Powerful Deep Breathing Yoga Exercise
Yoga Pranayama #3
Video of 4 Part Deep Breathing Exercise
Background of 4 Part Deep Breathing Exercise:
This is the yoga breathing technique that my Kundalini Yoga teacher, Ravi Singh, almost always started our classes with. This is because despite being a simple breathing exercise, its ability to open up and get one’s energy going is astonishing.
In addition to awakening one’s energy, this particular yoga pranayama also has other significant benefits which I will detail below. Whether you are new to Yogic breathing techniques or an expert, this particular breath control exercise should be a permanent member in your goodie bag, which you can pull out anytime you need to fire up and vitalize your pranic body (energetic body).
Benefits of Yogic 4 Part Deep Breathing Exercise:
- Rapidly oxygenates your blood, thus helping the body heal, detoxify and remove waste more effectively.
- Increases the amount of Prana (life-force) you are bringing into your system.
- Improves the elasticity of the lungs and increases respiratory capacity.
- Activates the energy flows in your body.
Cautions for Practicing Yogic 4 Part Deep Breathing Exercise:
- If you feel dizzy when practicing this breathing technique, you should stop and substitute normal breathing. If you suffer from vertigo, you should use caution in practicing this breathing exercise.
- You should be careful practicing this pranayama if you have high blood pressure, heart disease or suffer from stroke or epilepsy.
Step-by-step Instructions for Yogic 4 Part Deep Breathing Exercise:
- To practice this breathing exercise sit up in a comfortable position.
- Elongate your spine upwards, lengthen your neck and subtly bring your chin back and in like a soldier at attention. This will align the spine with the back of your head.
- Close your eyes.
- Bring the palms of your hands together at sternum level (like when you pray), but have them 2-4 inches away from your chest. Your elbows should be up such that your forearms are parallel to the ground.
- Press the palms of your hands together applying equal pressure to both sides. The pressure should be firm but not excessive.
- Relax your diaphragm and stomach muscles.
- Now inhale in 4 sniffs and exhale in 4 sniffs. So you are breaking up 1 inhalation into 4 equal parts and breaking up 1 exhalation into 4 equal parts. By the fourth sniff, during the inhalation, you should have completed filled your lungs with air and by the fourth sniff, during the exhalation, you should have completely expelled all the air. Completely inhaling and exhaling by the last sniff is a key part of this breathing technique. That’s it, continue for 1-5 minutes.
Secret of Yogic 4 Part Deep Breathing Exercise:
The real benefit of this yoga pranayama is hidden in benefit number three listed above (increases lung capacity). According to Yoga, your evolution can be triggered simply by the capacity of your respiratory system. When it reaches a critical threshold relative to your size, you evolve. By partitioning the breath, this particular breathing technique forces you to maximize the use of your lungs. Thus, helping them expand and absorb more prana (life-force) from the air.
Generally, in everyday life we don’t use our full lung capacity and over time this capacity diminishes. So take a bold step towards your spiritual growth and include the Yogic 4 Part Deep Breathing Exercise into your daily yoga practice. It is a great way to start and will go a long way in helping you finish.
This concludes the Yogic 4 Part Deep Breathing Exercise.