What are the Different Types of Breathing in Yoga?

What are the Different Types of Breathing in Yoga?

Breathing is an automatic function of the human body yet we still have the ability to consciously control and change our breathing patterns. By focusing our mind on our breath we can change how fast and deeply we breath, and even temporarily we can retain our breath for a short period of time.

One of the effective ways to learn to control our breath is through pranayama practice.pranayama is a breathing exercise rooted in yoga that improves the way we breath naturally, it's a reconditioning of our respiratory system to improve automatic breathing patterns.

There are 3 types of breathing techniques in yoga that are commonly practiced. Each one of them is designed to improve our respiratory function and promote mental clarity.

Three Types of Breathing Techniques in Yoga:

Clavicular Breathing:

Clavicular breathing also known as default breathing, in this breathing technique we use the top part of the lungs and involve shallow breaths. To practice, place your hands on the upper chest area just below the collarbones.Inhale slowly and notice how the clavicles rise and the upper chest expands.This type of breathing is particularly useful during the final phase of a deep inhalation, where air fills from the lower to the upper parts of the lungs.

Thoracic Breathing:

Thoracic breathing technique focuses on the middle part of your lungs involving your intercostal muscles.Place your hands on the lower sides of the rib cage and breathe in, let your ribs expand outwards which stretches the muscles between the ribs as your lungs fill with air. As you breathe out, notice how your rib cage contracts as the muscles relax.

Diaphragmatic Breathing:

Diaphragmatic breathing also known as abdominal,belly or three part breathing in yoga, this technique uses the lower part of your lungs. Lie down on your back with your hands on your abdomen. Make sure when you breathe in your belly expands rather than your chest. This type of breathing maximizes the use of our diaphragm and brings more oxygen into our body and promotes relaxation.

Yogic Breathing: 

Yogic breathing, also known as full yogic breath, is a breathing technique in yoga that combines all the three types of breathing we have talked about,diaphragmatic, thoracic, and clavicular. By using all the three parts of breathing this technique utilizes the full lungs capacity this is why it's called full lung capacity breathing. This is why it’s considered one of the best ways to breathe. When you practice yogic breathing, you engage your entire lungs, from the lowest part near your belly to the top near your clavicles, making each breath deep and efficient.

Learn more about Different types of breathing exercises in a 200 hours yoga teacher training course in india.

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