Breathing

Make sure that you breathe through the nose and not the mouth. If necessary, dojala neti before commencing surya namaskara or your daily practice program.

The breathing sequence in surya namaskara is perfectly natural and should occur spontaneously. The breathing that we have already related to each position is that which the body will automatically do, and any attempt to breathe differently will prove uncomfortable and awkward. There is an easy principle to remember when you are learning surya namaskara. When you bend backwards, inhale, for the chest expands, inducing air into the lungs. And when you bend forwards, then you must exhale, because the abdomen is being compressed, which in turn reduces the volume of the lungs, via the diaphragm, and air is forced out of the lungs. Only while assuming position six, is the breath retained, and if you experiment for yourself you will find that this is also perfectly natural, for it is difficult to lower the body and breathe at the same time.

In summary, there is little or no effort required on your part to ensure correct breathing: your body will tell you. But what you must do is accentuate the inhalation and exhalation more than the body will do naturally. Some effort will be required in this direction.

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