Breathe Yoga Process & Health Benefits

Yoga

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Breathe Yoga: What is it? Why is it important? How Can You Do It Properly? 

As you may have already known by now, yoga comes in different variations

And one of the special yet important kinds that you should definitely know about is Breathe Yoga.

What in the world is ‘breathe yoga’, you ask? Well, that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

Included in this article are some of the most important things about this particular breathing practice that you need to familiarize yourself with in order to know how you can maximize the yoga benefits you can expect.

Whether you want to feel more relaxed, have a peaceful mind, or a slimmer body, this form of yoga is perfect for you.

Read on to find out the most important things you need to know about breathe yoga.

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What is Breathe Yoga?

Yogic Breathing, also known as Full Yogic Breath or Pranayama, is a breathing exercise that is done in order to balance the Pita, Kapha, and Vata aspects of a person. 

Yoga for breathing is also sometimes called the ‘three-part breath’ as it puts three sections of the torso and three lobes of lungs at work in order to direct Prana towards your body.

In case you’re wondering what ‘Prana’ is, it’s an Ayurvedic term referring to the important life force that enters the body through breathing.

Prana is believed to help revitalize important organs that are affected by physical and emotional tension caused by stress.

So basically, Breathe Yoga is all about teaching you how to promote better breathing for improving physical, emotional, and mental wellness.

But wait:

Before we move on to other important areas of Full Yogic Breath, the first step you have to know is if you’re breathing correctly.

Why? Because having proper breath work is an integral part of Pranayama.

Believe it or not, there is a right way to breathe and there is also a wrong one, if you’re interested to know which one you are doing then read the following.

How To Know If You’re Breathing Properly

Follow the steps to find out if you’ve been breathing correctly your whole life or not:

1.    Sit properly and make sure your spine is straight.

2.    Place your left hand over your belly.

3.    Then put your right hand over your chest

4.    Breathe in deep through your nostrils, not the mouth.

5.    Observe which hand goes up first.

If your left hand went up first then that means you are doing it correctly.

Breathing from your belly is ideal because it can activate certain receptors in your body that will help you feel more relaxed. 

This can also allow your lungs to reach its full capacity.

But if your right hand went up first then you are still breathing of course, but you’re doing it wrong.

This means that you are breathing from your chest, which is not ideal because it’s shallow.

And unlike breathing from the belly, this one will not let your lungs reach their full capacity.  

Breathing from the chest can also induce anxiety and stress as it does not help the body feel relaxed.

Okay:

After teaching you the steps in knowing whether you’re breathing properly or not, it’s time to go back to the fundamentals of Breathe Yoga.

And another area that you need to know about is its cycle.

Yogic breathing practitioners believe that in order to acquire a full breath cycle, one must complete the following processes.

The 4 Main Processes of a Breathe Yoga Cycle

•    Puraka – Also known as the inhalation part, this is where the air drawing happens. Your lungs will be filled with Prana, an essential life force that will help revitalize your body.

•    Abhyantara Kumbhaka – The next process is the pause after inhalation. This is where you need to remain motionless for a moment after inhaling.

•    Rechaka – The exhalation part. It’s where you need to release the air in a steady motion. After doing so, your lungs will return to its relaxed and normal state.

•     Bahya Kumbhaka – The last process is the pause after exhalation. This is where practitioners believe you’ll start feeling a more grounded yet peaceful state of being. You have successfully completed one full breath cycle after this part.

Now you may be thinking, that’s very easy to do.

You’re right, but in case you need a more concrete set of instructions then don’t worry because we got you covered.

Take a look at the steps listed below to know how you can properly do yogic breathing.

Here’s How You Can Do Breathe Yoga

1.    Prepare your workout area; opt for wide spaces instead of small and cluttered ones.

2.    Once you’ve set your yoga space, time to sit properly. Keep your spine straight and your position comfortable.

3.    Take a deep breath through your nostrils as smoothly as possible.  

4.    Keep your breathing in check. Make sure that your belly fills up first before the chest does. Once you feel like your lungs have reached their capacity then stop. 

5.    Pause for a moment then slowly and smoothly, exhale the air out by making a tiny hole with your mouth.

6.    Repeat a few more times or as much as you can.

7.    Prevent your shoulders from moving too much while doing each cycle.

8.    Try your best to make every exhale long and smooth.

9.    Do the exercise 10 to 15 minutes per day or whenever you want to.

Follow these nine steps and you should be good.

But wait, if you think that’s all we’re going to share then you’re wrong.

To make the breathe yoga experience even more efficient, here are some useful techniques you can try in order to get the best results possible.

5 Must Try Practices in Breathe Yoga

1.    Basic Breath Awareness / BBA

  • Being aware of your own breathwork is essential in establishing a strong defence system against stress. You should be able to fully understand why you breathe the way you do. From its pattern, length, and even certain issues that you might observe, you need to be aware of anything and everything that goes on. Wondering how are you going to do that? Then take a look at the following
  • Sit in a quiet place. If you can’t find one, go for the spot where you feel most the comfortable in.
  • Breathe in through your nostrils. Try to keep track of your inhalation and exhalation then jot down all of your observations about them. You can record how fast or how long they are, you can even observe the way your body while you are taking in the air. Do NOT manipulate your breathing, do it as you normally would in order to get accurate results.
  • Do this for 2 to 3 minutes.

