Sectional Breathing


Clavicular breathing

  • Sit in a comfortable position and perform thoracic breathing for some time.
  • Inhale fully and expand the rib cage.
  • When the ribs are completely expanded, inhale a bit more until the expansion is experienced in the upper part of the lungs around the base of the neck.
  • At this time, the shoulders and collar bone should also move up a bit. This will need some effort.
  • Exhale slowly, initially releasing the lower neck and upper chest, then relax the rest of the rib cage back to its starting position.
  • Practise this for a few minutes.

Thoracic breathing

  • Sit in a comfortable position and breath naturally for some time, concentrating on the sides of the chest.
  • Try to inhale by slowly expanding the rib cage.
  • Try to feel the movement of the individual ribs outward and upward, and be aware of this expansion inhaling air into the lungs. Expand the chest as much as possible.
  • Relax the chest muscles and exhale.
  • Feel the rib cage contracting (getting inwards) and forcing the air out of the lungs.
  • Breathe slowly and deeply through the chest and experience the same.
  • Avoid using abdominal breathing.
  • Continue this type of breathing for a few minutes, pausing slightly after each inhalation and exhalation.

Abdominal (or diaphragmatic) breathing

  • Sit comfortably and breath naturally without controlling your breath and feel it at the same time.
  • Continue to observe the natural breath for some time.
  • Keep your hands on the abdomen just above the navel.
  • Your hands will move up with inhalation and down with exhalation.
  • Avoid having any tension in the abdomen. Avoid forceful movement in any way. 
  • Try avoiding chest expansion or movement of the shoulders.
  • Feel the abdomen expanding and contracting. Continue to breathe slowly and deeply.

Nadīśodhana Or Anuloma Viloma Prānāyāma (Alternate Nostril Breathing)

  • In this type, alternate breathing is performed through the left and right nostrils without or with retention of breath (kumbhaka).
  • Use a comfortable meditative posture.


  • Sit in a comfortable meditative position with the spine and head straight with eyes closed.
  • Try to relax with a few deep breaths.
  • Place the ring and small fingers of the right hand on the left nostril and fold the middle and index finger.
  • Keep the right thumb on the right nostril.
  • Breathe in from the left nostril; then close the left nostril with the small and ring fingers and release the thumb from the right nostril; exhaling through the right nostril.
  • Next, inhale through the right nostril.
  • At the end of inhalation, close the right nostril, open the left nostril, exhaling through it.
  • This complete process is one round of this type of breathing.
  • Repeat 5 rounds.

Ratio and timing

  • For beginners, the duration of inhalation and exhalation should be equal.
  • Gradually increase it to 1:2; inhalation: exhalation


  • The breath must be slow, steady and controlled.
  • It should not be forceful or restricted in any way.


  • The primary purpose of this type of breathing is to purify the principle channels of carrying energy called nadi’s; thus, nourishing the whole body.
  • Improves concentration.
  • Increases vitality and decreases the level of stress and anxiety.


Yoga for pregnant ladies.[Internet]. Available at: Accessed on Mar 13, 2020.