This yoga breathing exercise (or pranayama which in Sanskrit means “Breath Control”) helps you to breathe more slowly. It also gives greater mental clarity and brings balance to your energy. In the here and now it calms down and makes you more confident.

High (Chest) Breathing

In the current time of excitement and performance, it often happens that people breathe very high or regularly hold their breath themselves. In those cases, a breathing exercise can offer a solution and bring some more balance, energy, and joy of life back into life.

The full yoga breathing means that we make full use of the lung capacity. The lungs are then maximally ventilated. This not only benefits health.

Life Force Practice

Breathing properly increases life force. In hatha yoga the yogi (practitioner) tries to control the breath by breathing practice. In the enclosed video you can participate in some fairly easy breathing exercises that will show real results in your life.

Full Breathing

Full breath unites the following three breaths into one in a natural, rhythmic movement:

  • diaphragm breathing (also called abdominal breathing or belly breathing),
  • flank breathing (also called costal breathing or chest breathing),
  • clavicle breathing (also called clavicular breathing or high breathing).

Full breath is the healthiest way to breathe in a normal situation. The different types of breathing are not only an important part in yoga, but also in other philosophies such as Chi Kung and Tai chi. Breathing exercise is further used in singing and music.

Pranayamas do not always take the form of a full breath, because they take the form of an exercise with the aim of achieving certain effects on the body and mind, but also to help the body breathe fully again. Full breathing is most natural when the performance has a smooth and uninterrupted coherence and the three phases succeed one another without breaking continuity.

Good breathing starts according to yogi André Van Lysebeth with a full exhalation, in which the lungs are well emptied. Then the inhalation begins in the abdomen with the diaphragm breathing, then also in the flanks and finally in the upper part of the lungs, raising the collarbones. The diaphragm muscle is the body’s most powerful breathing muscle, and can drop eight to twelve centimeters on inhalation. According to pranayama teacher and aikidoka Aalt Aalten, the diaphragm muscle in most people only drops a few centimeters, which, according to him, is hardly enough to live on.

Breathing exercise

Full breathing is also called dirgha or dergha pranayama in yoga and three-part breathing. Breathing is carried out with a straight back in a cross-legged position; it has three passages. In the first pass, you take a deep breath in and out in the diaphragm breathing, then start in the diaphragm breathing and do the flank breathing in the back. After the exhalation, the full breath is eventually performed from the bottom of the abdomen and the lungs are filled upwards. This is done several times in a row.

Sometimes back complaints arise when practicing, in particular, diaphragm or abdominal breathing. To counter this, it is also recommended to do the exercise lying on the back, so that the abdominal muscles relax and the back remains straight. In cases where the back bends the back after doing the breathing exercise, this problem has also been prevented.

The name abdominal breathing is also sometimes a cause of back pain, because the focus is on the abdomen while breathing. The abdomen then breathes up and down, as it were, which also causes the back to arch. However, with proper abdominal breathing, the entire bottom of the body expands. Aalten therefore calls this breathing the pelvic floor breathing movement, because in this name the attention goes to the pelvic floor and the back remains straight and back pain is prevented.

According to Aalten, good breathing is fundamental and the precondition for a good quality of life. In his experience, people who breathe from their chests cannot possibly feel calm. However, he points out, a person breathing from diaphragm breathing retains strength and tranquility and is better able to listen and oversee.

see further

see also