Breathing for Beginners in Yoga Practice

Breathing for Beginners in Yoga Practice

The mind and the body is bridged together through breathing which is the key to controlling the mind and the body to ensure they are both in harmony. The breathing should be slow and relaxed to foster a quiet mind and deep meditation.

Moreover, anxiety and tension are the enemies of Yoga, and these can be prevented by having controlled full breaths to provide the body with energy as well.

Breathing is the essence of Yoga exercise or else people simply do physical fitness exercises which is way short of the whole Yoga practice and philosophies. As a result, yoga exercises must form the foundation of your exercise routine.

The patterns of optimal respiration are established through simple breathing exercising while you are in your seated position. Once these breathing exercises are done well, then you could change and vary your postures from easy to complicated postures.

There are three different types of breathing to look at;

  1. Thoracic Breathing
  2. Abdominal Breathing
  3. Friendly Breathing

Thoracic Breathing

Thoracic breathing involves inhaling slowly, gently and deeply through your whole trunk. More importantly, this deep breath should only be done for as long as it is comfortable to prevent over-doing it.

Thoracic breathing stretches and strengthen the intercostal muscles of the ribcage and thus your breathing capacity is improved and increased by regular exercise of this kind.

The technique of thoracic breathing;

  • When you inhale, stretch out your ribcage while expanding through your chest.
  • A sense of expansion in the back of the body should be felt as your ribcage expands.
  • You could try to get a better sense of this expansion by placing a hand on the upper back.
  • Then you must slowly exhale with control ensuring the exhalation length matches the inhalation length.
  • Exhalation should make the ribcage contract and settle back towards the spine.

Abdominal Breathing

The diaphragm is drawn down into the abdominal cavity by moving our belly in and out as we breathe in abdominal breathing. Moreover, oxygen is drawn deep into the lower parts of our lungs through this breathing exercise.

Due to the effects of gravity, blood tends to pool and as such abdominal breathing is a more efficient form of breathing that will sure relax the nervous system.

The technique of abdominal breathing;

  • When you inhale, stretch out your ribcage while expanding through your chest.
  • A sense of expansion in the belly and the sides of your abdomen.
  • Do not allow your ribcage to expand on this type of breathing.
  • When exhaling, the belly must be drawn in towards the spine with control.
  • Ensure the exhalation length matches the inhalation length correspondingly.

Friendly Breathing

This is the combination of both Thoracic Breathing and Abdominal Breathing also called the full yogic breath that enables longer and deeper breaths as much as possible.

The technique of Friendly breathing;

  • The abdomen and the chest are expanded at the same time while you inhale
  • The expansion should be felt through the front and back of the body.
  • When exhaling, the chest will contract and the belly will move in towards the spine at the same time.

It may be helpful initially to place one hand on the chest and one hand on the belly in order to get a sense of this expansion and contraction and to ensure that is equal through the upper and lower half of the trunk.