Complete Yogic Breathing
Oxygen is the most necessary element for our body to function properly and if our blood hasn’t received enough oxygen, then the life of cells will reduce. Even though this is general knowledge, and everybody understands we need oxygen to function and stay healthy, we tend to give almost no attention to breathing. Since we’ve been doing this since birth, we have come to believe it cannot be done incorrectly. But the truth is, most people don’t breathe fully, but fast and with only a half of the full lung capacity. On the other hand, yogi masters of the east have always paid utmost attention to complete and thorough breathing, and in fact, have measured human lives by breath count. It is popularly believed that slow breathing is the secret of their longevity.
Before trying to breathe like a yogi, one must determine how badly they are actually breathing. Seeing the mistakes we make is the first step in resolving them.
There are three most common types of breathing:
- The first is abdominal, most common in males. The diaphragm is lowering in the moment of inhalation, and the abdomen swells up. This breathing technique is not complete but is much better and more profound than the other two listed below.
- Chest breathing is the second method and is achieved with the expansion of the ribs and spreading of the lungs.
- The third and most superficial type of breathing is clavicular. The air gets in the body by raising the clavicles. This method fills only the upper part of the lungs with air. It is often instinctively used by females since it is natural and the only possible technique during the pregnancy.
Complete yogic breathing connects all of the methods mentioned above in one full breath. The best way to learn this breathing technique is by lying on your back, which allows for the deepest relaxation. Also, since we are not used to breathing fully, it can result in dizziness, which makes this position the best and safest option. Be sure to wear comfy, breathable clothes while doing this exercise. Regular workout clothes will do.
Here is the technique in four steps:
- Breathe out completely. It is the key element for correct breathing. Although this seems like a simple step, we rarely really breathe out. To make this easier, feel free to use the Om sound while breathing out, this will make being entirely out of breath more clear.
- Slowly lower your diaphragm when breathing out. Then let the air come in and raise your abdomen.
- When your abdomen is at highest point expand the ribs; and fill the lungs completely, raising the clavicles.
- It is important to breathe slowly, without breaks, silently and through the nose. Breathe out in the order you breathed in and at the end tighten your abdomen.
Along with choosing a daily time for this exercise, feel free to breathe completely any time you think of it. With some time, complete yogic breathing will become more natural to you, and you will breathe correctly with ease, which will result in healthier and possibly even longer life.