23 Dec How to do a simple breathing routine to improve your life
When it comes to breathing you might not think of it as something that can have an almost life-changing moment in your somewhat routine day. Most people give little thought to their breathing. It’s naturally happening, sometimes it’s shallow, then deeper and there are those deeper sighs which always have that sense of release afterwards.
But let us breathe new light into how this simple everyday necessity can have life-altering occurrences.
The ancient yogis have spent lifetimes practising and refining optimal breathing techniques. Their results have led to vibrant health, long life, mental clarity, and happiness. The yogis call these breathing exercises ‘pranayama’, which means “regulation of the life force.”
If you are like us and this is sounding almost too good to be true then you start adding this simple breathing routine to your practice and get prepared for the beauty you’ll start noticing in your life.
The Complete Yogi Breath
This is an ideal breath training for beginners.
By the time you have gone through this deeper nose and lung breathing exercise, not only will your lungs be expanding but your sense of self will be loving it!
So let’s get back to the basic principle. The main idea is to fill up our entire abdomen and chest with air, like a wave, from the bottom up. Flooding our entire body with fresh life force.
This is where you start to train your breath. This internal process also stretches our spine, tones our internal organs, and increases circulation throughout the body.
How to bring this into your practice
Exhale everything completely, so your belly hollows out. After a brief pause, slowly inhale down into the deepest part of your belly. Feel your belly expand outward.
Once the belly is totally full, move your awareness to your lower back and sides, filling them with air next.
Once they are full of air, move your awareness to your ribs, filling the midsection of your abdomen and allowing the ribs to puff out.
Lastly, fill the upper chest, all the way up to the collarbone. Lift the heart and come into a tall posture as you relish a moment of complete fullness at the top of the breath.
The whole inhale can be done in a few seconds, or stretched out to 15 seconds or more. For the exhale, keep the posture tall and the chest lifted.
First, allow the belly to empty and come in towards the spine, then empty the mid-torso, and finally empty the chest. Ideally, the exhale should be longer than the inhale, or at least of equal length.
A standard ratio is 2:1:2:1:
- 6 count in
- 3 count hold
- 6 count out
- 3 count hold.
- Or 10 count in, 5 hold, etc.
In our Power Living yoga classes, we step you through becoming aware of your breath so that you can experience the goodness that breath training can give you. Find your nearest classes here. Practice at home? We’ve some great pranayama videos on Yogaholics too.
Written by Courtney Meyer