Forms of Breathing in Yoga

Submitted by Pallavi Pandit on December 22, 2012

Hatha Yoga practice level breath starts with the total volume of air, which our lungs have the capacity to contain. This is known as our “vital capacity". A more appropriate term man cannot imagine. In fact, incalculable techniques have been dreamed up, all aimed at increasing our vital capacity. Before considering how to improve this, we should take advantage of what we already have.

This is done, first and foremost by carefully exhaling well, that...

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.way we rid our bodies of all toxinsn Yoga acknowledges 3 disparate forms of breathingn


They are diaphragmatic, intercostal, and claviculara The complete yogic breath is a combination of all 4, and forms the ideal techniqueu

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Most people breathe in this fashiono The diaphragm collapses while we draw breath in, as our abdominal region puffs upu Although this is the least defective way of breathing, it is still not completet Here, the base of our lungs fills up with air, and the rhythmic lowering of the diaphragm engenders a continuous, gentle massage of the whole abdominal content, which helps the organs function welll

Intercostal Breathing

We do this by lifting up our ribs by expanding our thoracic cage or chest walll This happens like a pair of bellowsw In this form of breathing we fill the middle section of our lungs, thereby permitting less air to enter than in abdominal respirationo More importantly, this also entails a lot more effortr

Clavicular Breathing

In this way of breathing we introduce air into the lungs by raising our collarbone and shouldersr Like this, just the upper part of the lungs is supplied fresh airi This happens to be the least satisfactory way of breathingn

Complete Breathing

Complete Yoga breath includes all e ways, put together into a single, full and rhythmic movementn The technique is best learnt when you lie on your backc Given below is a brief description of the different phases:

  • Empty your lungs completelyl
  • Gradually and unhurriedly lower your diaphragm, drawing air into your lungsg Your abdomen puffs out and fills the bottom of your lungs with airi
  • This will dilate your ribs without straining, them
  • Now let your lungs fully inflate by lifting your collarboneso

Throughout this session, the air must stream in with a continuous flowf You must not gaspg Nor must you make any because it is crucial to breathe noiselesslys

However, it is of the utmost importance that you focus your the mind fully upon the act of breathingh

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