Yogic breathing is one of the pre-pranayama practices. As one of the tools to perfect the pranayama, yogic breathing helps in smoothening and controlling our breaths. Breath is very important in our life and breathing properly is even more important but less cared aspect. Although our respiratory system does the breathing very automatically, it is essential to train the system to breathe properly. Yogic breathing teaches the respiratory system to have control over the breaths.
How do we practice yogic breathing?
Yogic breathing takes place in three different stages. To perform this breathing practice, we have to lie down in Shavasana, lying down flat on our back on the floor with legs set apart about a foot and hands apart about six inches from the body with palms facing upward.
The first stage of yogic breathing is called Thoracic Breathing. While performing thoracic breathing, our chest expands upward on inhalation and moves downward on exhalation. The abdominal region should remain motionless. We can practice this breathing for five minutes.
The second stage is known as Abdominal Breathing where we feel the movement of our abdomen with inhalation and exhalation. This breathing is also called diaphragmatic breathing. This breathing also can be practiced for five minutes for its better effects.
The third one called Complete Breathing is a combination of Thoracic and Abdominal breathing where we breathe in the diaphragmatic and thoracic region and exhale from the thoracic and diaphragmatic region. The inhalation and exhalation should be very smooth from one to the other region. We feel the movement of abdomen and chest both one after the other as the air moves in and out of our body.
Why should we practice yogic breathing?
Yogic breathing escalates the pranayama practice to a higher level. The thoracic, diaphragmatic and abdominal movement during the breathing practice helps in keeping the muscles in these three regions in good shape. Expansion and contraction of the muscles during the inhalation and exhalation gives a good exercise which keeps them in good shape thus, the breathing becomes proper. Yogic breathing helps regulate the movement of the air in and out of our body in proper fashion. When we practice this controlled breathing, unlike the regular breathing that our respiratory system voluntarily does, we gain complete control over our respiration which teaches us to adjust our breaths even in adverse condition.
Practice yogic breathing; be aware of the vital energy of life.