- 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.
- 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: https://icds-wcd.nic.in/nnm/NNM-Web-Contents/LEFT-MENU/Guidelines/Yoga_for_Pregnant_Ladies_English.pdf. Accessed on Mar 13, 2020.