Pranayama series: Complete Yogic Breath

In one of the previous posts, we talked about Abdominal Breathing. Today we will focus on Complete Yogic Breath.

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In today’s society, most people have mind-based occupations (rather than physical ones), yet the typical work routine consists of sitting at a desk, where the flow of fresh air is minimal and optimal breathing is difficult. Besides taking regular breaks and trying to simply breathe deeply, Complete Yogic Breath is an excellent way of increasing your mental efficiency. 

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Complete Yogic Breath entails using all three sets of respiratory muscles:

  • abdomen
  • chest
  • clavicle (collarbone)
This allows you to use your lungs to their full capacity and increase the oxygen intake to all your body’s cells.
 

Although chest breathing allows a considerable increase in vital capacity, it is actually the abdominal breath that fills the greatest part of the lungs. Clavicular breathing is the final part of Complete Yogic Breath. On its own, it is not very meaningful as it fills only a very small part of the top of the lungs, but as part of the whole sequence, it completes the full expansion of the chest and is an excellent means of overcoming rounded shoulders.

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How to Practise
  1. Sit in a comfortable, cross-legged position and place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen.
  2. As you inhale, gradually expand the abdomen, then raise and open the rib cage, and finally lift the collar bones.
    • The upper hand lifts after the abdomen has expanded
    • Keep your shoulders relaxed
  3. Exhale – begin the exhalation by relaxing the abdomen, then lower the rib cage, and finally, slightly contract the abdomen to actively empty the lungs. Contract the abdomen
    • Let the rib cage drop
    • Keep the head, neck, and spine aligned
Watch Out For
  • Raising your lungs before the abdomen
  • Moving up and down or forwards and backwards with shoulders
When to practice
  • Practise anytime, anywhere.
  • Repeat the inhalations and exhalations in the above mentioned way for about two minutes.
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Whenever you feel mentally tired at work, practice each of the following exercises for a minute or two and you will soon feel revitalised.
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More about Pranayama practice:

Yoga is Joy 

Source: Sivananda yoga teacher’s training manual, Personal experience and practice

Summary
Article Name
Complete Yogic Breath
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In today's society, most people have mind-based occupations (rather than physical ones), yet the typical work routine consists of sitting at a desk, where the flow of fresh air is minimal and optimal breathing is difficult. Complete Yogic Breath entails using all three sets of respiratory muscles: abdomen, chest, clavicle (collarbone). This allows you to use your lungs to their full capacity and increase the oxygen intake to all your body's cells. Complete Yogic Breath is an excellent way of increasing your mental efficiency.
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Publisher Name
Walking The Path
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