The Full Yoga Breath

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Full Yoga Breath relieves stress, refreshes the mind and activates the parasympathetic nervous system, encouraging a calmer, more balanced state of wellbeing. It revitalises the entire body with prana (energy/essential life force). In particular it benefits the vital organs, which can easily become stagnant, constricted, or fraught with emotional and physical tension when we experience stress.
The Practise
The breath begins with a deep and fluid inhalation that fills the three sections of the torso independently, but continuously.
The three areas of breath are made up of:
  • Abdominal or Diaphragmatic Breathing.
  • Chest Breathing.
  • Collar Breathing.
Figure 1
Figure 3Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 22.56.42When you are ready, inhale slowly and with purpose, drawing your breath deep into the lower abdomen, starting from the pelvic floor and slowly allowing the breath to fill upward (toward the navel) and outward (away from the spine). Initially, focus on only filling the lower abdomen, figure 1.                                                    
Once the lower abdomen has filled completely, continue the inhalation by filling the mid-torso into the chest. Continue to draw the breath upwards, from the navel to the ribs, allowing the breath to gently expand the diaphragm, the ribs, and the mid-back as the breath continues to rise, figure 2
Once the chest feels full, complete the inhalation by drawing the breath into the upper chest – allowing prana to rise up into the heart, the sternum, and finally into the shoulders and the base of the neck, feeling the collarbones lift slightly. This completes the inhalation.
To exhale, first release the breath from the upper chest as the heart, lungs, sternum and shoulders all relax – dropping down and drawing in, towards the spine, figure 3.
Figure 4Then expel the breath from the chest, feeling the ribs contract and the navel draw in, closer to the spine.
Lastly, release the breath from the lower abdomen, feeling the belly contract and draw inward towards the spine, figure 4.

This completes the Full Yoga Breath.
Complete the cycle 15 to 20 times, then return to normal breathing.
Once you become comfortable with the practise you can integrate this style throughout your day-to-day activities.

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