Best Yoga Breathing Exercises For Beginners

Best Yoga Breathing Exercises For Beginners

Have you ever counted how many breaths and exhales we take per minute? The inhale is the first action of our lives and the exhale is the last. Between that first breath and the last exhalation, we’ve been breathing our whole lives without paying any attention to it.

Up to ninety percent of our body’s toxins are eliminated with the breath, because we breathe twenty-four hours a day.
On average, we take about sixteen to seventeen breaths a minute.

yoga breathing exercises

Importance of Breathing in Yoga

If you are upset, the number of breaths per minute can go up to twenty; if you are very tense or angry, your breathing rate can reach 25 breaths per minute. When you are relaxed and happy, you take about 10 breaths per minute and when you are meditating, you take only 2-3 breaths per minute. On the inhale, the tummy inflates and fills with air; on the exhale, it retracts. As we become more tense and nervous, we do the opposite — we bulge the belly on the exhale and suck it in on the inhale.

We use about thirty percent of our lung capacity and don’t breathe deeply enough. But I have good news for you! You won’t need antidepressants if you can manage your breath and pay proper attention to it. Yoga asana has no meaning without deep breathing yoga. It will be a beautiful, but empty practice.

deep breathing yoga

Types of Yoga Breathing

There are three types of breathing. The most common one is upper-breathing. If you work in the office and sit the most part of a day, try to pay attention to your breathing. When you breathe in, your shoulders go up, your collarbones and ribs expand slightly, while moving upward. When you exhale, they go down. If your ribs expand a little more and your shoulders and collarbone move less when you inhale, you’re breathing average. If you use your diaphragm when you inhale and exhale and your abdomen bulges when you inhale then you are breathing the third type, abdominal breathing. This is usually how athletes and people with good physical activity breathe. It’s also the way infants breathe, whose lives are not yet filled with social norms and daily portions of stress.

The practice of full yoga breathing is ideal for you to accustom yourself to abdominal breathing. Gradually this will become a habit, and you will begin to incorporate abdominal breathing even when you are not practicing yoga; soon you will make this kind of breathing your natural state. You just have to keep going and practice it.

yoga breathing techniques for stress

Yoga Breathing Exercises Safety Precautions

  1. Beginners should not practice long breath-holds, especially on the inhale. The breath holds should be practiced without constricting the vocal cleft. The air should be held by the abdominal and chest muscles, but not by throat compression. Otherwise, you will create excessive pressure in the chest and it won’t be good for your heart.
  2. Beginners should not practice breathing yoga in combination with strength yoga exercises, as this increases hypoxia.
  3. Increased frequency and intensity of heartbeat, muscle contractions, uncontrolled spasms of respiratory muscles, difficulty in breathing and the appearance of shortness of breath, shortening the duration of the breathing cycle – all this indicates are an overload in the practice. Reduce the duration of the yoga breathing cycle and delays. With a proper yoga breathing practice, a person feels comfortable and relaxed, the heart beats more calmly and the breath spontaneously stretches by the end of the class.
  4. Pranayama should be especially carefully practiced if there are heart, liver, kidneys or central nervous system diseases. Heart pain, tachycardia, arrhythmia (heart palpitations), apnea (spontaneous stoppage of breathing movements) are dangerous symptoms. On the mental side, there are such symptoms as panic attacks, hallucinations, uncontrollable emotional outbursts of high intensity, persistent sleep disturbance, constant anxiety. Stop the practice and see a doctor!
  5. Beginners should not practice long breath-holds, especially on the inhale. The breath holds should be practiced without constricting the vocal cleft. The air should be held by the abdominal and chest muscles, but not by throat compression. Otherwise, you will create excessive pressure in the chest and it won’t be good for your heart.
  6. Beginners should not practice breathing yoga in combination with strength exercises, as this increases hypoxia.
  7. Increased frequency and intensity of heartbeat, muscle contractions, uncontrolled spasms of respiratory muscles, difficulty in breathing and the appearance of shortness of breath, shortening the duration of the breathing cycle – all this indicates are an overload in the practice. Reduce the duration of the yoga breathing cycle and delays. With a proper yoga breathing practice, a person feels comfortable and relaxed, the heart beats more calmly and the breath spontaneously stretches by the end of the class.
  8. Pranayama should be especially carefully practiced if there are heart, liver, kidneys or central nervous system diseases. Heart pain, tachycardia, arrhythmia (heart palpitations), apnea (spontaneous stoppage of breathing movements) are dangerous symptoms. On the mental side, there are such symptoms as panic attacks, hallucinations, uncontrollable emotional outbursts of high intensity, persistent sleep disturbance, constant anxiety. Stop the practice and see a doctor!

Yoga Breathing Technique for Beginners:

  1. Sit in a comfortable position with a straight back. If you are sitting cross-legged, put a pillow under your pelvis. You can sit on a chair or lie on your back if sitting is uncomfortable. Breathe out completely.
  2. Place your palms on your abdomen and breathe in, pushing your abdominal wall forward. Move your palms to your ribs and continue inhaling and expanding your chest. Move your palms to your collarbones and continue breathing in, while lifting your collarbones.
  3. Start exhaling by lowering the clavicles. Then move your palms to your ribs and continue exhaling and squeezing your chest. Place your palms on your abdomen and finish the exhalation by retracting your abdominal wall.
  4. Take 5 breaths and exhales as described in 3 and 4. Try to keep your breathing rhythm natural, don’t breathe very deep and often. Do not make pauses between phases, you should have the feeling of a smooth wave, which inhales move from the bottom up and exhales move from the top down.
  5. Place your palms on your hips or on the floor. Continue breathing with your full breath for another 3-5 minutes. Try to feel the process from the inside. Try to breathe easily, smoothly and naturally. An indicator of a correctly performed exercise is a feeling of calmness and relaxation, as well as a breath slowing at the end of the practice.
  6. Finish the exercise and relax for 5-10 minutes.
importance of breathing in yoga

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