Advertisement

What is an example of a yoga breathing technique, or Pranayama?

Anne Spicker
Fitness
One breathing technique that is excellent for beginners is belly breath. Lie on your back with your legs extended on the floor. If this bothers your lumbar spine, simply bend your knees, bringing your feet flat on the floor a comfortable distance from your hips. Place your feet wider than your hips, allow your knees to rest against each other and allow your legs to relax. Place your hands on your belly with your longest fingers lightly touching at about the level of your navel. Inhale and exhale through your nose and pay attention to all aspects of your breath. Relax your belly and gradually deepen your breath. As you inhale draw the breath deep into the lungs. Become aware of how the belly rises with your inhale and falls with your exhale. As you become more comfortable with this method try to lengthen your inhale and exhale, keeping them equal in length. This method slows our breathing and can be calming when we feel anxious. 
Ujjayi Pranayama, or victorious breath, is an excellent breath tool that can be practiced alone or during yoga postures. This breath is often referred to as Darth Vader breath, or ocean-sounding breath, since it originates at the back of the throat, tongue to the roof of the mouth creating a deep, raspy, and throaty sound while still breathing through the nostrils with the lips closed. The breath is lengthened, pausing at the top of a long inhale and at the bottom of a long exhale. This will naturally begin to calm the nervous system and because of this, can be used before bedtime to prepare the body for rest.

Continue Learning about Yoga

Hot Yoga: Healing or Hazardous?
Hot Yoga: Healing or Hazardous?
Summer might be wrapping up, but where I live, the heat is still in full force. So it's hard to imagine choosing to spend my yoga class in a hot oven ...
Read More
What are the different levels of yoga classes?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
There are many styles of yoga. Similarly yoga has many levels to it. If you’re just starting out a l...
More Answers
Yoga Poses in 12 Easy Steps
Yoga Poses in 12 Easy StepsYoga Poses in 12 Easy StepsYoga Poses in 12 Easy StepsYoga Poses in 12 Easy Steps
Learn the correct moves for doing a simple Sun Salutation.
Start Slideshow
Is Yoga or Meditation Better for Me?
Is Yoga or Meditation Better for Me?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.