Dirga Pranayama

Yoga is an ancient form of following a set of routines that enables you to relax your mind, and through this enable you to become one with the universal consciousness. However, yoga is not only spiritual.

It is regarded as a holistic approach that benefits the mind, body, and spirit. Still, it is a bit difficult to understand as some of yoga’s concepts that fall into the realm of spirituality, rather than just bodily fitness.


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When it comes to body basics, yoga exercises can be used to strengthen and tone one’s body and also manage various illnesses and conditions. In yoga, the dirga pranayama is one of the basic exercises that are taught.

So what exactly is the dirga pranayama?

The dirga pranayama is also called the yogic breath, the complete breath, or the three part breath. It is a form of breathing exercise that uses one’s entire lung capacity and is usually performed at the start of any yogic exercise.

How does one do the dirga pranayama?

The actual process is quite simple, but because of the way most people breathe these days, almost everyone finds it difficult. The steps to be followed are outlined below.

  • Sit in a comfortable position, your knees should be below your pelvic region.
  • Keep your spine straight; this position is essential, because if not, you will be unable to perform the exercise properly.
  • Keep your hands comfortably on your knees.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Take in a deep breath while at the same time expand your stomach. You have to feel that your lungs fill with air first. It is the action of the diaphragm pushing downward as the lungs fill that causes your stomach to expand outward.
  • Once your stomach is full keep taking in air until you feel your ribcage expanding outward with the air taken in.
  • Do not stop until you are unable to take in any more breath and can actually feel your shoulder blades moving with the air taken in.
  • Then, take one last inhalation, and hold for a few seconds.

  • Exhale slowly and reverse the process. You shoulder blades and your rib cage should collapse before your stomach contracts inwards.
  • Contract your stomach muscles so that every little bit of air is expelled from the lungs.
  • Repeat a couple of times.

The basis of the exercise is to think of you as a cup.  By breathing in and out, you’re filling in and emptying yourself out repeatedly. As you repeat the exercise, you will start to feel a wave rhythm to your breathing.


Dirga pranayama is basically a calming exercise as it slows down your breathing. It also increases lung capacity. Also, while doing this exercise your concentration is on your breathing, thereby serving as a means of meditation. it is because of its relaxing qualities that this exercise is done at the start and at the end of all yoga routines.

Additionally, this exercise is very easy to follow and can be done at any time of the day. This exercise is especially good when you are feeling stressed out at work and want to bring your mind back to the problem at hand. Doing this exercise regularly on a daily basis is also said to help lower blood pressure.

In yoga, the dirga pranayama is one of the simplest exercises to perform. All it needs is for you to be seated in a comfortable position and spend 5 or 10 min by yourself. Even if you don’t intend to perform any other yoga exercises, just performing the dirga pranayama will definitely help.

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