Today’s fast-paced life can often leave us feeling tired, helpless and basically unable to cope. Encountering such feelings are simply our body’s way of telling us to slow down and to take a few deep breaths. Unfortunately, most of us think that breathing is an instinctive act and that there is no right or wrong way to do it. But there is. And, most of us do it wrong, without realizing that it has potential to resolve most of our problems. Deep breathing helps us feel rejuvenated on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. And, that’s where Pranayama can help.
Dirga Pranayama (Three Part Breath) is one such breathing discipline that can bring peace, balance and overall wellness to our lives. The good thing is that you can practice it many times throughout your day. Even two or three breaths will have a positive effect. And, you can simply perform it, sitting on the floor or chair or even lying down with your back straight.
Instant Pranayama for weight loss
Some of the benefits of this practice are increased energy levels, better sleep, balanced hormones, better digestion, better skin and hair, mental clarity and a happier you. This could also be the best Yoga practice to lose some weight.
The Three Part Breath detoxes the lungs and increases your capacity for oxygen intake. Increased oxygen intake means faster chemical processing or faster metabolic rate in your body. Due to engaging in the practice, you also remain more mindful of your nutritional intake and your mind becomes calmer, more willing and alert.
How to perform Dirga Pranayama
The ‘Three Parts’ involved in the practice are your abdomen (or belly), chest and shoulders. Inhale into your belly, filling it up completely. Then continue into your chest, filling it up and allowing it to expand forward and sideways. Then breathe a little more allowing your shoulders to lift up slightly. Without holding your breath, start breathing out from your shoulders and then chest. Now, exhale from your abdomen, emptying that too.
Inhale and exhale, imagining your breath flowing like a soft wave. Keep your breath gentle, slow, long and do not strain at any point. In addition, maintain a count of the length of your full inhalations and exhalations. The count of each inhalation and exhalation should be same. Five counts (one count per second) is good to start with and you can keep increasing it as your breath becomes longer and deeper.
Make the most of it
For added benefits of meditation, you can observe your breath while performing this Pranayama. Observe the coolness on your upper lips as you breathe in and warmth as you breathe out. Observe its length, softness, depth, whether it’s smooth or breaks sometimes. Doing so will help you correct your technique and master the art of deep breathing.
A word of caution
In case you have any medical disorder, it is wise to consult your physician before starting with the practice. As a general precaution, leave a gap of about three hours between a meal and your yoga practice. It is best practiced in a natural open environment, early in the morning.
This Blog is contributed by Dr. Ruchi Phool. Ruchi holds a diploma in Yoga Vidya, a Diploma in Naturopathy and a Laughter Yoga Teacher Certification. Her skills include Hatha Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Laughter Yoga, Diet & Nutrition, Shuddhi Prakriyas (Cleaning of Mind, Body, Psyche), Pranayama and various Mindfulness, Meditation & Relaxation techniques.