Three Yoga Breathing Techniques You Must Try!
Breathing is an essential part of yoga. Whether you are a seasoned yogi, a beginner, or an athlete interested in fitness of all kinds, developing mindful breathing can benefit you during your practice and throughout the rest of your life experiences. While an integral part of practicing mindful breathing in yoga is to become more aware of our existence and facilitate meditation, mindful breathing can also help us to regulate our bodies, proving vital in stressful situations and trying moments. Here are three approaches to mindful breathing to try in your practice:
1. Ujjayi Breath
A traditional breathing technique that has been around for centuries, Ujjayi breathing is often used as an aid in regulating our body movements during flow sequences in yoga. One of the most recognizable breathing techniques, Ujjayi breath is audible both during inhalation and exhalation. Slight restriction in the throat creates a sound similar to that of an ocean hum when a seashell is placed to the ear. Advanced yogis commonly count up to 12 or 14 during inhalation and match that number during exhalation.
If you are just becoming acquainted with this technique, begin your practice in a comfortable seated position, and begin calmly inhaling to 4 counts and exhaling to 4 counts. Gradually increase the number of counts to extend your breathing. The breathing should be loud enough for you to hear but not loud enough to be heard on the other side of the room. Be patient as this technique takes conscious effort at first. With more dedicated practice, this should become relaxing and helpful for regulating your breath to your body movement.
2. Nasal Detox
One breathing technique that is incredibly beneficial for cleansing the nasal passage and clearing up congestion is the nasal detox method. Place your hands lightly on your face with thumbs underneath your chin. Close one nostril by lightly pressing a finger against it. Inhale slowly. At the peak of your breath, lift this finger and close the opposite nostril. Exhale slowly. After 10 rounds of breath, switch the order of nostrils being closed and complete 10 more rounds. A third technique that develops body awareness is the:
As the name suggests, this technique breaks down inhalation into three segments. Ideally, this breathing approach should be done in an upright seated position or lying on your back. In either position, place one hand on your belly button and the other on your chest as a unique way to feel your breathing from the outside. Deeply breathe first into your belly, feeling your diaphragm rise with your hand. Midway through your inhalation, allow the air to fill the lungs and feel your chest expanding. The third part of your inhalation should concentrate air to the uppermost part of your chest and neck. Exhale slowly, allowing air to be emptied from each of the three parts, starting with the neck and working backwards.
Enjoy the benefits of mindful breathing!