Various Types of Yoga Breathing
Whether you are a novice yogi or an experienced practitioner, you know how closely yoga and breathing are connected to each other. In fact, breathing with consciousness is one of the most important aspects of this practice. It is not immediate to understand what yoga breathing is and how it is practiced. It takes time and practice. This article will delve into the concept and explain the various types of yoga breathing.
Pranayama, breath control in yoga
Before talking about the types of yoga breathing, it is specified that the term Pranayama means the rhythmic control of the breath. But what does Pranayama mean and how is it practiced ?
The word Pranayama is formed from Prana (breath, breath, life, energy, strength) and from Ayama (length, control, expansion). Its meaning is therefore control and extension of the breath .
This control takes place during four phases:
breathing pause after inhalation (antara kumbhaka)
breathing pause after exhalation (bahya kumbhaka)
The benefits of yoga breathing
Breathing correctly, deeply and slowly leads to strengthening the respiratory system and calming the nervous system . In doing so, the mind becomes free and the concentration level increases. Emotionality affects the rhythm of the breath and turns it into rapid, shallow and uncontrolled. The breath control therefore allows the control of the mind . Who practices yoga learns the technique of Pranayama to dominate the breath, so as to control the senses and prepare oneself for meditation.
In the East the concept of breathing has a much wider meaning, because it includes not only the process of filling the lungs with air and the expulsion of carbon dioxide and other residues, but also the transmission of oxygen to all the tissues of the body through the blood .
With Pranayama breathing, the blood is enriched with oxygen, both when the practice is carried out and during the whole day. The blood improves, more adequately nourishes the whole organism, in particular the brain, the spine, relative nerves and the spinal ones. The positive influence of yoga breathing on the nervous and endocrine system is well established .
The three types of yoga breathing
There are essentially three types of yoga breathing : abdominal breathing, thoracic breathing and clavicular breathing. Complete yogic breathing consists of tying the three types of breathing together in one large and powerful breath.
First among the types of yoga breathing, the abdominal one , which mainly uses the lower part of the lungs . During inhalation, thanks to the diaphragm, the abdomen swells and creates a depression in the rib cage: the lungs dilate and the air penetrates deeply. In exhalation the diaphragm rises and creates an increase in pressure in the rib cage which tends to empty the lungs. The abdomen deflates. The amount of air exchanged in a deep abdominal breathing is maximum. This type of breathing therefore allows a good oxygenation of the arterial blood to be obtained and creates a beneficial pressure on the internal organs, creating a continuous massage.
Second among the types of yoga breathing, the thoracic one , which mainly uses the central and upper part of the lungs . During inspiration, the ribs are enlarged by means of the intercostal muscles. The rib cage dilates and expands the lungs allowing air to penetrate. During exhalation the intercostal muscles contract by decreasing the thoracic volume and pushing air out of the chest. The amount of air that enters is less than that of abdominal breathing .© 2019, Reliberceed
Third and last among the types of yoga breathing, the clavicular one , which uses the upper part of the lungs . Air enters the lungs through the upward movement of the collarbones and shoulders. The amount of air entering the lungs is minimal .
Know and recognize the types of yoga breathing
Beyond the types of yoga breathing , it is always important to stress that the act of breathing is the backbone of the practice, it is its guide and nourishment . In the breath we know ourselves better and we focus on the present moment. Here and now. So always pay attention to your breathing by observing how you breathe. Sit down and watch. If necessary, help with your hands to understand the effects of breathing on the body: bring one hand to the center of the chest and one to the navel, breathe observing if it is the hand on the chest or the hand on the abdomen that moves. It is essential to recognize how you breathe: it serves to understand how to use breathing to act and react in situations of stress and tension, on the mat and in everyday life, during a more intense asana or in the office.
Breathing and listening to oneself is not only an instrument of growth in the practice of asanas but also the ability to maintain a present life . Breathe in order not to react. Breathe to calm the mind. Breathe to welcome. Breathe to center strength and concentration. Breathe conscientiously to be there.
How to breathe properly
Proper breathing should be performed with the whole lung. Instead, often, due to the hectic daily life and besieged by stress, only the upper part is used, inhaling and widening the chest. By not using the lower part, ventilation is reduced. Every yoga practitioner must understand that the inhaled air is pushed not only to the lungs, but down into the abdomen . It is therefore necessary to concentrate the breath in the lower abdominal region, an ability that is acquired through exercise and meditation.
Practice with all three types of yoga breathing
If you are a novice practitioner, to become familiar with breathing, the first few times it may be useful to dissect the three types of breathing to deepen your awareness: perform some abdominal breathing , focusing on the diaphragm that rises and falls; then perform some thoracic breathing , dilating and relaxing the chest and, finally, some brief cycle of clavicular breathing , trying to perceive the breath in the upper part, around the collarbones. Once you are familiar with the types of breathing , without ever forcing and always listening to the body, you can try the full breath you getcombining the three types into a single inhalation and then into a single exhalation . Then inhale and fill the abdomen, chest and upper part of the lungs, exhale and empty.
Examples of yoga breathing techniques
Among the various techniques of Pranayama, we mention Anuloma Pranayama, breathing with consciousness , a simple technique that follows the flow of breathing in a gentle way. We also mention Nadi Sodhana Pranayama, alternate nostril breathing , among the most widespread and popular classical Pranayama techniques during yoga classes of all levels. Nadi Sodhana means "cleaning the nadis" or the channels in the body where the energy runs. By cleaning these channels the energy can flow more smoothly, keeping the body balanced. Practicing it a few minutes a day helps eliminate accumulated stress and fatigue, detoxify the body and clean it, creating a general physical and mental well-being.
© 2019, Reliberceed