Many people do not breathe fully in their daily lives. Smoking, tension and incorrect posture will all restrict the lungs being utilised correctly. This in turn can lead to health problems. Therefore, learning to breathe correctly and to be able to practice it a few times each day is really useful.
The complete breath a yogic technique is powerful and easy to use and it can be done at anytime throughout the day and essentially, anywhere. It’s an important technique because it involves the complete respiratory system and expands the lungs fully.
1. With an empty stomach and sitting upright, inhale slowly through the nostrils, pushing out the stomach as the inhalation continues. Feel the air filling the lower, middle and upper lungs and the rib cage expanding.
2. Raise the shoulders slightly to allow full lung capacity and retain the breath for a couple of seconds.
3. Exhale through the mouth, pulling the stomach inwards slightly as the air expels and lowering the shoulders. Hold the position and the breath once fully exhaled for a few seconds only and then repeat the process a couple of times.
Note that the complete breath is not to be used continuously but only during the practice sessions. The breathing should be a fluidic motion and the following breath/count should be aimed for:
Breathe in for a count of four. Hold the breath for two. Exhale for a count of four. Then hold the breath out for two. It’s important to adjust the timing of this to ensure that it matches full inhalation and exhalation. The timings can be increased or decreased depending on lung capacity. Repetitions maximum of four as the complete breath can lead to short term feelings of dizziness or nausea if overdone.
Practiced regularly, it improves lung capacity and is a wonderful technique to help still the mind and to halt the stress triggers.