Starting out with focus breathing

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If you have a little difficulty synchronizing yourself with the rhythm of the complete Yoga breathing techniques, you may want to try a simpler method we call focus breathing first. Focus breathing is a great stepping stone to all the other techniques. The following list walks you through the phases of focus breathing:

✓ Phase one: During your Yoga practice, simply follow the directions we give you about when to inhale and exhale for each posture, breathe only through the nose, and make the breath a little longer than normal. That's all you have to do! Don't worry about where the breath is starting or ending, just breathe slowly and evenly. (We present the postures in Part II.)

✓ Phase two: After you're used to the phase-one practice, just add a short pause of one or two seconds after inhalation and another one after exhalation.

Figure 5-3:

The new Yoga breath.

✓ Phase three: When you're comfortable with the practices of phases one and two, add drawing the belly in during exhalation without force or exaggeration.

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