To search for the purpose of life or for own upliftment in the spiritual sense -Gyana or true knowledge is essential. Gyana blossoms only when one possesses the wisdom of discrimination, dispassion, and detachment. Along with these qualities, one requires the guidance and company of sages or yogis.
Here I will try to explain the various types of breathing and how the “yogic breathing” the correct breathing technique can make our body healthy. This will also aid in improving concentration. Well, my purpose is to bring forward the yogic secrets of wellness.
Why consider Yogic Breathing and Types of Breathing
Usually, we breathe in three ways- these are essential pre-requirement before jumping into doing Pranayama
- ABDOMINAL Breathing: This involves deep inhalation and expansion of the abdomen. We have a muscle called diaphragm. When we breathe in deeply this diaphragm moves downward pressing into the abdominal cavity. Since there is a movement of the abdomen we call this technique abdominal breathing. Here as we get expand the lungs to a maximum capacity it thereby maximizes the prana energy into the body.
- SHALLOW BREATHING: Due to our modern lifestyle (always in a hectic situation) we breathe in such a way that air only reaches up to our chest. Normal breathing should allow the inhaled air to reach up to the abdomen. Since we are used to this type of short breathing or Shallow breathing, the body receives low prana energy.
- BREATHING AT THE THROAT: If one is suffering from certain ailment or lungs are weak breathing is even shorter. Lungs having the capacity to hold four liters of air usually hold less than half a liter of air. This type of breathing falls under the segment “breathing at the throat”
- YOGIC Breathing: It is considered the correct way of breathing. Our effort should be to make this Yogic breathing the normal breathing. To make this happen it is necessary to practice every day, systematically for thirty minutes.
Explaining the YOGIC Breathing in depth
The first step is the posture. It is essential to keep the Spinal cord in an erect position. Another thing one requires to bear in mind that mastering this technique requires patience.
Now let us start this technique step by step.
To understand your breathing sequence –place your hand on your abdomen and breathe in slow and deep. You will feel the abdomen expanding and moving outward. This process where the abdomen expands while breathing in slowly is the first part of Yogic Breathing.
Coming to the second step-If you continue to inhale even after expansion of the abdomen then there is an extra expansion in the chest area. Here if you are very cautious you will surely feel the expansion of the chest area due to an expansion of the lungs.
The final step is the rising of the shoulders as you continue inhaling more. This is the sign the oxygenated air has filled the upper part of the lungs.
One thing to consider that in Yogic breathing you require to breathe in slowly and then breathe out slowly. Breathing in and expanding the abdomen and inhaling till shoulder rises completely-completes the yogic breathing.
Precautions to be maintained
- Breathing should be slow and silent.
- Always sit still- rather you should be calm and composed. There is no place for stress, crease on the forehead. The entire body is relaxed but steady.
- Your focus should be on nostrils, naval or on the body parts involved during breathing.
- To complete the yogic breathing you have to make an extra effort so that the shoulder rises. Then only you start to breathe out slowly and your shoulder falls to the original position and abdomen contracts in.
- Never ever struggle to breathe in. Your capacity to breathe deeply will increase with regular practice and not in a day.
- While doing yogic breathing try to focus on breath only. Distracting thoughts will disappear if only you make a conscious effort.