2.    Nadi Shodhana Pranayama

  • Also known as the Alternate-Nostril Breathing, this is the practice where you have to breathe in and release air through your left and right nostrils in an alternate way. Yogi practitioners believe that by doing this, you can unblock and purify nadis (energy that brings life and cosmic forces) all throughout the body. Aside from that, Shodhana Pranayama also has significant effects on other parts of a person’s body. In fact, one study showed that by doing this particular practice over a 7-day period, test subjects with overactive nervous systems were rebalanced. Another research showed that doing this breathe yoga practice can help lower blood pressure and improve mental focus by up to 90%. Here’s how you can do it.
  • Find a chair or mat and sit comfortably in it.
  • Close your right hand and place it in front of your nose.
  • Next, block your right nostrils with your thumb.
  • Then slowly, inhale air through your left nostril. Close it with your ring finger once you’ve reached your breathing capacity.
  • Unblock your right nostril and exhale all the air you’ve inhaled. Pause for a moment and breathe in the air again using your right nostril. Block it again when you’re done.
  • Pause for a moment and unblock your left nostril to release the air. This completes 1 cycle.
  • Do it for 3 to 5 times per session.

3.    Ujjayi Pranayama

  • Often called Ocean Breath, this practice is one of the most classic techniques in Pranayama. Ujjayi got its cool name from the ocean-like sounds you’ll make while doing it. Ocean Breath is said to help promote better relaxation response when breathing slowly, it does that by triggering the sensory receptors in your vagus nerve and causing a wave of calmness to crash all throughout your body. Do you want to know how you can do this practice? Then take a look at the steps below.
  • Inhale through your nose, do it until your lungs have reached their full breathing capacity.
  • Open your mouth and slowly exhale, you’ll notice the “Ha” sound that it will make is somewhat similar to the waves in the ocean.
  • Do this for a few more times before closing your mouth and exhaling through your nose. Make sure though that when you reach this part, the back of your throat is still on the same position as when you released the air through your mouth.

4.    Kapalbhati Pranayama

  • This practice is also known as the Skull-Shining Breath or Breath of Fire. Kapalabhati is basically a rapid breathing technique that can energize the nervous system. A recent study also showed that this technique can also promote better and faster decision-making which is very helpful especially when you’re in time-stricken situations. Here’s how you can do it.
  • Breathe in and out slowly.
  • Start to speed things up by inhaling again and then exhaling the air as quickly as you could. Your lower abs should be pulled as you breathe the air out.
  • Inhale passively between quick exhalations.
  • Do 25-30 quick exhalations per session.

5.    Kumbhaka Pranayama

  • Known as Breath Retention, this practice is all about inhaling air … and then more. Holding breath can allow your lungs to expand even wider, therefore, increasing your capacity to breathe in air. In fact, if you inhale as much as you can and hold your breath for at least 10 seconds, you will be able to take in more. This Pranayama practice can improve the flow of your blood and deliver more oxygen to your brain, heart, and muscles. Check out the following steps to see how you can do it.
  • Inhale as much air as you can, let your lungs reach their full capacity.
  • Do your best to hold the air for 10 seconds.
  • Then inhale a little more.
  • Hold your breath as long as you could. Exhale when you can no longer keep the air in. For people who are not used to keeping their breaths or those who suffer from anxiety, it’s recommended to start with 3 seconds before going all the way up to 10 seconds max.   

Tips On How To Lose Weight With Breathe Yoga

Okay, so this is probably the part you’re more excited about.

It’s time to share some useful tips on how you can use yogic breathing to lose extra weight.

Kapalbhati Pranayama, the one we just discussed above, is an effective breathing exercise that can help you shed some pounds.

But if you’re looking for more, then here are a couple of them.

1.    Start breathing through your nose instead of your mouth all the time.

2.    Keep track of your breathing all throughout the day. Be aware of any changes that you might encounter. This will also allow you to keep your breathing calm and steady.

3.    Walk for at least 10-15 minutes straight daily with your mouth closed. If you can’t breathe properly through your nose then stop walking and inhale the air through your mouth. Once you’ve recovered, cover your mouth and continue walking.

4.    Whenever you feel like you are going to let out a sigh then hold your breath, release when the feeling subsides. BUT, if you reacted a little too late and the sigh already happened, inhale air using your mouth and exhale it through your nose after five seconds.

Last Words:

Yogic Breathing is an unusual yet effective exercise that can help you have better physical, emotional, and mental health.

Aside from all its benefits towards different systems of your body, it can also help you lose that extra weight that you’ve wanted to get rid off for a long time.

So now that we’re done with this, it’s time to try out the exercise. Find a comfortable spot and start putting your breathing skills at work.   

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About the Author

Hey! I'm Emma part of the FoodyWhale team. It is my mission to help people in their weight loss journey succeed. On FoodyWhale you can find my tips, tricks and secrets that I've used in my own weight loss journey.