Full Yogic breath is a very powerful tool for inducing deep relaxation and initiating internal healing process and the most important prerequisite for the regulation of breathing is to control its rhythm. Count your pulse beats to understand your personal rhythm and then use these pulse-counts to follow the prescribed breathing patterns. The complete Yogi breathing consists of three individual parts: abdominal, middle, and upper breathing. When these three elements are fused together in a single breath, they constitute a Complete or Yogic breath. Follow the instructions to practice these important exercises:
Abdominal breathing: While standing, sitting or lying down, direct your consciousness at the naval. With exhalation, we draw in the abdominal wall and then start breathing in slowly through the nose while relaxing the diaphragm. The abdominal wall arches out and the lower part of the lungs is filled with air. To exhale properly, draw in the abdominal wall tightly thereby forcing the air out. In this manner, only the lower lobes of the lungs are filled with fresh air while the chest remains motionless giving rise to a wave-like motion of inhalation and exhalation.
Benefits: Induces profound relaxation for the heart, reduces high blood pressure, stimulates digestive process, and regulates intestinal activity.
Middle (chest) Breathing: While standing, sitting or lying down, direct your consciousness at your ribs. After exhaling, inhale deeply through nose expanding the ribs at both sides. To exhale, contract your ribs and force the air out of your lungs. In this type of breathing, only the middle or the chest part of the lungs is filled with air and the abdomen and shoulders remain uninvolved.
Benefits: Takes pressure off the heart and provides fresh supply of blood to liver, gall bladder, stomach, spleen and kidneys.
Upper Breathing: In this exercise, we bring our attention to the upper part of lungs. After exhaling, we inhale deeply through nose while lifting our collar bones and shoulders up and letting air flow into the upper part of lungs. To exhale, we slowly lower down the shoulders and collar bone and gently force the air out from lungs. Inhale and exhale only through nose unless there are problems in breathing. The abdomen and the middle part of chest remains motionless or uninvolved in the whole process of the inhalation and exhalation.
Benefits: This breathing pattern strengthens the hilar nymph nodes in the lungs and thoroughly nourishes the tips the lungs.
Once you have mastered all these three components individually, practice these three in one breath. Here is how you execute a Full Yogic breath: Exhale completely and while inhaling, force air into the lowest part of the stomach, then fill up the middle part by expanding the ribs and complete the breath by raising shoulders and collar bone. Practice according to a comfortable rhythm only. Normally, inhale through the count of seven, hold your breath for seven counts and then exhale using the same method. However, do not strain your lungs while trying to accomplish this. Always find a comfortable level to start with and then move onto the difficult level. Learn to understand the rhythm of your own body and let it help you fashion your practice schedule.