a library of over 500 breathwork classes on a variety of exercises and techniques, including Pranayama. All classes feature inspiring soundscapes, and are taught by the world's top facilitators.

2. Prana Breath: Calm & Meditate

Prana Breath breathwork session

Download it Now: Android

Cost: Free to use; 3 month, 1 year, or lifetime subscriptions for Guru version available.

Features: 8 breathing patterns, guided audio, customizable patterns, and reminders.

Prana Breath is a Pranayama app for Android that guides users through a variety of breathing exercises. What makes it one of the best Pranayama apps for Android is its use of visuals and audio to help practitioners establish a breathing pattern for a variety of techniques. The Pranayama free app also allows for customizing breathing patterns and scheduling reminders to practice.

3. Universal Breathing - Pranayama

Breathe to Relax Pranayama App session

Download it Now: Android | iOS

Cost: $4.99 (Lite version available)

Features: Guiding animations, 5 different sound settings, extensive breathing course, and custom courses.

The Universal Breathing Pranayama app is a great app for those looking to learn Pranayama techniques for the first time. It uses animations of the body and breathing intervals to guide users through each exercise. It also features an extensive breathing course for those really looking to master Pranayama breathing.

4. Steady: The Breathing App

Steady breathwork session

Download it Now: Android | iOS

Cost: Free trial; $4.99/month or $20.99/year subscriptions available.

Features: 4 default programs, various customizations, daily reminders, monthly goals.

Another app for visual guidance is Steady. This breathing app uses a simplistic design to animate breathing patterns for a variety of breathwork exercises, including Pranayama. You can customize the app in many different ways, and even set goals for yourself.

5. Breathe to Relax Pranayama App

Breathe to Relax Pranayama App session

Download it Now: Android | iOS

Cost: 7-day free trial; $4.99/month or $24.99/year subscriptions available.

Features: Custom breathing intervals, various breath type programs, beginner to guru levels, and choice of background sounds.

The Breathe to Relax Pranayama app is also an option for those looking for guided breathing. Using visuals and sounds, users are guided through a variety of Pranayama exercises. It's easy to use for both breathwork beginners and advanced practitioners.

6. BreatheIn: Calm Breathing

BreatheIn breathwork session

Download it Now: iOS

Cost: $0.99

Features: 5 breathing exercises, visual guidance, breathing data tracking, and Apple Health integration.

BreatheIn is a guided breathwork and Pranayama app for iPhone containing multiple exercises for you to try. The app uses beautiful, simplistic imagery to guide you through 5 different exercises, several of which are Pranayama techniques. It also integrates with Apple Health to track your breathing data and remind you to practice mindfulness.

7. Health Through Breath - Pranayama

Health Through Breath breathwork session

Download it Now: Android | iOS

Cost: $4.99 (Lite version available)

Features: Guided exercises, music cues, structured courses, and customizable sessions.

Health Through Breath, the sister app of Universal Breathing, is another Saagara Pranayama app designed to help you improve your breathing and reduce your stress. Using audio and animated visuals, the app guides you through breathing exercises that will improve your physical and mental health. You can use the app to create custom breathing patterns and track your progress.

8. Headspace

Health Through Breath breathwork session

Download it Now: Android | iOS

Cost: Free to start using; $12.99/month or $69.99/year to unlock all features.

Features: Guided meditations, daily meditations, breathwork courses, and health app integration.

Although it's one of the top meditation apps, Headspace is also full of breathing exercises to help you relax. You can use the app to take breathwork courses on various exercises and techniques, including Pranayama. It also has hundreds of guided meditations and mindfulness exercises to help you feel your best.

9. Insight Timer

Insight Timer home screen

Download it Now: Android | iOS

Cost: Free to start using; $9.99/month or $59.99/year to unlock all features.

Features: Guided meditations, select by time option, discussion groups, and community features.

Another top meditation app, Insight Timer is also a Pranayama timer app that’s focused on helping users improve their sleep and reduce anxiety. The app is full of guided meditations covering a wide range of mindfulness techniques and exercises like Pranayama. It tracks user stats, milestones, and progress, and it even has discussion groups and community features for interacting with others on similar journeys.

10. 3 Minute Mindfulness

3 Minute Mindfulness breathwork session

Download it Now: iOS

Cost: Free to access basic features; $0.99/month, $4.99/year, or $8.99 to unlock all features.

Features: 7 Days of Mindfulness course, guided meditations, breathing exercises, and customizable reminders.

One of the best Pranayama apps for iPhone, 3 Minute Mindfulness is an app that can help you feel calm in 3 minutes. It's full of meditations and breathing exercises to help you relax and feel happier. This Pranayama app is free to download, but opting for a subscription allows you to create your own breathing exercises and customize your reminders.

11. Simple Habit

Simple Habit Meditate screen

Download it Now: Android | iOS

Cost: Free to access basic features; $11.99/month or $95.99/year to unlock all features.

Features: Guided meditation & mindfulness sessions, daily motivation, guided sleep sessions, and health app integration.

Featured on Shark Tank, Simple Habit is a meditation app designed to help users sleep better and improve their wellness. The app uses guided meditations and mindfulness sessions – some of which have a Pranayama focus – to promote stress relief and relaxation. It can be customized to any lifestyle, and even allows for offline listening.

12. Aura

Aura home screen

Download it Now: Android | iOS

Cost: Free to start using; $11.99/month or $59.99/year to unlock all features.

Features: Personalized recommendations, thousands of tracks to choose from, CBT & hypnosis, and new content daily.

Aura is an emotional health app designed to help users improve their well-being and life. The app uses personalized recommendations to offer the most beneficial meditations, breathwork, life coaching, stories, music, and more. Its expansive library offers a wide variety of helpful mindfulness techniques and exercises, including Pranayama.

13. INSCAPE: Meditation & Sleep

INSCAPE home screen

Download it Now: Android | iOS

Cost: Free to access basic features; subscriptions available for $9.99/month or $58.99/year.

Features: Mindfulness meditations, breathing exercises, music & sounds, and personalized recommendations.

Another meditation app for stress and sleep is INSCAPE. Designed for those with busy lifestyles, this app has a library full of mindfulness meditations and breathing exercises (many inspired by Pranayama) to help improve overall wellness. It can also give personalized recommendations.

14. Breathe In: Meditation & Sleep

Breathe In home screen

Download it Now: iOS

Cost: Free to start using; $0.99/month, $5.99/year, or $15.99 to unlock all features.

Features: Breathing exercises, guided 5-minute meditations, mindfulness quotes, and Apple Health integration.

Breathe In is a beautiful app for breathing exercises and meditations. It contains a wide library of sessions based on Pranayama and other mindfulness techniques that address different things, such as stress, tension, anxiety, and sleep. The colorful designs and mindfulness quotes will definitely help you stay inspired.

15. Breathwrk: Breathing Exercises

Breathwrk home screen

Download it Now: Android | iOS

Cost: Free to start using; monthly, yearly, and lifetime subscriptions available.

Features: Breathing exercises; audio, visual, and haptic guides; vast library; and custom reminders. 

Breathwrk is an app dedicated to helping users change their lives with their breath. The app's library is full of breathing exercises and classes to help master Pranayama and a wide range of other breathwork techniques. Everything is science-backed, and offers a fully sensory experience with guided sounds, visuals, haptics, and coaching.


If you’re ready to try Pranayama right on your phone, see what people had to say about the Othership app.