Yogic breathing is the act of breathing consciously in-and-out through the nose. Nothing out of the ordinary, only the use of proper breath mechanics to soothe body, mind and spirit. For many people, everyday life induces the sympathetic nervous system, or stress response, which can affect ones breath rate causing rapid, shallow breathing. Proper yogic breathing is essential for well-being to relieve stress and maintain good health.

One of the simplest ways to ensure proper breathing is to practice “three part breathing” or what’s known as dirgha pranayama.  This yogic breathing technique can be used sitting up or lying down.

How to practice three part breathing:

– Start with one hand on your low belly, and one hand on your upper chest

– Feel your inhale expand into your low belly, mid belly, then into your upper chest

– On your exhale, allow your breath to relax towards your spine

– Repeat

Once you feel confident that your low belly initiates the inhalation, you are welcome to rest your palms or take a mudra (hand gesture) and continue yogic breathing. Practicing this breath not only promotes proper yogic breathing, but it will help calm your nervous system. Although this technique is great to add to your yoga practice, it can be practiced anytime to cultivate well-being and relaxation.

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