Simple breathing techniques

Here are some breathing techniques you may find useful. The 10 mins you spend, you may want to spread those mins equally. Sometimes, you may choose to follow a specific technique more. In any case, start with Focused Breathing:

Focused Breathing: Sit in a easy position (can be on a chair), with the back straight. Don’t lean excessively onto the support on the back. Close you eyes. Start to observe the breath. Follow it all the way in and all the way out. The task becomes simpler if you are able to hear your breathing. For this, push the chin gently into the throat. You will hear the sound of the breath much like the sound of Darth Vader breathing in those Star Wars movies! Make sure the mind stays focused on the breath; if it gets distracted, then don’t blame yourself but ask your mind to come back to the breath; Duration – 2-3 mins or more.

Alternate Nostril breathing: Here, you breathe in through one nostril and out through another. Breath back in through the second and out through the first. You are breathing alternately through a nostril. You can close the right nostril with you right thumb and left with you right ring finger, if you are a right handed person. You can similarly use the left hand, if you are left handed.

Breath of Fire: You breathe out or expel air from your lungs fast and immediately inhale. You continue the exhalation and inhalation successively and rapidly (at a comfortable pace) for about 8-10 (or more) times. This forms a cycle. Practice 2-3 or more cycles. The technique is very refreshing to the lungs as we make sure all the unwanted air is expelled from the lungs, hence allowing them to absorb more good air.

In both the first and second techniques, you should follow complete/yogic breathing – using the top, mid and bottom of the lungs in succession as you breathe. Always keep practicing Yogic breathing whether you are driving, working or in a Yoga session. You can also lie on a mat and practice Yogic/complete breathing with you legs bent and feet rested on the mat.

Hope this helps, feel better. You got a lot of things to accomplish and more to enjoy in this life.


[From an Nov 2005 email I sent to students]

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