Some Yoga Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises that are used in Yoga can be done separately or while doing some yoga poses. There are a variety of breathing techniques that are used in yoga. Breathing exercises enhance the practice of yoga as you learn new ways to calm and energize your body. The following paragraphs contain information about some of the more commonly used breathing exercises for yoga.

Calming Yoga Breathing Exercises

Yoga class

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One exercise, known as Three-Part Breath, is a calming exercise that is best done when sitting in a comfortable position with your legs crossed. This exercise can also be done when you are lying on your back. Lying on the floor enables you to feel your breath as it moves through your body. You begin this exercise by lying down on your back, closing your eyes and relaxing your face and your body. Observe the natural inhaling and exhaling of your breathing without making any changes. Try not to become distracted by any thoughts that might pop up in your mind. Let the thoughts pass and refocus on the inhaling and exhaling. Begin taking deep breaths through your nose. With each inhale fill your stomach, expanding it just like you would a balloon. With each exhale, let the air out through the nose. Pull you bellybutton towards your back to insure that all of the air is out. Repeat about 5 times. That is the first part.

The second part is to inhale just like you did above then breath in a little more so that it causes your ribs to expand and spread apart. When you exhale let the air leave the ribs first, letting the air leave the belly last. Repeat this part 5 times. The third part involves the first two parts, then take in more breath to let air fill your upper chest and making the area of your heart expand. When you exhale, let the air out of your upper chest first, then around the ribs and finally from the stomach, pulling your bellybutton towards your spine. Repeat 10 times.

Doing alternate breathing through your nostrils is another breathing exercise that is used for its calming effect. To do this exercise you need to sit in comfortably with your legs crossed. On your right hand fold your pointing finger and your middle finger down towards your palm while leaving your thumb and other two fingers sticking out. Bring your thumb and ring finger to your nose as it to pinch it. Push on your right nostril using your thumb and breathe in through the left nostril. Now using your ring finger to pinch off the left nostril, lift your thumb opening up your right nostril and let the air out.  Next you breathe in through the right nostril then close it off with your thumb. Now lift your ring finger, opening the left nostril and exhale. Continue with the alternate breathing about 5 to 10 times.

Another calming exercise is called The Cooling Breath. This breathing exercise cools the body so it is better to use it on a hot day or after a vigorous session of yoga. To perform this routine it is best to sit cross-legged. You then take a few deep breaths in and out through your nose. Curl your tongue, raising the sides up and stick your tongue out through your lips. Breathe in through your curled tongue and out through your nose. Repeat this procedure 5 or 10 times as you feel yourself cool down.

Some Vigorous Yoga Breathing Exercises

A vigorous breathing exercise known as The Lions Breath helps to relieve any tension that you may have in your face by stretching your jaw and your tongue. This exercise can be done with almost any yoga pose. The basic position for doing this exercise alone is to kneel with your rear end sitting on your heels. Put your hands down on your knees and breathe in through your nose. Let the air out through your mouth, making sure that you can hear it as the air is released. As you release the air stick your tongue out as far as you possibly can, trying to touch your chin, and open your mouth as wide as you can. Return to a normal face as you breathe in. Repeat this about 5 times.

Another exercise for vigorous breathing is called Ocean Breath. This exercise is also known by Hissing Breath and Victorious Breath. This exercise gives concentration and direction to the breath, allowing for more focus and power. This exercise is usually used in conjunction while performing other yoga poses. This is especially true with vinyasa yoga, which is movement that synchronizes your breathing. To learn the technique you need to sit comfortably in a cross-legged position. After you are familiar with the exercise you can use it with your yoga poses.

Begin by breathing in and out through your mouth. When you let the air out tighten the back of your throat, restricting the flow of air. Once you feel comfortable doing this while exhaling, then you do the same procedure while breathing in, restricting the incoming air flow. This tones the front and back of the throat and is loud. When you can control your throat while breathing in and breathing out then you close your mouth and begin to breathe through your nose. You continue to apply the same tightening of your throat that you were doing with your mouth open. Your breath will still be loud as it enters and exits through your nose. Once you are comfortable with this exercise you can begin to use it during your regular yoga poses.

This vigorous breathing exercise is more advanced and should be learned from a teacher that is experienced in this technique. This breathing exercise can cause you to become lightheaded if it is not done correctly. This exercise involves relaxed inhales that are preceded with exhales that are forced and rapid. It is done at the start of the yoga session.

Start this exercise by sitting comfortably with your legs crossed. To prepare you need to inhale and exhale deeply 2 or 3 times through the nose. Breathe in to a level that is comfortable and then sharply exhale, forcing the air out through your nose, bringing your stomach in towards your back. Inhale normally, continuing the forceful exhales and calm inhales at a quick pace. This will have your stomach continuously moving. Do 30 breaths for each round, performing 3 rounds. Between rounds you need to inhale and exhale deeply. If you begin to feel lightheaded you need to go back to breathing normally.

These are some of the breathing exercises that are used in yoga that will deepen your yoga session while teaching you ways to breathe that will calm and energize your body.

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