Yoga and meditation breathing
Calm, even and deep breathing is very important for health, as it harmonizes and calms the body and mind. On the contrary, too fast and shallow breathing has a negative effect, as it can increase nervousness, stress, tension and pain.
The description of the following three types of breathing will help you master full yoga breathing
Abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing
With an inhalation, the diaphragm moves downwards compressing the abdominal organs so that the abdominal wall extends outward. With an exhalation the diaphragm moves upward again and the abdominal wall flattens. In contrast to the inhalation, the exhalation is a passive process. The abdominal breath forms the basis of breathing. It allows full use of lung capacity, naturally slows and deepens the breath and promotes relaxation.
With an inhalation, the ribs are lifted so that the chest expands. With an exhalation, the ribs return to their original position. The air flows into the middle lobes of the lungs, but the lungs are not filled as much as in abdominal breathing. The breath is faster and shallower. This breathing occurs automatically in stressful situations, due to nervousness or tension. With involuntary rapid breathing, the increased tension intensifies and persists. Deep and slow abdominal breathing can help us break this vicious circle.
Collarbone (Clavicular) Breathing
With this type of breathing the air flows into the top of the lungs. With an inhalation, the upper part of the chest and collarbones are lifted and with an exhalation, they lower again. The breath is very shallow and rapid. This type of breathing occurs in situations of extreme stress and panic, or where there is great difficulty in breathing.
In a healthy and natural breath, all three variations are combined into a single inhale and exhale to form a "smooth wave" that runs from bottom to top with an inhalation and from top to bottom with an exhalation: as you inhale, your abdomen arches forward and chest expands, and when you exhale, the chest and the abdomen return to their previous position. If we breathe in this way, i.e. use the full capacity of the lungs naturally and without force, we are performing full yoga breathing.